Accompanied by families, friends, and supporters, around 400 students attended our in-person ceremonies to celebrate Arden’s Winter Graduation 2023.
With undergraduates and postgraduates present to collect their degree certificates at one of two ceremonies taking place in November at the prestigious Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, London, we caught up with a number of them to see how they've enjoyed their time with Arden University and what they were looking forward to in the future.
One of the first people through the doors, ahead of the morning ceremony, was Elizabeth – a trainee manager in the NHS, who studied for a BA Hons in Healthcare Management.
‘Oh, I'm really excited and I'm so grateful that I'm here today,’ she said. ‘I enjoyed my course. It was challenging, but I’m here now. I'm really thankful for all the help that Arden has given to me. I wouldn't have made it without it.’
Also celebrating their achievements on the day was Rajat, who completed his Masters of Science in Data Analytics and Information Systems Management.
‘My Bachelor's was in Business Management and Finance, so there was a bit of a difference with coming from that background. However, it was fun to learn new stuff.’
Rajat was a full-time distance learner with Arden, and he enjoyed the flexibility this style of learning brings with it – allowing him to combine his studies with working.
‘Distance-learning worked really well with having full-time job at the same time, and that’s something I really enjoyed. There are sessions running in the evening, in the morning, whenever is best for you. You just log on and there’s always teachers and professors available to help you.’
Immediately after the morning ceremony was finished, we caught up with one of our prize winners, Amy, on the steps down to foyer. Amy, who was presented with her prize certificate on stage, had recently completed her Accounting and Finance degree and is now looking to be accepted onto a graduate programme somewhere to progress her career.
‘I’m really happy to be here at graduation,’ she said. ‘It just like makes you feel really good after all the hard work you’ve put in. Taking home one of the prizes, too, was really unexpected. I mean, I hoped I was going to do well, but to do this well is amazing.’
Kaneesha, was one of our students who had been with us since before the pandemic, and was thrilled to be finally graduating with us, having studied for a business degree with a foundation year.
‘It feels amazing to be here today. I’ve been studying online since 2019, so it was a little bit tricky when COVID happened, but the tutors were always there. If I needed help, I could always send them an email and they would get back to me straight away.’
‘Now, I've got a couple of interviews lined up and they’re all for management positions. So, that's the next step, hopefully.’
Mohammed, meanwhile, was one of our blended learning students, enrolled at our Birmingham study centre.
Like many of our students, he’d been busy throughout his Arden journey – studying for a business qualification whilst looking after children and working full time.
‘Graduating today, I’m feeling nervous and excited. I don't know what to feel! To be honest, I didn't realise how fast five years can go. I've come to the end of it, and I can't believe five years is gone.’
‘While I was at Arden I was working full time with two young kids at school, but you just learn to live with it and work around it. Arden are great as well, they listen to what you’ve got to say and they make sure you're happy.’
Like Mohammed, Misbah, had also been a blended learning business student, learning at our London Holborn centre. He was attending the day’s ceremony with members of his family.
‘I'm very happy to be here today with my family. This is one of the biggest achievements in my life, and this achievement has been for my family as well for myself. I'm happy now to be here, and hopefully in the future it’s going to lead to a good job in business.'
We also spoke to Robert, who was just on his way into the afternoon ceremony, and incredibly enthusiastic to be there.
‘I’m very, very, very happy to be graduating today. I loved the course and loved the teaching style. I’m very happy because I’m looking to open my own restaurant business and I learned lots of things from Arden University’.
And just as the doors to the hall were closing, with students taking their seats ahead of the ceremony, we took the time to speak to Ofentse, a Business student who had come to the UK from South Africa.
‘Getting to graduation was challenging at times, but in order to succeed you have to be determined, you have to be disciplined and you have to find the right university that will support you and listen to the journey that you're going to be taking for your career.'
'As a young boy from South Africa, I never thought that I'd get to this point; where I've come overseas, studied here, and now graduated. But my parents always told me that anything I put my head to, I'd be capable of achieving.’
To find out how you could be graduating with a degree from Arden University, visit our course pages today