Yamna graduated in 2016 and reflects on her time at Bucks, and how six months on things are falling into place both at home and abroad.
My time at Bucks New University, studying Performing Arts (Film, TV and Stage), was the best three years of my life that I would not change at all. I made a lot of lifelong friends and being the Captain of the successful Women’s Basketball Team made the experience extra special.
Between May and September I travel around the States, living in New York but working in New Jersey as a Specialist Basketball Coach. I coach children between 5 and 15 years old, and also work as a Sports Coordinator where I organise tournaments and work alongside other sports specialists around the camp.
When I’m back in the UK I work in the Hollywood Bowl in High Wycombe, where I will soon be training to become the Assistant Manager. Right now I’m working alongside my managers and learning what I can from them, so when I make my way up the corporate ladder I will be slightly ahead of other recent graduates.
It may not be an achievement to many but being able to land a job abroad, in a country I have always admired and wanted to work in, has been a big career achievement for me. I’m also proud to have worked throughout my degree, and being with the the same company for three years during that time allows me to use the connections and experience already established to develop myself further now that I have finished studying.
My qualification may not be the same as the career path I have decided to take, but I am so glad to have a Performing Arts degree as it has helped me to be confident in anything I do, to take on big responsibilities in my professional life, and become organised and able to keep up with deadlines (which I used to be very bad at).
One of the most important things I learnt whilst at university was how to work with different types of people, including those who I didn’t know well or I didn’t get a long with initially. How to adapt to different scenarios and surroundings were also important lessons that have served me well since graduating.
Being a captain of the women’s basketball team helped me a lot, as this is where I got to combine my passion for sport with completing my degree. I took on a lot of responsibilities and gained a lot of organisation and communication skills. I also got the chance to work with everyone in the Student’s Union office (to the point where they got sick of me, aha).
As well as switching between jobs in the UK and USA, my family and I have also started a charity called JOY OF GIVING, which we have officially registered and that my mum and I started late last year/ early this year. We helped make food and give clothing to the homeless last Christmas, have raised money to give to Nepal when they had their earthquake not too long ago, and have raised money for children and adults with disabilities or special needs. I love reading, spiritual books are all I read and that keep me positive and motivated.
What advice would you give to a student who is about to graduate?
No matter what field you choose, do your research so you are sure you want to go in to it, because second guessing will not help and will get you confused. Find what you love to do and what you are passionate about and stick to it long term, but to find your way there is nothing wrong with getting side tracked in different ideas or even two completely different things like I am doing.
But when you find what makes you happy that’s when doors start to open.
Are there any misconceptions about studying for a Performing Arts degree?
There is sometimes a perception that people who study Performing Arts are stuck up and think they are the best (even though there are some people that are like this, ha), but everyone has more to them than just their talents, and some have many other talents beyond what you would initially expect. So don’t judge a book by its cover.
What advice would you pass on to your first year self?
Follow your heart and do everything the same because you may be confused now but everything will work out just the way you want it. Maybe socialise more, but mainly, DO NOT CARE WHAT PEOPLE THINK.
[Iconic yellow school bus. Perfect]
A message from Bucks New University Alumni Service:
It is great to get updates from our most recent cohort, and hear about the opportunities they have secured or created for themselves. If you graduated recently or many moons ago, we want to hear from you.