Whilst the Academy is a Distance Education school what we enjoy and we believe our students do too, is the feeling of being part of a campus. Whilst you can’t come and sit down in our office to chat with us, we do strive to create a sense of community amongst our students, tutors and admin staff. Distance Education can be isolating but we don’t believe it has to be. Over the last year in particular we have spent more and more time on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, as a way of making ourselves even more available to you and giving you the chance to get to know us better, but what we also want to do is help you to get to know each other better. The Social Centre, which we introduced to students last year, is perfect for this. Within the centre you can connect with tutors, participate in forums and chat with one another about your courses and assignments and who knows, you may make a valuable contact or two for the future there also.
With this in mind, we thought we would introduce one of our UKAWEP students to you, Roxy Ahmed.
UKAWEP: Roxy thanks for taking some time to chat with us. To start with, can you tell us what course you are completing and why you chose this course?
Roxy: I am undertaking the Diploma in Wedding Planning, Styling & Design. I chose this course because it will give me the general principles of planning and also help me to understand the overall design of an event.
UKAWEP: The Wedding Planning Design and Styling course is perfect for that. It integrates planning with design and whether you choose to work in both areas or just one, the knowledge of each discipline is valuable.
What was it about the Academy that made you choose to study with us?
Roxy: During my search for a suitable course, the Academy seemed to be the only online presence that offered a great deal of substance. After looking into it further and speaking to Zoe McKeown who was able to answer my questions and concerns, I knew that the Academy was the correct investment choice in terms of my chosen creative path.
Her professionalism, guidance and unbiased advice prior to selecting the course helped me to make the decision to go with the Academy.
UKAWEP: That is great to hear Roxy. We feel that it is very important that the people you speak to about the courses, do have industry knowledge so they can direct you to the right course and help you make decisions that are going to be best for your future goals. That personalised approach is very important to us and part of how we ensure that we have a happy and successful student body.
What have you enjoyed most about your experience of studying with the Academy?
Roxy: I have found studying with the Academy has been a great experience. My tutor Olivia’s in-depth knowledge of the industry, guidance and support has really resonated. I love the feedback on each of my assignments, which whilst constructive is always encouraging and never negative. I am always left inspired, motivated and encouraged to look at things from a different perspective. It definitely gets the creative juices flowing. I also love the Academy blog, which contains a wealth of information and is a great reference point. It keeps me informed and inspired with the events industry.
UKAWEP: Have your goals changed during the course of your studies?
Roxy: The course has given me direction and focus. I always knew from the start that I was not interested in becoming a full on wedding/event planner per se, as I just wanted to be involved in a niche aspect of it in terms of styling. The course has proven to be a great platform to give me an overview of the industry. It has guided me to explore those areas which highlight my strengths and which I feel I am naturally drawn to.
The course has allowed me to really express my creativity and open up a floodgate of ideas in trying to pin down a niche.
UKAWEP: That is exciting to hear Roxy. Not everyone who enrols with us has a clear picture of what they want their involvement in the industry to be and sometimes they are not really sure what it is that is driving them to want to learn more. The course is ideal for someone who does want to have a career in the industry or launch a business, but it is also an excellent way to explore your creativity and your options for a career.
What do you intend to do after the course?
Roxy: I am hoping that by the end of the course I will have a viable business venture that works for me, allowing me to do what I love and enjoy. I would love to be involved in the styling aspect of an event but in a niche area – be that in table top styling, floral styling, interior styling or something like this.
UKAWEP: Focussing on a niche is an excellent way to move forward with a new business venture Roxy. This will enable you to focus your energy on something you are passionate about too. I love this area of events also!
How has the course prepared you for taking the next step?
Roxy: I feel the course has prepared me to do things the right way, in that I should not be in a big rush to get a business underway for the sake of it. I need to remain patient and follow my intuition, and have a business that feels right for me. So with this in mind, I am exploring the potential opportunities whilst keeping the big picture in mind, and feel I am ready to make baby steps to put my creative endeavours into practice and start putting things into action to pin down my niche instead of waiting until I have completed the course.
UKAWEP: Roxy you have a great attitude and approach to your future business. Following your intuition is something that UKAWEP Director Kylie and I talk about often. I also firmly believe that having a good foundation is essential in terms of moving forward with your business. It is clear that you are planning for the future and that the course has been part of that. That is very rewarding for us to hear.
What would you say to anyone who is considering a course with us?
Roxy: I would highly recommend the Academy without hesitation. It will at the very least, give you a foundation to hone in your skills and investigate your creative ideas. It will give you the skill set and discipline for how to approach your potential creative career path. It will give you confidence, empowerment, and motivation to get out into the world and bring your ideas into creation fruition.
UKAWEP: That is a powerful message Roxy. Your passion is inspiring. Thanks so much for giving us an insight into your life as a student with us and your goals for the future. We can’t wait to see what you do next and I look forward to catching up with you again when you launch your business.