She loves video games and has ambitions to be a creative director - so Esther Sodeke couldn't have landed a better placement than as a marketing intern with Electronic Arts.
The Advertising and Marketing Communications student from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) spent a year with the global interactive entertainment publishing company.
"I'm really into games, and I saw how they were made, as well as how campaigns go from start to finish," she said.
"It was a really good experience and tailored to what I like."
Born in Nigeria, Esther moved to South Africa when she was four before her family settled in Cambridge in the UK when she was eight.
Wanting to study a subject that combined creativity and strategic thinking, Esther was impressed by the content and structure of DMU's course. However, she took a while to warm to the city.
"I really liked the changes to the city on my second Open Day visit," she said.
Esther enjoyed learning advertising and marketing theory before putting it into practice during her year at Electronic Art's UK head office in Guilford.
"I supported campaign development and execution and dabbled in communications," she said.
"I learnt how to use certain programmes, to improvise and just how important teamwork skills are. You have to be flexible, adaptable and empathetic."
Back at DMU, Esther found it tricky readjusting to academic style at first. However, she continued to reap the benefits of her sandwich year.
"It helped in terms of deadlines and my grades shot up by 10 per cent," she said. "A placement changes how you think and there is more of a foundation to your thoughts."
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She was also more proactive in seeking support.
"If you want more help, ask for it, but be considerate," she said. "I've asked for more this year and I've gone to the lecturer before the deadline rather than ask for feedback afterwards."
Esther has also been involved in the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network Group.
"I think this is really important," she said. "There are a number of people from different backgrounds who may not feel reflected in the content they learn, or the staff, or events in general.
"DMU homes in on it so BAME students can achieve their potential and it's good to understand the reasons behind it and contribute."
She is just back from New York after an "amazing" #DMUglobal trip.
"We're very lucky to get to do things like this," said Esther, who looked at advertising in Times Square and transforming the old into the new in a way that matters to people at the High Line.
However, Esther is in no doubt as to her DMU highlight - the people she's met in her final year.
"I have made meaningful friendships and everyone has their own strength," she added. "Never worry about making friends, just be yourself and you will."
Posted on Friday 22nd June 2018