Student Ambassador Holly Atkinson takes leadership

After her GCSEs and A-levels, Holly Atkinson spent a year working and travelling – visiting Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and India – before making a firm decision about what she wanted to study at university. “It was a great experience to have some time away from education,” she says, “and it gave me the time and space I needed to decide what I wanted to do at university.”

First choice

For Holly, that decision was to enroll on our BA (Hons) Drama and Performance degree. “I made the decision that LSBU was going to be my first choice when I came for my audition,” she recalls. “It was a decision I made due to the efficiency of the day, and the professionalism of the lecturers that I met.”

Holly was also attracted by our central location. “It’s so close to all the major London attractions, as well as reputable theatres,” she says. “The beautiful Southbank area was a huge advantage for me, and the University has a modern look and feel, as well as superb facilities.”

Edric Theatre

Holly has made the most of the facilities available at LSBU, particularly the Edric Theatre, our dedicated performance space with a reconfigurable 90-seat auditorium, seven studio theatres, rehearsal spaces and backstage facilities. “The Edric Theatre has been a massive help, giving us time and space to rehearse, as well as somewhere we can go to that is just for drama students,” she says. “It’s a great space with fantastic technical facilities, meaning performances are not limited at all. “

Skills and opportunities

Holly was also really impressed by the taster of our teaching she experienced as part of her audition. “It was also clear that the course would give me lots of skills, and provide opportunities to progress in the creative industries,” she says. “I knew I would finish the course as a well-rounded theatre maker with experience in several areas of the industry, something that would make me more desirable to employers.”

Our proximity to several major theatres, as well as being less than half an hour from the West End, is something that Holly feels has added to her education. “It doesn’t only mean that I can see theatre easily,” she explains. “Those theatres also provide opportunities such as workshops that I can attend easily.”

Life as an LSBU Student Ambassador

Outside of her studies, Holly increased her employability by working as a Student Ambassador, a choice she made because “it sounded like a fun, flexible job that would fit my uni timetable and studies perfectly.”

She has undertaken different types of work, including Open Days, where she meets prospective students and gives them an insight into life at LSBU. “I’ve also worked at taster days, where prospective students come in to get a taste of what the course would be like,” she says. “I’ve given presentations on finance, the application process, and life at university. It’s improved my public speaking, and I’ve also done some data entry for the marketing department that has developed my office skills.”

Holly feels that being a Student Ambassador has presented her with plenty of opportunities to upskill and focus on her existing strengths, and feels that she has enjoyed many highlights in her year working in the role.

Rewarding experience

“I really enjoy talking to prospective students, especially drama students,” she says. “I’ve loved being able to answer their questions and address their concerns, giving them a real insight into what university is like. I especially like the way I can reassure them that it is not as scary as they may think, and there is a huge support network. They were questions I was grateful to have answered when I was choosing a university, so it’s really rewarding to do the same for others.”

Through working as a Student Ambassador, Holly has discovered that she has better leadership skills than she thought she did, and has learned to deal with lots of different types of people and situations. “I’ve also improved my public speaking skills, and my organisation,” she says. “I’ve been given the chance to try something completely new, something I would not have encountered as part of my degree or working in a more traditional part-time role.”

Flexible role

Holly would recommend working as a Student Ambassador precisely because it develops different skills, as well as the flexible nature of the role. “It pays well, but you can choose your hours,” she says. “If your studies come first, there is no pressure to be somewhere at a certain time every week and if you are exhausted, you don’t have to work.”

Because most of the work is at the University, there is little travel involved, and Holly is also grateful for the opportunity to make new friends. “You meet amazing people from all over the University, so your network only gets bigger,” she says. “It’s great for future opportunities, and it has helped to prepare me for the career I want to move into.”


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