Clare talks to us about life as a mature student, studying BSc Digital Business (now called BSc Business Management with Innovation and Technology) and why she picked Salford.

Photo of BSc Business Management with Innovation and Technology student Clare Wild
Photo of BSc Business Management with Innovation and Technology student Clare Wild

The Salford Experience

As I had family responsibilities, the university I chose needed to be easily commutable. Great transport links and Salford Crescent train station right on the campus – ticked that box.

However, the deciding factor for me was the unique course content, in fact, I only applied to the University of Salford as I knew it was the right choice for me! It was reinforced that Salford was the place for me when I spoke to current students who told me their positive experiences and praised their tutors’ attitude.

My degree looks at business management with a focus on elements of digital tools. We look at how existing platforms and emerging technologies can be used to develop businesses and create innovation.  Covid has progressed organisations use of information technology and our practical modules should enable me to gain experience to be prepared to gain employment and progress in this sector.  

I have access various Salford Advantage courses run by the Business and Enterprise Team and am taking part in the Launch Business Challenge, where I will be working on a project to assisting disadvantaged women in the Salford community with other students studying at Salford University. A double win for me; I build my network whilst helping women, which is a real passion of mine.

University has given me a new start, gaining key education in business areas relating to technology should enable me to continue to work being aware of current and emerging innovations. Performing tasks on real-life projects will provide me with the skills and experience to apply beyond university. Also, since starting University in September I have become a student representative for Digital Business, it is important to me that all my peers have a voice and feel empowered. I have also enjoyed working for the University of Salford on several open days for new students and applicants to the University of Salford.

Life as a Mature Student

Gaining a degree at 18 was not an option for me but it was something that I always wanted to do. Obviously, at the ripe age of 47, it was a life-changing decision to leave my existing job, gain part-time employment and return to full-time education was a big step. But I reasoned that it’s likely that I will be working until I am 70, so even after a graduate I will be looking at contributing a further 20 years of work. With this in mind, it seemed imperative to ‘up skill’ and this degree at Salford was the perfect vessel to make this journey.

The tutors have been a fantastic encouragement, which has been essential during our ‘virtual’ first year.  However, I don’t feel I have been treated any differently to other students as they try to help all students to overcome any barriers they may be facing.  The support from the other level four DB students has been a welcomed surprise, we have skills that we exchange. I can help with management matters having leadership experience and they educate me on the technical aspects, it’s a great trade off.

On my personal statement my opening paragraph was:

“If I had gone to university in my twenties, it would have been a waste.  I have spent many years juggling work with family responsibilities and now feel well placed to take on the challenge of returning to education to change my career or fulfilling a long-held ambition of starting my own business- It’s going to be my greatest adventure yet.”

If you have a lifelong love of learning ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’  Being older means you have had time to progress your emotional intelligence and resilience which are key resources as a mature student. Remember, you’re not on your own- there are other mature students, reach out to them, support each other. Always be open to listening to the thoughts and opinions of others, you have a lot learn from your younger fellow students.

Life After Salford

Who knows what I’ll do when I graduate, the world is my oyster, but my top three opportunities current are:

  1. Start own my own Social Enterprise to help others – being able to work flexibly anywhere in the world.
  2. Employment in public office working with data – in case you don’t know ‘data has surpassed the value of precious resources like gold or oil’
  3. Study towards a Master in Digital Business with a dissertation in module three and hopefully going on to carry out my own research project.  

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