Meet the Aston University graduate that never stops
Safia Noreen, an Aston University graduate, has been a total powerhouse during her undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
She initially graduated from Aston University in 2019 with a 2:1 in BSc (Hons) Business and Sociology. But she didn’t stop there. Safia continued her studies, gaining a MSc in Strategic Marketing Management and now successfully juggles a part-time job, multiple business ventures and is also applying to study for a PhD!
Safia is using her marketing and business skills to expand her business, an authentic South Indian street food venture. She has also used any extra time between studying for a PhD, working a part-time job at ScrewFix, and running her business to take up designing logos and learning how to use Adobe Suite apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom.
Safia started at Aston University in 2015, studying BSc (Hons) Business and Sociology. She felt that the degree really boosted her confidence and helped her make contacts within the industry.
She said: "There’s a lot of opportunities at Aston University.
"The group work in the business part of the degree really helped me with my confidence as well as the networking side of the course. There’s a lot of companies that are involved with Aston University."
As part of her degree at Aston University, she undertook a compulsory placement year, which is a great way to boost employment prospects.
For her placement year, Safia decided to start a technology drop shipping business as she found herself unable to commit to a full-time role due to extenuating circumstances. Despite these difficult circumstances, she was able to launch the business and make some revenue on it.
Safia continued studying by undertaking her masters in 2019. She felt that a MSc degree would be a great way to specialise and refine her skills as she was interested in working in the marketing industry.
After completing her masters degree, some of her lecturers felt that she would be the ideal candidate for a PhD. Whilst she was initially unsure about continuing her academic career, she has now decided to spend the next three years studying at Aston University for a PhD.
Safia admits that she never sits still and enjoys being constantly busy. Her intense work ethic is something to be admired!
Why Aston University?
Aston University was a brilliant option for Safia as she was able to undertake a joint honours programme. Safia found sociology really interesting but knew that she wanted to go into a business-related career.
"When I was deciding on universities, I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to study. At college, I actually ended up enjoying an A Level that I did, which was sociology. But I knew that I wanted to go into business and Aston University was one of the only universities that did a joint honours degree", she said.
Safia decided to study at Aston University after attending an open day on campus and talking to a current student. She felt that the enthusiasm shown from the student gave her a really positive view of both the course and the University.
She said: "When I visited the campus, I just preferred the fact that it was smaller, and everything was in one place and located in the city centre."
Safia is a commuter student as she helps to care for her disabled younger brother. Being able to live at home whilst studying was a very important part of her decision making when choosing a university. Many commuter students decide to study at Aston University as it’s accessible by train, bus or tram. Safia was able to drive to Aston University and recommends Car Park 5 for cheap all day parking.
She was also impressed by all the support that Aston University offers. The Library and the Learning Development Centre (LDC) offers a range of different services to help students in their studies.
She said: "When I did my undergraduate dissertation, I was very confused how to set it out.
"The LDC actually had a sociology graduate on their team, and she helped me out with it. So, I think that Aston University Library is a really good resource."
Safia’s advice for students considering Aston University
Safia was asked what advice she would give to students that are unsure about university or attending Aston University in particular. She recommended attending an open day and exploring the campus.
I would say definitely come down and see the University before making a decision. The student ambassador that showed us around convinced me to pick Aston over another university. If I hadn’t met her, I wouldn’t have got a feel for the University. So, I think that would be what I would advise people.
Also, study something that you enjoy because if you don’t enjoy something and you study it, you’re not going to do that well in it.