Maria Stefanidi completed an MA in Marketing Communications at BU in 2004 and is now helping other university students as the CEO and Founder of Your Dissertation Coach.

Maria was attracted to study at BU by a range of factors, from its academic reputation and commitment to turning out well-rounded graduates, to its location and lifestyle opportunities. She said: “The university is nestled within a beautiful coastal town, providing a perfect environment for both studying and leisure. There are ample opportunities for outdoor activities, and the beautiful beaches and lush parks allowed me to enjoy a balanced lifestyle. My choice to study marketing communications at Bournemouth helped me grow academically and personally.”

Having originally worked in banking – and returning to the profession after graduating – Maria realised that her ambitions lay elsewhere. She said: “It has been quite a journey! I started out in banking but knew deep down that it wasn't my calling.  After quite some time, I decided to take a leap of faith and pursue my passion for helping others. That's when I became a certified coach and founded Your Dissertation Coach - a company dedicated to supporting higher education students facing academic challenges.

“As someone who has worked with countless students struggling with procrastination and anxiety, I know first-hand just how overwhelming the dissertation process can be. That's why I decided to channel my knowledge and experience into a comprehensive guide, ‘Start Writing, Keep Going’. The book is packed with practical tips and strategies to help students overcome the roadblocks holding them back from success. It's amazing to see the difference that can be made when you follow your heart and put your talents to good use. There have been obstacles along the way, but each one has helped me grow and develop my skills even further.”

Reflecting on her BU experience, Maria cites her professors and classmates as having the greatest impact. She said: “My professors played a pivotal role in shaping my academic experience. Their passion and dedication towards teaching were inspiring. They consistently motivated us to push our boundaries and seek new knowledge, fostering an environment of innovation and creativity. My classmates came from different backgrounds and cultures and connecting with them added immense value. The process of collaborating on projects and engaging in lively debates has been truly enriching. I’ve formed friendships that I believe will last a lifetime, and the memories we've created together are invaluable.”

When asked for her advice to other students, or those considering university study, Maria said: “Don't let other people’s expectations hold you back from being truly happy and doing the things that bring joy to your life. In the end, it's worth taking the leap and pursuing your dreams because there's nothing quite like doing what you love every single day.”