Success stories

Mature student case study: Kay - BA (Hons) Photography

Kay’s inspiring student story shows that there’s no barrier to higher education.

What made you decide to study a degree at the MET as a mature student?

I was running a busy tea rooms but due to a health issue my career took a different direction. Everyone kept telling me what I couldn’t do. I’ve always loved photography and the degree programme has given me a purpose. Being a student at GB MET has enabled me to be part of a community rather than isolating myself. 

When I was at school, the teachers made me feel that I wasn’t good enough. I wanted to prove myself.

What were you doing before you joined GB MET?

Prior to running the tea rooms, I was a chef by trade. I’ve also worked as a special needs learning support assistant so I’ve always been around people.

What’s the mature student community like at the MET?

There are other mature students on my course and in the wider College. When I started the SU set up a number of meetings specifically for mature students, which was a great opportunity to meet new people and network.

How has the course helped your future career progression?

I needed something that I could hold on to and my course has given me the ability to still work and be in control. As a self-employed photographer, I have the flexibility to plan and decide which projects I take on.

How has Greater Brighton Metropolitan College supported your development?

The student support is fantastic and adaptions have been made to support my learning needs. They organised a dyslexia test and occupational therapy assessments to ensure I had the right resources to facilitate my learning. This included a stool on wheels to help me to move around the classroom and a scriber to take notes. I also had access to software that scribes my dictation. 

What are your course highlights?

I really enjoyed a project we worked on for a domestic abuse charity in Brighton called Rise. We worked in a team to produce a video for the charity and I loved seeing the reactions of the staff from the charity who were so pleased with what we’d produced. 

How was your experience of studying alongside younger students?

I found that it worked both ways. They help me but I can also use my life experiences and skills to help them. For example, my career has developed my communication skills, which was useful when working on course projects with external clients. On the other hand, the younger students have been great at supporting me with technology!

What are your plans for the future?

I am taking part in an exhibition at a gallery and also hope to enter competitions. I’m also going to set up my own website to showcase my work. I also like doing charity work. In lockdown I produced work for the RNLI which they used in posters and on their website for their open gardens.

What advice would you give to a mature student studying at the MET?

Do it! It might be scary but do it! Also don’t be afraid to ask for help. The only person stopping yourself from doing something is you.

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