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Laura McMenzie


Where are you from?

Newcastle Upon Tyne

Why did you choose Northumbria University, Newcastle?

My choice was heavily influenced by the availability of work experience through my course, not all Universities offer this.

What do you think of Newcastle and our region and what are your favourite things to do?

Newcastle is a great city! I love to shop, dine and drink in the city centre . There are so many places to socialize,  there are some beautiful parks and the beach isn't far either.

What has surprised you most about living in Newcastle and this region? What has impressed you most?

I have lived here all my life and love living here. There hasn't been any surprises really but I think it's great how the University is in the city center.

Did you find Northumbria University welcoming?  Was it easy to fit in?

I found fitting in at Northumbria University really easy and have had no issues at all. All the students and staff are really friendly and welcoming. As a mature student I thought it may be difficult fitting in with younger students, although there isn't a huge gap I was slightly concerned, but everyone gets on so well and there's so much opportunity to meet new people.

What have you enjoyed most about coming to Northumbria University?

The people, fellow students and staff. I have made some fantastic friends who have made me laugh as well as teach me a lot.

Who has helped you most since you came to Northumbria?

I have been helped by so many during my time at Northumbria. One person in particular is my personal tutor Jamie Harding. If i have ever needed help with anything he has been more than happy to assist me. He has always had time to listen and give me advice when needed.

Who has inspired you most at Northumbria University?

The staff are all very passionate on their subjects and that is so inspiring. One member of staff that has stood out for me would be Louise Ridley, she is so passionate and knowledgeable but has good fun as well. It is inspiring to see someone who cares so much about their topic and who knows so much about it, it has made me passionate about the topic too.

What is your favourite place on campus?

Me and my friends like to socialize and study in Lipman Cafe which has recently had a refurbishment. It offers a place to enjoy a coffee and some food as well as computers and tables to study.

Have you joined any sports teams, clubs or been involved in any volunteer projects?  Tells us about the highlights?

I have recently became involved in the Criminology Society. It has been really fun to get involved in something that can bring many from the course together, a lot of us have similar interests so its good to organize events for everyone. The highlight has to be our launch night which had a fantastic turn out and was a lot of fun. Everyone who attended seemed to really enjoy the evening and many people were socializing with new people.

What is the best thing about your course?

It has to be the course material. The wide range of topics covered keeps me interested and i feel like I'm always learning something new and discovering more interests of mine.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date?

I would say being able to critically analyze has been the most valuable lesson I have learnt to date. Not taking everything on face value has been a very important lesson and being able to question your source is something I will use for the rest of my life.

What do you want to do in the future?  What skills have you learned/improved that you think will be of most use in your future career?

I am still not certain exactly what I want to do in the future. I want to try and get involved in the prevention of human trafficking. I feel like I have increased my knowledge in this area but also my perspective on things has changed and i realize everything isn't black and white and i feel this will assist me in a future career. I have also improved my organizational skills, working to dead lines, writing skills and interviewing skills.

Have you worked on any projects with businesses or been on a placement?  What were your most memorable experiences?

I am waiting to begin my work experience placement at HMP Northumberland of which I am very much looking forward to.

Have you taken up any opportunities to travel with your current course/undertake field trips?  If so, please tell us about them.

I took part in an Exchange Programme for the first semester of my second year. I completed a semester and Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA. It was the best experience of my life and i would strongly recommend it to anyone. I was lucky enough to get this opportunity and could not wish for a better location which meant i got to spend alot of time in New York City. During my time there I also managed to visit Canada which was amazing. I live at home with my parents here but I got to experience living in dorms whilst on my exchange which was so much fun and the campus I was at was so beautiful.  It was also so interesting to see how University works in America and the material they taught was so interesting. It was a once in a lifetime experience and i feel so lucky to have took part, I would do it in a heartbeat again if the opportunity arose.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

Do it! Its a fantastic University in a fantastic location. Northumbria offers the opportunity to take part in exchange programmes, has great course material and offers work experience modules.

How do you feel you have changed as a person since being at Northumbria University, Newcastle (e.g. confidence)?

I feel my confidence has increased greatly since starting at Northumbria, i have learnt not to second guess myself and to give everything a go. My ability to speak in public has improved so much and i am so much happier in my academic abilities.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Informative, interesting and fun.

Would you recommend Northumbria University to a friend?


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