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Becoming a Young Entrepreneur

Nicolette (BSc Sociology and Social Policy) was nominated Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the prestigious Kensington and Chelsea Awards whilst on placement.

A profile shot of Nicolette smiling at the camera
Nicolette moved to the UK to pursue her passion for policy research

We spoke to final year student Nicolette Chen about her experiences of the BSc Social Policy and Sociology course at Bath.

Moving to Bath

'In 2015, I made the decision to leave Singapore, the tiny red dot I’ve called home for the last 18 years, to study Social Policy and Sociology at Bath. I am now in my fourth and final year having completed an industrial placement year working in a tech start-up in London, which was a dream come true!

'Deciding to move to the UK has been one of the best decisions I've made so far. I've had the best four years of my life, and Bath is now a city that I am so happy I can call my second home!

'In my years here, I have had the opportunity to make friends with some incredibly supportive and caring people that I know I will be able to call my life-long friends. I have also had the opportunity to learn alongside extraordinary and dedicated professors who inspire and believe in me.'

How I knew this decision was right for me

'I chose Bath for two reasons; the course flexibility and placement opportunities. Studying both social policy and sociology allows me to combine my passion for policy research and analysis with key sociological theory, but with optional units. I’m also encouraged to study topics beyond social and policy sciences. I have studied topics in psychology, international development and politics, all of which I have found to be very complementary and which I’ve benefited from tremendously.'

Meeting new people

'Apart from getting stuck into my degree, I love getting involved in activities that give me a chance to meet new people. For example, I am on the committee of Raise and Give (RAG) as the Events Officer. Through this, I have been given the opportunity to do some amazing things in order to raise funds for numerous charities. Once, I got locked up in a kennel to raise funds for Bath Cats & Dogs Home, I have organised a Zombie Apocalypse for Halloween, and this summer I’m heading to Uganda with a charity called East African Playgrounds to help build a playground!'

A voice for other students

'I am an Academic Representative at the University. This means that I am expected to act as a voice for students on my degree by providing constructive feedback to lecturers so that our student experience can be improved. This has been great for improving my leadership skills! Alongside this, I work as a Student Ambassador and an International Student Ambassador for Singapore, which is perfect because I get to talk about how much I love being a student at Bath!'

Placement

'During my placement year, I worked in a tech start-up in London, helping with business development and market research. I had the best year working in the capital city of London. No two days were the same! I worked with incredibly empowering individuals, and even discovered new passions and interests like UX design and user-testing. I was given lots of responsibilities and I actually had a say when it came to making important company decisions.'

Winning awards

'Throughout my placement year, I really developed my leadership skills and my passion for event management. For example, I successfully organised and ran a sell-out STEM event for 800 families and children at the Science Museum.

'Together with my company, we were nominated for several awards at the Kensington and Chelsea Awards, a really prestigious award ceremony (personally I was finalist for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year).

'Beyond the work skills and experiences that I gained, I also learnt important life lessons from some incredibly wonderful supervisors, who taught me resilience, problem-solving skills and teamwork by being the best examples.'

My advice to 1st and 2nd years

'Give start-ups and SMEs a try. My supervisors valued my opinions, and I was part of important decision-making processes. This is something I don’t think I would have had in larger companies, and something which taught me so many lessons!'

‘I chose Bath for two reasons; the course flexibility and placement opportunities.’
Nicolette Chen BSc Sociology and Social Policy (2019)