Alumni Collaborations & Visits Class of 2015 Staff Contributions Testimonials

Jenny Wade – Graduate, Actress & SU legend

Think you know Bucks New University?  If you don’t know Jenny, or the work she does, chances are you have been away for too long.

For those of you who graduated before her influence on the welfare and success of the students took hold, we are extremely pleased to introduce you to Jenny Wade.

Course: BA (Hons) Performing Arts (Film, TV & Stage), graduated 2015.
Works for: Bucks Students’ Union – sabbatical officer – Vice President Education & Welfare: SU Profile

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What is involved in your day-to-day work Jenny?
Representing over 6000 students on academic and welfare issues. Sitting on 22 committees within the institution, providing student feedback on a broad range of issues. Running welfare campaigns throughout the academic year and promoting support services whilst liaising with the local community. Trustee of Bucks Students’ Union – assisted in developing strategic plan 2016 – 2019. Heading up the student rep system and running training courses varying from Fresher’s Helper training to ‘Look After Your Mate’ Student Minds training.

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What have been your main career achievements to date?

  • Elected as VPEW: running first mental health campaign Peace Of Mind, personal safety and student housing campaigns. Trustee of an organisation that turns over in excess of £2million a year.
  • Toured physical comedy ‘Macdeath’ to Camden fringe festival – sell out show for 4 nights and paid to perform at Bucks for first year Performing Arts students.
  • Performed solo dissertation performance ‘Together Again’ at the Courtyard Theatre, London and received positive review from Michael Brazier, Artistic Director of the National Student Drama Festival: “Together Again by Jenny Wade is the very honest and touching true story of a daughter and the two mother figures in her life, using beautifully layered home movies, dance and memories of her childhood and growing up.” 
  • Reoccurring extra’ on ‘Midsomer Murders’ and extra in popular series ‘Black Mirror’.
  • Scheduled 4 month summer 2016 employment at Circus of the Kids as a Circus Coach in a company that tours American Summer camps, teaching kids circus skills and performance culminating in an end of week show. Visiting: Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and several states in between.
  • Volunteer leader at local Rainbows and Guides units: specialising in performing arts badges and shows.
  • Performer with professional company ‘Station House Opera’ on two separate occasions as part of their research symposium ‘The Doors’, collaboration with Jem Kelly (lecturer).
  • Attending the National Student Drama Festival 2016 alongside course leader Nic Fryer and fellow graduates Modupe Salu and Adam Zaman.
  • Presenter of ‘Bucks Women’ weekly show on Rusty’s Radio. Weekly chat show, discussing topical issues effecting women.

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How has your qualification from Bucks helped your career?

  • Practical performance skills that I can apply to acting roles: presenting, acting, singing, movement.
  • Research insight and academic development: dissertation intermedial exploration, apply to role as VPEW and higher education sector.
  • Confidence to present myself in different situations: interviews, delivering training, public speaking etc.
  • Excellent networking opportunities through the course and lecturers: National student drama festival, theatres in London, professional practitioners and theatre companies (Station House Opera, Frantic Assembly, Idle Motion etc.).
  • Dissertation performance research project ‘Together Again’ used as a case study for Jem Kelly’s published work in ‘Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance’.
  • ‘Beyond you and I: role play and reflection-in-action in communication training’ – published project I participated in as a student.

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Upon reflection, what skills did your qualification give you that help in your SU and acting jobs?

  • The confidence and passion to nominate myself and run in the sabbatical election, for the opportunity to remain at Bucks and work to improve and enhance the student experience.
  • Confidence to present myself in different situations: interviews, delivering training, public speaking etc.
  • Ability to market myself as a performer and an individual – how to present yourself, promote your work, build networks and continue creating work.
  • Knowledge and understanding of applying for Arts council grants and financial support out there when working on creative projects.

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What advice would you give to a student who is about to graduate with a performance art degree?

  • Be patient – it takes years to fully establish yourself in the industry. Don’t panic if it at first you seem a bit lost and are unsure of which direction to go in, just keep persevering.
  • Build and retain contacts you make at university – keep in touch with course mates, support each other’s work (go and see their shows and they will return the favour), keep in touch with lecturers and utilise their networks.

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What advice would you pass on to your first year self?

  • Become more involved in the Students’ Union from day one – don’t leave it too late and get stuck in a routine of only attending lectures. Attend the training sessions and log more volunteering hours.
  • Join the Dance society – don’t be afraid to try something new and leave your comfort zone. Strangers may just be friends that you haven’t met yet.
  • Collaborate more with other courses – use Film & TV students to create a show reel, audio students for a voice reel etc.
  • Enjoy your time at university because it will be over before you know it.

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Please tell us anything else about your time at Bucks that you are proud of.

  • Platinum volunteering award – 250 hours.
  • Graduated with a 1st class degree.
  • Published work (as mentioned above).
  • Worked part-time as Bar Staff in the SU Venue, which was the first ever employment I was able to progress and be promoted in. I was promoted to Bar Staff Team Leader and put in charge of a team of up to 20 bar staff on a night.
  • Working with these guys…

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Thank you Jenny!

Via the Students’ Union our graduates can support students in a variety of ways. From offering volunteering opportunities and workshops, to simply sharing with your own influential networks the wonderful work they and the students undertake.

Bucks alumni are welcome to visit the Venue free of charge, and for a fee can take part in many of the additional skills training sessions the Students’ Union offer. For more information please email: sutrainingcentre@bucks.ac.uk

Bucks SU Twitter   Volunteering   Campaigns

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