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Betty — Graphic Design BA (Hons) Top-up Degree

Graduation 2022-Betty (far right)

I’d celebrated other people’s graduations but only ever dreamt of it being me wearing that gown. 

Graphic Design Degree — 

Choosing the right career path isn’t always easy and sometimes it takes a few tries before finding the best fit for you. This was the case for 26-year-old Betty, who discovered the right course here at College.

She’s now graduated with a Graphic Design BA (Hons) Top-up Degree under her belt and is happily working in a job that she loves (pictured above, far right). 

She explains:

I tried A Levels and an Apprenticeship, but neither felt like the right path for me. I did some travelling and when I returned to the UK, I knew I wanted to get some better qualifications. That’s when I enrolled at College on an Access to HE course.” 

The benefits of studying degree-level at College

Everything felt a lot more personal and less intimidating than a traditional uni setting. The class sizes are significantly smaller, and you get so much more contact with tutors and staff.” 

The course

I enjoyed meeting new people, being able to study in the city and learning about topics I knew nothing about before.” 

What is it about graphic design that interests you?

For me, it’s about creating something with a purpose, something that is impactful and tells a story. I love the psychology behind graphic design and the impact that different elements have on the consumer.” 

Why was it important for you to gain a degree?

Betty at her Graduation ceremony in November 2021.

Without a degree I felt that so many doors were closed to me. I felt stuck in a rut and that I didn’t have any of the relevant skills to push me forward in life to get to where I wanted to go.” 

Juggling studies with a busy family life

I became a mum at the end of the second year of my degree, and my daughter was three months old when I started back on my final year. My tutors were nothing but supportive of me and did everything they could to help me and enable me to reach the finish line. 

It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done mentally, I had to juggle being a parent, studying for a degree, looking after my home and mental health and there were many times I felt like giving up. Had the staff at the College not been as supportive as they were I don’t know if I would have been able to finish the course at all.” 

How did it feel to graduate?

Graduating was surreal for me. It was the first time in my life I felt proud of something I had achieved, I actually cried during the ceremony before I went on stage. I think it was just a moment of realisation that I had actually made it to that point, I had celebrated other people’s graduations and only ever dreamt of it being me wearing that gown and waiting to go on stage. 

 — Betty

Future plans

Once the course finished, I went straight into a very varied role as an office manager for a Nottingham-based company, where I get to use the skills I acquired through the course. I manage the website, social media and all marketing materials for the business that I work for. I have full creative freedom across our online platforms and get to redesign things like leaflets and business cards. 

I really love the job and want to stay and grow with the company. Eventually, I’d like to start a small freelancing graphic design business that I can run alongside my current role.” 

If you’re interested in a degree-level course, to help kick-start your career like Betty, why not take a look at our range of courses? From Foundation Degrees and BA (Hons) Top-ups, to Higher National Certificates and Diplomas. There’s sure to be a programme to suit you.

Why not come along to our next Higher Education (HE) Open Evening?