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Matthew Lowe

Case Study

Prepared for all eventualities, Matthew rang the Northumbria Clearing hotline after not quite achieving the grades he needed on results day.

Matthew had already began exploring his options through Clearing when he discovered Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School and was attracted to the emphasis on graduate employability, including a year-long work placement in his third year.

“Studying here meant that building on career skills and professional development was part of my course,” he said.

“I was lucky enough to get a 12-month work placement with HMRC, who kept me in part-time employment throughout my final year and have offered me a graduate position.

Matthew studies on the University’s Business Management degree and praised how the course has prepared him for his placement year and his future career.

“ The knowledge I have gained at university, I have used in the real working environment. I have been able to put my skills into practice. And more than that, the placement has helped me in my final year. I returned to studying feeling better organised and more professional,” he explained.

Matthew is coming to the end of his degree, so shared his top tips for new students: “Moving to a different city can be daunting when you don’t know a lot of people. Try to connect with people on social media pages and find who you are living with in student accommodation – that way you can make a plan for freshers’ week, so you already have things lined up to look forward to. And it’s good to get to know people, as they’ll make your university experience.”

He added: “I would also take advantage of the careers service. After completing my placement, they helped me improve my CV to reflect my experience at HRMC. Highlighting the skills you gain on placement will help when it comes to searching for graduate jobs.

Describing A-level results day as being a ‘rollercoaster of emotions’, Matthew said: “You go into it expecting to have a really stressful day but, securing a place at university was a really simple process. In the moment, the thought of having to go through clearing seems like a big problem, when in reality, it’s not.

“Try not to worry or overthink the process. In the space of 10 minutes, I had applied and was accepted onto a course at Northumbria.”

Northumbria University has a limited number of places available for high quality students through Clearing this summer. For more information, visit or call the Clearing Hotline on 0800 085 1085.

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