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How financial and academic support from Bath helped me succeed in my studies

Ciara tells us why she chose to study at Bath and how the University's support helped her to achieve her goals and decide on her future career.

Ciara sitting on the grass on campus.
'I truly felt welcome, safe and at home in Bath.'

Ciara graduated with a BSc in Management in 2023.

Feeling welcome and at home in Bath

I came to Bath through one of their outreach programmes, but I knew Bath was for me long before that. I loved its beauty and uniqueness. I truly felt welcome, safe, and at home in Bath – and that was a big thing for me when making my decision. I was just lucky that the city also had an amazing university.

Finding a supportive environment

I’d been working since I was 14 and employability was a big factor for me. Being a low-income student there’s always the argument about whether a degree is worth it and 'why not just go straight into employment?'.

However, the School of Management has an outstanding reputation for getting its students amazing jobs within months of graduating. The support and hands-on approach to professional development was what I was really looking for, as I wanted the best chance of getting an amazing placement and graduate job.

Being a low-income student with a mental health condition, the support offered was a big factor in my final decision. Bath, unlike most universities, had a range of large bursaries, scholarships and funding in place for students like myself. This took a massive weight off my shoulders. For the first time in my life, not having to worry about the short-term cost of entering higher education let me focus on my studies and my development. I knew in the long term that higher education would be an invaluable investment and now I’m seeing the payoff.

I struggled with maths and English before university. The Skills Centre’s writing and mathematics support really appealed and made me worry less about struggling academically. After starting university, I realised that I’m dyslexic, and the academic support I received prior to my diagnosis made a huge difference. Because the University covered the entire cost, I didn't have to weigh up my financial security when finding out my diagnosis. I received a tremendous amount of support which I am eternally grateful for.

Getting out of the comfort zone with a work placement

My placement was with SAP, a multinational software corporation that develops enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. SAP UK was been ranked 8th in the Top 100 Undergraduate Employers 2021, and the Number 1 Tech Undergraduate Employer in the UK at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards.

My role was with SAP Concur. I worked as a Technical Support Engineer, which included consulting with clients on changes they needed. I recommended the best technical solution for their requirements and configured it. It was the perfect mix between business and technology and really pushed me out of my comfort zone.

I had an immense exposure to the business-to-business environment. SAP was a joy to work for, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I got to grow and develop.

Setting my career plan in place

I was very fortunate. I not only enjoyed the company I worked for, but I found my calling in what job I wanted to do after I graduated. Placement years help you find out what you like, and I had the opportunity to explore several different parts of the business.

Being able to try different roles out and network with employees helped me set my career plan in place. I felt extremely lucky to be able to look for graduate roles with confidence, knowing what I would enjoy and what career I would like.

I received a tremendous amount of support which I am eternally grateful for.
Ciara Sherlock BSc in Management (2023)

Study at Bath