Jack Henderson

“My name is Jack and this year I completed a degree in film and creative media at City College Plymouth.

“As it was my final year, I really wanted to finish my degree with a bang and I was hoping to complete a huge final project! I had planned to travel to Istanbul on a self-funded trip to film shots for a documentary on the Plymouth Raiders’ new partnership with BAU Global. It was a very ambitious task I’d set myself, but thanks to the skills and knowledge I’d gained since starting my course, I was confident that I could pull it off … but, sadly, this was never to be!

“Because of the coronavirus pandemic, my flights were suspended and I had to think of new ideas for my final  project in a very short space of time. It was devastating at first, as I was excited by the thought of working on such a big project of my own. It’s not how I imagined I would be finishing my higher education journey either!

“After facing a few days of anxiety and confusion over how I could complete my degree in such unusual circumstances and after some careful planning, I managed to create not just one, but a series of media-based projects at home! The biggest project of them all was a 30-minute podcast, during which I explored how the pandemic had affected British basketball. I managed to interview many well-known people from British basketball for the final podcast, including Plymouth Raiders players and company directors to name a few!

“Sure, it’s not what I wanted to do at first … but looking back at it, I’m really proud of how I was able to cope with my workload in such a testing time. On reflection, a lot of how I dealt with working in lockdown was thanks to the support I received, both from my lecturers as well as my coursemates over the past three years. Also, from my experience, when you are in your final year, your lecturers will expect you to be largely independent by this point; but if you’re starting out in your first year, you don’t need to worry about this as you will be shown how to work in various scenarios to help prepare you for your upcoming years. So it’s worth keeping that in mind!

“And finally, as a recent graduate, my biggest pieces of advice for anyone who will either be starting or finishing their HE qualifications soon would probably be as follows:

1. Being adaptable is key. Make back up plans and be creative in unprecedented circumstances.
2. Make the most of your lecturers and support groups. They will really help in pushing you forward.
3. Don’t be scared of change. It can only be a good thing!

“There were a few moments this year where I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to finish my degree at all, yet I did and I ended up graduating with a first! Always believe in yourself, be open to opportunities and reach out to the support networks that are available to you. If you do this, you’ll be sure to succeed, no matter what challenges may come your way!”