Maria Blanca Zaragoza De Los Rios, FdA Accounting, mature student
Mature student Maria Blanca Zaragoza De Los Rios, FdA Accounting student, entered LSBU as a mature student and has never looked back.
Support outside the classroom
As an international student, Maria benefited from a mentor who helped her with everyday life when she arrived, and is now a mentor herself, testament to how much her self-confidence has grown during her time here.
"I found the university to be really human – doors were always open and LSBU's staff were always willing to help," says Maria. Maria made full use of the Dyslexia and Disability support for help with her dyslexia, and was provided with access to a special tutoring programme.
It was through her membership with the Institute of Directors that Maria heard about LSBU's internship opportunities. She applied straight away, knowing that this was a fantastic opportunity that would give her the vital experience needed for her future career.
"I was blown away by how professional and useful the internship was!" she says. She particularly valued the lunches with senior staff members, which helped her to gain a real insight into what really happens in the workplace, as well as giving her access to areas she wouldn't have normally experienced.
"I enjoyed the dynamic nature of the rotations through different areas of Finance. Getting hands-on experience and exposure to the varied skills sets in each was useful in determining where my interests lay. At first I thought I would be most interested in Enterprise, but in the end, I enjoyed Procurement the most."
A boost in self-confidence
Maria recommends LSBU students not to hesitate in applying for the internship programme, not only because it's a boost to her CV, but most importantly, a huge boost to her confidence.
It goes without saying that her greatest achievement to date has been "not giving up", and with determination and support from the University she is now progressing to a Bachelor's degree.