In our latest Arden University podcast, we speak to Accounting and Finance student, Agnes Ackon, as we celebrate Black History Month.
Watch the video below or read on for the Q&A with Agnes as she shares her story on her Arden University experience and how she is planning on celebrating Black History Month:
Welcome Agnes, who will be starring in our upcoming television advert due to be released on Boxing Day. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am Agnes and I moved to the UK not too long ago, I’ve been here for two years now. I’ve been studying with Arden for the past year and had an amazing experience with my studies. I look forward to enjoying more as time goes on.
What are you studying, Agnes?
I’m studying Accounting and Finance in one of the London centres – Holborn, and I have two more weeks to go to complete my foundation year. Then I’ll begin my main course.
Are you studying using blended learning or online? Do you have any advice for people who might be interested in studying through the various options?
I’m studying blended learning, so my advice would be that you need to understand what you would like to study. If you aren’t interested in what you’re studying, then it’s easy to drop out further down the line – it’s necessary to know what you would like to study and your reason for studying it. If you feel like giving it up, you can revisit your reason for being there in the first place.
Then you know what will motivate you to carry on. Whether you want online or face-to-face on campus, you need to assess yourself and your situation first. Online requires a lot of concentration and if you’re based at home, it might be difficult to focus. For me, I found both easy because my parents didn’t understand much so allowed me to study.
We mentioned earlier that you are part of our new TV advert. What was it like being filmed in Manchester and how was it being part of a television crew?
In the beginning, I was feeling very nervous, meeting new people and being with a television crew. But, when I got to the place, it was like “Woah, I’ve met my family!” Everyone was so nice, and all the nervousness vanished. I felt so comfortable. I really enjoyed myself and loved every second of being there.
The advert will be coming out on Boxing Day, will you be tuning in with your family?
Yes, as soon as I got home my dad said: “Do you have any links that I can go and watch what you’ve done?” I told him he needs to wait because they need to edit it! Me and my family are looking forward to it.
You’re studying blended learning and you were up in Manchester for the shooting. How did you fit the filming around your study?
The filming didn’t really interfere with my studies, as I study Mondays and Tuesdays and the filming was Thursday and Friday. I just had to take some time off from work instead. I got to have a look around Manchester on the last day when we had finished filming. I went to visit the cathedral and I think it’s a really nice place. S
o it’s October, which means two things for most people. Halloween, and more importantly, celebrating Black History Month 2021. Agnes, what does celebrating Black History Month mean to you?
I didn’t really know about Black History Month until I came to Europe and specifically Italy, where it’s a big thing. That’s when I began hearing about celebrating Black History Month – people were celebrating Mandela’s Day. During Black History Month people were mainly focusing on trying to honour the great black people that are known worldwide. So, coming here, I think I had to have a new vision and new opinion. I think celebrating Black History Month is more than just remembering people. Celebrating Black History Month is more of trying to educate the young black people out there, including myself, of what our predecessors have done and what we need to do. What we need to showcase to the world our potential. Our predecessors have come and gone and are still making history. For Black History Month 2021, we just have to learn and do much better than what they’ve already done. I think that the Black History Month podcast should be about create awareness and educate not only black people, but also the world as a whole. We should let them know “hey, we can do something, and we’ve already done something, and we hope to do greater things”.
Are there any black public figures that inspire you?
Yeah, the black public figures that inspire me are Oprah Winfrey and Idris Elba. Oprah Winfrey really inspires me.
Are there any pages or accounts, like a Black History Month podcast you follow, that talk about these subjects that would be good for other people to learn more about?
There are so many on Instagram, I follow an account called The Black Man Can and they really showcase family lives – how they are family people and how they care about society. There is a lot out there on Instagram with black history which showcases our legends and their lives.
If you’d like to share your story and experience with the Arden podcasts for university students, you can reach out to us on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter channels.