Hundreds more students have received their degrees during day two of De Montfort University Leicester’s Winter Graduations.
This time it was the turn of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and it was evident that reaching the pinnacle of your academic career requires plenty of hard work and determination, as well as a willingness to make sacrifices.
Kulvinder Dhir, who graduated in Social Work, is dyslexic and a single mum. She was at the ceremony with her 13-year-old son Aaron.
She said: “I had a difficult journey. As a single working mother it was a tough three years but I got some good support and am proud to have graduated. It was really emotional. I think I cried through the whole ceremony.”
Aziz Alqasem, from Saudi Arabia, received a master’s in Education Practice. He said: “It is an amazing moment for me. Studying in a second language was very difficult but I am so happy. I enjoyed my time in Leicester, especially with the football team winning the Premier League while I was here.”
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Mother-of-three Michelle Sarson, 30, who graduated in Adult Nursing, said the ceremony was an emotional reminder of how she had juggled her studies with her home life. She is now working as a gynaecology nurse in Coventry.
She said: “It was really, really hard to get through my degree with three children (aged 10, 7 and 5). I couldn’t have done it without the support and help of my mum, dad and partner. It’s taken me five years as I did an Access course to get into DMU.
“It was a struggle trying to split my time, especially when I was on work placements, but I did it and it’s a great feeling.”
Graduate Mike Grimshaw, 30, said his Mental Health Nursing degree was “a lot harder” than he was expecting, describing it as “three long years.” But he said putting in all the hours of work just made graduation day all the more rewarding.
Mike, who won a Distinguished VC Award in his 2nd year for setting up the Contemporary Health Society, said: “I’m feeling pretty good, the course was so intense and there’s not much time for anything but studying, but it was all worth it in the end.
“I’d advise others to do the course but to stick together so they can help each other through the hard times.”
Nathalia Kleopa, from Greece, received a master’s in Environmental Quality Management after completing a distance learning course. She was visiting Leicester for the first time to receive her degree.
She said: “It was a unique experience for me. The ceremony was great, especially compared to the one I attended for my degree in Greece.
“I work in Greece for a shipping company, looking at the environmental impact, and my degree will help tremendously.”
Bright Chironda, who was awarded a BSc in Biomedical Science, said: “It was a fantastic ceremony. Everything was planned perfectly.
“The study was difficult but I got there. I may stay in biomedical science but I may start my own business.”
Prince Amoah, who qualified with a BSc in Biomedical Science, said he had made great friends while at DMU.
He added: “The ceremony was brilliant. Absolutely amazing. Walking across the stage to receive my certificate was the best part. I’m looking to take a year out and then come back to DMU to study a master’s.”
Nursing graduate Kathryn Ibbotson, 23, has landed her dream job at Glenfield Hospital after she carried out a placement there as part of her course.
She said: “It was so hard as I have a little girl who was not even a year when I started. But I did it, which shows hard work pays off. And I’m now working where I always wanted to work.”
Diana Pomaah, 22, who graduated in Criminology and Criminal Justice, said she’d been ‘brought out her comfort zone’ by moving from London to Leicester and was relieved all the good things she’d heard about DMU were true.
She said: “What a day, I’m ecstatic. I’m just feeling so happy but also a little emotional coming back to DMU and seeing all my friends.”
Rebecca Khandke, 21, said she was “feeling so good” about being a DMU Nursing graduate.
“It was a great ceremony, I enjoyed being part of it,” she said. “The course kept us really busy as it was half studying and half placements. At times it was difficult, but I’m now in full-time employment and that’s the main thing.”
Posted on Wednesday 24th January 2018