Bournemouth University graduates are bringing their skills to the Dorset community by ‘staying local’ when finding their first jobs.
Bournemouth University graduation ceremonies are taking place this week, but a number of graduates will not have far to travel, as they have chosen to stay and work locally.
Following a recent report that suggests that more graduates should be encouraged to stay in their University town or city to find work, Dorset can boast graduates from a range of courses who have gone on to work locally, with graduates citing good job opportunities, friendly communities and Bournemouth’s famous beaches as reasons to embark on their chosen careers in Dorset.
One such graduate is Anushka Naidoo, who works as Communications Assistant for the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is graduating this Friday. She said, “I chose to stay in the area because I realised I was yet to unlock the full potential that Bournemouth and Dorset has to offer – particularly for a graduate. When I was studying here it felt like the perfect place to grow and become more independent. I have yet to live or work in a more friendly town. It’s also a nice way to give back to the place I have called my home for the past three years.”
Alex Smith graduated from Bournemouth University in 2013 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism and now works at AFC Bournemouth as their News and Editorial Executive. Alex also worked with The Cherries during his time at BU and he said, “My first job out of university was at AFC Bournemouth and I wouldn’t have got the job without Bournemouth University.
“I like the town, the wider area and wanted the chance to work full-time at the football club. I just love the area and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
A number of students leave BU to enter the health sector, often working locally at Bournemouth and Poole hospitals. One such graduate, Sara Barry, now works as a Staff Nurse, looking after trauma and orthopaedic patients at Poole Hospital.
Sara said, “My course was 50% placement, which I took at Poole Hospital in different fields and it really helped me to get my first job. I stayed in the area because I love the lifestyle and the people – both are really nice and friendly. I enjoyed my time as a student but the transition into the workforce and putting my degree into action is a brilliant feeling.”
Naomi Kay works as Public Engagement Officer at Bournemouth University, getting her first graduate job in the same department where she did her placement year while at BU. She said, “Having grown up in the Midlands I still find the fact there’s a beach a 10 minutes away from my house amazing! I also love Bournemouth as a town so when this fantastic opportunity came up within my old department I wanted to stick around and apply.”
Having more students stay in the local area after graduation is seen as increasingly important in providing opportunities for regional economic growth. According to the report, conducted by the think-tank the Royal Society of Arts City Growth Commission, “Producing graduates on your doorstep, rather than seeking to attract them following graduation, is an opportunity for metros [regional cities]."
Report co-author and RSA senior researcher Jonathan Schifferes added: "Universities are key economic assets in every major UK city - our objective should be that their global competitiveness is reinforced through their metro contribution.”
Degree-trained employees are not the only contribution that Bournemouth University makes to the community. A 2013 study found that BU contributes £365million a year, £1 million a day, to the South West economy.
Other graduates to have completed study at Bournemouth University before moving into work locally include Emel Yusuf, a Marketing Executive at Airius, Annie Hall, who works as an Account Manager at digital agency Bright Blue Day and Ben Ford, who is doing his teacher training at Twynham School in Christchurch.
Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor at Bournemouth University, said: “It is one of the highlights of my year to see a new wave of graduates receiving their awards at our Graduation Awards Ceremonies.
“Many of our graduates have gone on to become successful business leaders and even Oscar winners, and I have no doubt that our latest graduates will also go on to enrich the communities they live in and have successful careers.
“It is particularly good to see so many of our graduates remaining and working in Dorset, continuing to contribute to our local society and economy. Wherever you are, we hope you will keep in touch with Bournemouth University, which will always be a place that its alumni can call home.”