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University of Hertfordshire Graduate spotlights: Abies Iriowen

In light of the recent graduation ceremonies, Trident Media wanted to give a closer insight into three students in particular, by reflecting on their time at the University of Hertfordshire and the advice they offer for future students now their time has come to an end.

Our first student in the spotlight is- Abies Iriowen:

Abies Iriowen, from North London, is graduating with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Business and Event Management from the University of Hertfordshire on Friday 7 September at 10:15am. During her time at University, Abies completed a placement year with the FDM Group, who she currently works for as a Diversity and Inclusion Advisor.

She lives in Enfield, North London.

Abies chose to study Event Management at the University of Hertfordshire because when she was looking at where to study, the University of Hertfordshire ranked highly for her chosen course. She also looked at studying at institutions further away from home but knew it wasn’t the right decision for her; “I knew I wanted to be close to home and commute in one of my years of study at university so the University of Hertfordshire was the right choice for me.”

In her first and second year, Abies lived in accommodation at the University of Hertfordshire and then privately rented accommodation, however, in her final year she decided to commute because she wanted to keep up her 9-5 routine from her placement year but instead of going to work, she now went to the library.

All University of Hertfordshire courses offer the opportunity to take a year out from their study for accredited work experience within a student’s chosen profession for an additional year, typically between the second and third year of a student’s degree.

Initially, Abies had not planned to do a placement year and when the Careers and Employment team sent her information about an exciting placement, she ended up forwarding it to her friend. However, her friend did not take up the opportunity and feeling like it was too good of an opportunity to waste, Abies decided to take up the Diversity and Inclusion Project Coordinator Industrial Placement at FDM Group.

FDM group are an international company who provide graduates, returners to work and ex-forces personal business and technical training in core disciplines. Abies stresses that her placement year was a valuable experience because it taught her what she did and importantly what she did not want to do after graduating. “Often, when you’re applying for roles you don’t know what they actually mean and my placement taught me what those roles actually entailed.”

In her final year, Abies was a BME advocate and worked with the University to support and inspire BME students in order to tackle the attainment gap. As part of her role, Abies talked to programme leaders and academics about BME students’ experiences. Abies also worked as an Outreach Ambassador for the University and as part of this role she worked with school students across Hertfordshire to help them gain a positive view of higher education.

She says: “The University of Hertfordshire is well rounded in regards to the University experience, as it offers lots of opportunities.”

For those starting University this September, Abies offers some valuable advice:

  1. “Don’t be afraid to try new things – say yes to every opportunity”

  2. “Make new friends and expand your network – don’t not go to an opportunity because no one in your social group is going”

  3. “Talk to academics and make sure you utilise the drop-in sessions that are on offer”

  4. “Don’t just go to lecturers and go home”

Stay tuned for the next graduate in the spotlight, coming soon…

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