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Sonia Drubhra

Programme: Business Computing and IT
Year of study: Final

Birmingham is the second biggest city in the UK and all the convenience and facilities this brings were crucial in my decision. Getting away from home has been important as it has given me a chance to grow up and become more independent which I wouldn’t have had if I’d stayed at home.

The fact that Aston is a small and friendly university was also really important to me. I wouldn’t want to study somewhere larger because I like walking through campus and the city, seeing people I know and stopping for a chat.

During Freshers’ week everyone was really friendly and that initial socialising meant that I met lots of people who I’m still friends with now.

Sonia Drubhra
Sonia Drubhra

 It was great to have the Aston Aunties as they encouraged me to get out and socialise which was very helpful and it resulted in me wanting to do the same for others after my first year.

There are a wide variety of things to do and you can never get bored of Birmingham as there is loads going on. I know of students at other universities who have to either get the bus or walk for 30 minutes to get to the supermarket whereas here it is all immediately to hand. The location is pretty much perfect.

When I came to Aston I wanted to keep my options open and the wide variety of modules on the BCIT degree have meant that I’ve gained lots of experience in different areas and I am confident I could take on a wide variety of roles.

The placement was a great opportunity as it takes the University experience one step further before returning to study in the final year. I worked at TSB during my placement and I found that I could relate much of what I learnt there to my final year modules.

Having a personal tutor during the placement year is excellent. I have friends at other universities who had issues during their placement where they needed to talk to someone independent of the company and university and unlike me didn’t have that opportunity.

One of the highlights of the placement was when I interviewed the director of TSB to get the group results which were being published in the internal magazine. The interview went in the centrefold and the photos made the front cover of the April ‘Upfront’ magazine which is distributed worldwide to over 70,000 people so lots of TSB staff now know who I am!  The director was really nice as I sat down to take notes with a pen from a rival company (I had been to lots of graduate fairs and collected things) so he took that off me and gave me a blue TSB pen just in case it got into the photographs. I’ve kept the pen since, I don’t use it in case it runs out!

I’d recommend a placement year to anyone considering studying a business degree and it’s a great opportunity to line up a graduate job.

I’ve been able to use the experience during the final year as I have a lot more background knowledge which has been useful to apply to the various modules. I’ve also been able to use my skills during group work as now I’m more willing to lead projects because I have more confidence.

Aston is a top university which offers a wide variety of courses and the common first year gives you the chance to change your mind as you study a wide variety of different disciplines. The lecturers have humour and are taught in a way which you’ll remember as personal experiences of the lecturer are used and the support is excellent, especially in the final year.

I’d advise future students to be open minded and up for anything, don’t restrict yourself as you’ll get out only as much as you are willing to put in. It’s worth the extra effort as being able to say you’ve got a 1st/2:1 from ABS to employers really makes you stand out from other graduates.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research