Angelica's experience as a mature student saw her overcome challenges and tragedy to chase her dreams in marketing
My university story started a bit later than is usual I suppose. After moving to England from Peru, I worked as a business coordinator in a school for 9 years. It was fun work, but I was ready to challenge myself. Even if that meant changing everything.
So, I sold my house to pay for tuition fees, took a job as a waitress and started a personal training business to make rent and then enrolled at the University of Portsmouth as a full-time student.
At first I struggled. I’d never studied at this level before, in fact, I’d never even written an essay before. If I’m honest, I panicked at times, saying to myself, "What have I done!?" But soon I realised that the lecturers were there to support me. I studied hard, forced myself to be more sociable and got involved in everything I could; even becoming the course rep.
The lecturers were there to support me. I studied hard, forced myself to be more sociable and got involved in everything I could.
Things were going perfectly and, in my final year, I was sent to represent the University at a marketing and entrepreneurship programme in Nice. It was an incredible honour and the chance to network with other people who were hoping to chase similar dreams was invaluable. In life things rarely go to plan, however, and one evening when we were enjoying walking around the city and enjoying its sights, we were caught up in the terror attack that claimed so many lives. I lost three friends in the tragedy.
I was in shock and disbelief after the experience, but it also made me feel incredibly grateful to be alive and, if anything, made me want to chase my dream even more.
I owe everything to taking a chance on the right place.
The University was there to support us both right after the attack and in the months to come, giving us a bit of leeway with work and finding people for us to talk to if we needed it. We decided that you can’t let terrorists change your life and so completed the programme in Nice. I think everybody came out of those weeks with a fresh appreciation of their life.
Now, I’ve graduated with my degree in marketing and have already started chasing those dreams.
I've presented a TV show in Peru, managed the marketing of a chocolate company and travelled around the world making new friends and new contacts. I owe everything to taking a chance on the right place. Hopefully, a lot more people who are in a similar position to me will find the University of Portsmouth and can have the same opportunities.