Helen balances University and family life

Helen Harrison - Marketing

Helen Harrison is a mature student studying the second year of BA (Hons) Marketing. In the first year, she won the South Wales Business School Prize for Best Performing Student; whilst balancing her family life.
“Having worked in various office-based roles, I realised I needed an undergraduate degree to improve my career prospects. In previous jobs, I favoured the marketing tasks I’d undertaken; so this helped me to decide what I would study at University.  I had an interest in learning about the different areas of marketing and was keen to hone my skills where I had prior experience. Now enrolled as a BA (Hons) Marketing student at USW, this is something I am keen to do.
The teaching staff are passionate about students exploring all aspects of business and not just marketing. This is important as you need to have an understanding of how different business functions work, to be effective in your particular job role. That’s what’s why the first year is designed to give you a solid grounding in business before you begin to specialise in marketing during the second and third year.
Marketing is a bit of a jigsaw but I love learning about how all the pieces fit together. Some of the modules look at the same topics from different angles and this helps you to make connections between the theories. As a student it’s important to interact with the lecturers and to make use of their support. If you find the pieces are not falling into place, they are more than happy to help. Also by talking to your class mates you learn so much. Listening to their opinions really helps to broaden your mind-set.
Marketing Communications is my favourite module. It looks at identifying customer needs and how to address these through the campaigns we create as marketers. Completion of the module requires you (in a consultancy role) to meet with a client through USW Exchange to find solutions to a real world business problem presented by the client. This exercise is something that excites me as I hope to establish a career in consultancy following graduation. It’s my chance to put the theory into practice whilst gaining experience of working in this role. As far as assignments go, this has to be one of my favourites.
So far, winning the prize for Best Performing Student in Year One, was the highlight of my course. As a mature student with a family this prize proves that my effort was worthwhile and I am proud that all the hard work paid off.
The most helpful advice I could give to future students is to try to connect with your class mates before you enrol. I was in a group chat with other applicants well before we met at induction week. It really helped ease the anxieties I had about starting university. I have become really close to some of the people I was in touch with at the start and it’s been great to have their support during the course.”