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Why I spread the word

Why I spread the word

James Story has been part of the School Alumni Ambassador scheme for a number of years and has visited several schools to provide talks about considering University.

“I come back into university and tell secondary school kids about my experience applying to Leeds, living in the city, what I did after I graduated and the window in-between graduating and starting my job. I think it is really important that people in secondary school get a well-rounded idea of what the university experience is like because there is so much in the press saying that it is really expensive and lots of people are uncertain whether if you get a degree you are guaranteed a job. What I enjoy doing is coming in, and light-heartedly setting the record straight. I came to university, I got a degree and I kept working in my spare time. I grew immensely as a person and my employability skills really improved and it was then that I got my job, but there are no guarantees. But you have to tell them this without the typical dourness that admittedly parents who are wary about student loans can tell them.

I came back because I thought it was an immensely rewarding thing to do; to reflect on everything that I'd done and just tell people that if you want to go to university, the opportunities are absolutely there. I just want to bridge the gap a little bit between this world of university that can seem a little bit scary, a little bit costly, and admittedly not for everyone. I say that university is definitely an option, and it is in my opinion the best option out there because I took it and it was incredible.

I enjoy speaking to students and I'm trying to do more outside of the talks such as careers days and CV workshops. Now that I have some experience speaking at the head of class, I want to speak to individuals and set their personal worries aside. I want to meet people who don't have any idea what they want to do and say that I did not know either and that you come to university, you learn and grow and eventually figure it out.”

James Story (Cinema and Photography, 2012)

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