University helped me to become my best self
Student spotlight | Charlotte Nicholls
Charlotte Nicholls, from Leeds, is currently studying MSc Creative Technologies at Leeds Beckett University where she previously studied on the BSc (Hons) Broadcast Media Technologies course. Charlotte is a freelance content designer who made her own path to follow her dreams.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to study broadcast media technologies?
After spending a year on a different course, I realised I had chosen a path that was safe and stable instead of what I really wanted to do, which was to pursue my love of creation and content. This is what drew me to the undergraduate course, Broadcast Media Technologies (BMT), and I am now very happy with that choice as the pandemic and the rise of online content over recent years has proved how much demand for skilled graduates there is in this area.
What made you choose Leeds Beckett?
I had visited Leeds Beckett several times before I applied, I loved the vibe and felt like I could fit in here. Coming from a working-class background I would sometimes visit other universities and not see myself fitting in there. I never felt this way in Leeds Beckett, as everyone was welcoming, open and so supportive.
Leeds Beckett provided vocational courses, something that I wanted, as I was able to develop professional skills as well as academic. This type of education is something completely new to my family, so being able to show them that I am both ready to work and have the education behind it was really important to me.
Can you tell us a bit more about your student ambassador role?
I decided to apply for the role when I joined the BMT course as I had experience with the university and could help current students who were unsure about things, like their course, as I had been in their position. The role meant that I would give tours, contribute to talks about university life – and my course specifically – and help people be able to access the campus and see all of the facilities.
I enjoyed being able to talk about my experience as I know that my university lifestyle was a lot different to many other students, I lived at home and was a distance from the campus. I think that knowing that it is possible to still enjoy university doing things differently to others helped to calm some students down, instead of thinking that they would be the odd one out.
What opportunities have you had on your course?
I have worked with my peers on my course, as well as working with external companies which have given me a very rich experience. I had the opportunity to work on documentaries, live content and was able to grow my skills in ways that make me stand out and be confident. I also completed a placement within the university, helping with online content creation and video production for distance learning courses, which taught me a lot.
In my final year, I found freelance work to help boost my portfolio. I think that working on my freelance content drove me to the position that I am in today, wanting to work for myself and be my own boss.
What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett?
I have learnt so much about myself and grown so much as a person, which I think is very important, and something I wish to express to as many people as possible who are wanting to come to university.
I have also learned a lot from my course that has prepared me for the professional world and to work for myself. I have pushed past a lot of anxieties I came to university with, which has helped me to be more confident in situations I have never been in before.
When I look back on all the achievements I have accomplished during my time at university, I am mainly proud of the person I have become. I can say, confidently, that I have not only accomplished my dreams, but I am also happy with my work, my life and my chosen path to be self-employed. It can be hard getting there, but it is so worth it.
What advice would you give someone thinking about studying this course?
BMT will allow you to gain a variety of skills that will help you in the workplace and help you to explore your creative side. Making content in your own way will help you be both professionally ready, and have ideas bursting from the seams.
You can start to choose and focus on your niche in the final years, you will be ready for all types of work, or even working for yourself! The tutors help push you to be the best you can be, and I cannot thank them enough for the time they took to help make my work better and help me to be the best that I could be. BMT introduced me to the wider world of content creation and goes to show that people forget how much work goes into every media piece.