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Why did you choose Anglia Ruskin University? - A Q&A with Natasha

Course: MA Student Affairs in Higher Education

5 June 2018

Why did you choose to study the Student Affairs in Higher Education Masters?

I chose to study this course because I wanted to help support students during what I felt was the most important and critical point in their lives. I had previously spent two years studying for a materials engineering degree but due to personal circumstances I had to leave the course. I then decided to study the Law LLB at Anglia Ruskin and thanks to the support I received I graduated finishing with a high 2.1. I felt that if I had received more support as a student I would have completed my first degree and now seek to offer this support to other students.

Why did you choose Anglia Ruskin?

I chose Anglia Ruskin because of the excellent support I received as an undergraduate student and was inspired onto my current path within higher education by this support. So when I discovered the Student Affairs in Higher Education course was available I jumped at the opportunity to change careers.

What is the best thing about the course?

The course provided me with excellent networking and internship opportunities. I managed to secure a part-time job working within the ARU student advice team within a month of starting my course; this allowed me to gather invaluable experience within a higher education setting.

What was the most challenging aspect of the course?

I find that as with most roles the balance between family and work is a struggle. I have two young children and I found that studying full-time and working alongside my Master’s studies put a strain on my family life however I was able to overcome this through the supportive and flexible nature of the course.

What skills did the course teach you?

I found that I improved my communication and analytical skills during my studies. The assessments encouraged me to tackle complex social topics and analyse the causes and effects. I was challenged by the assessments to present my findings in a coherent and consistent manner. My Master’s degree title is also an interesting conversation topic which allowed me to network within my field.

Did you undertake a placement on the course?

There were a few placement opportunities offered by the course however I was very interested in working for Anglia Ruskin. Having previously attended another university in London I felt the support provided by the ARU Student Services team was exceptional and I was keen to find out more about what they did. After being put in contact with the student advice manager by my tutor I managed to secure a job role as an administrator for the team. I believe this was a very important aspect of my studies and gave me the crucial experience to begin my career. I found that I had developed immensely as a person with my student services role and this inspired my passion for my career within higher education

What have you done since completing the course?

I am currently working on a research project focusing on improving resilience amongst care leavers. This project is a collaboration between the Anglia Ruskin Student Services department and the student services body AMOSSHE.

I also secured a position as a Quality Systems officer within the academic registry at ARU in September 2017. I really enjoy my job as it lets me see the student experience from an administrative aspect. As part of my role I help maintain accurate data on the student records database which involves setting up and maintaining the records for the courses delivered by the university.

Natasha Javed