Today we meet a student who has excelled throughout her 3 years at BCU, she has an interesting story to tell & is a fantastic example of a student who has dedicated so much time to her studies, whilst having a lot of fun too. Let’s go and meet Nicole…
Hi Nicole, it’s great getting to chat with you today! Tell us about the course you study & a little bit about what a typical day in the life is for you?
I have just completed the BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Nutrition degree. It’s pretty exciting as my class is the first cohort to complete the degree. We were the first intake when the course was brand new in 2017. Although our course is nutrition-focused, we got the opportunity to take part in other aspects of Sport Science including Biomechanics and Performance Analysis, so this meant that there was no “typical” day. One day we could be in the kitchens whipping up protein smoothies and conducting nutrition workshops with players from various professional sports teams and the next day, we could be in the fitness suite learning proper weightlifting techniques.
How many of our award levels have you completed and when did you achieve these?
I have completed all four awards – bronze, silver, gold and platinum. I actually completed the awards retroactively, in that I ticked all the activities as part of my daily routine, not intentionally for the purpose of completing the Graduate+ awards, but I knew I would be using the activities to contribute towards them. So, I completed them across all three years of my course.
You tell us that you’ve undertaken a wide variety of placements in the Midlands sporting world, tell us about some of your favourite experiences & the skills you’ve gained?
My course and the department of Sport & Exercise in general were brilliant in sourcing placement providers for students including Warwickshire County Cricket Club, Kidderminster Harriers Football Club, and Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. During one summer, I did some performance analysis for England Netball and I volunteered with British Athletics on several occasions. I also worked with a biomechanics company called Run3D at the National Running Show for 2 years. We had opportunities to provide nutrition support to some of our BCU Scholars. I even got to work with Basketball England as part of the Talent Hub program.
Additionally, with Basketball England, I externally sought to become an All Girls Ambassador, which I am especially excited about as it centres on promoting female participation and engagement in basketball - a cause very near to my heart. Involvements with Basketball England also gave me a chance to volunteer with the GB women at a FIBA EuroBasket qualification round match against Belarus in Manchester. If I had to pick, this would be my favourite experience, but I feel fortunate to have experienced all of them and that I was able to take something different and special away from each of these experiences. I definitely became more confident as a practitioner and I am proud of my ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team in various roles.
We know you also have a job alongside your degree working at a boarding school – this sounds really interesting! What is a typical day like for you there & how did you originally get the role?
Yes, I absolutely adore my job! Just like my course, there is no typical day and that’s what I love about it. I love not knowing what situations I’m going to be in when I clock in because it makes it more fun! I always describe my job as “playing Mommy” but with lots of paperwork or perhaps ‘big sister’ in some cases because it really depends on what the students in my care require of me that day, and no two days are ever the same. I previously attended the boarding school (one of four I attended) and I loved the boarding experience, so I wanted to play a part in creating a memorable experience for other students. When a position opened up, I went after it and was fortunate enough to land the role.
We know you’ve also been a member of the BCU basketball team & have served as a president too, what an awesome achievement! Tell us more about this.
Anyone who knows me knows that basketball is a HUGE part of my life – I literally grew up around the game. Coming off an injury-related hiatus from the game when I enrolled at BCU, I wasn’t sure how I would feel being back out on the court, but it was one of the best decisions I made. We won the Midlands 3A championship in my first year and were promoted to the 2A league. We had a bit of a down second year, but this year was an amazing year, and not because of winning. We had some horrible losses to start the season, but we grew so much as a team on and off the court and had a chance to fight for a 3rd place finish this year before our fixtures were cancelled as a result of the pandemic. I made friends for life on the team and I am very fortunate to have played with the women I called teammates across all three seasons.
We’ve seen your face practically everywhere lately Nicole… tell us about the BCU marketing campaigns you’ve been getting involved with!
Who doesn’t love to strike a pose?! I featured in the promotional video to showcase our new facilities at the Edgbaston Campus (City South). I’m also seen on the website and on banners promoting our course and department. Most recently, I took part in the campaign for the School of Health, Education and Life Sciences. That last one was perhaps the most memorable shoot to complete as I got to meet students from other departments within the School.
If a new 1st year student wanted some advice on starting their Grad+ award with us, what would you say?
I would say “go for it!” The university experience is so much more than attending classes and completing assessments. Being involved in so much has made my development and growth so much more holistic and there are so many avenues to choose from in order to complete the award. The Grad+ team are extremely helpful so if you are ever in need of anything, you will find the support you need.
Finally Nicole, what does the future have in store for you? What are your plans now moving forward?
I’m really excited to be starting my postgraduate study in September. Although I will be moving on from BCU, I will very much remain connected to the community and be in the stands cheering on our basketball teams!
It really was a pleasure getting to chat with Nicole about her BCU journey, what a jam packed and memorable 3 years she’s had with us! We wish you all the very best for your postgraduate study Nicole!
Would you like to share your story with us? We’d love to hear from you – please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org & we’ll get back to you.