Leamington college graduates celebrate their successes after battling through the pandemic

Here are some of their personal success stories

Britt Van Zeeland. Photo supplied

Royal Leamington Spa College graduates from across the last two years have been celebrating their successes in a duo of ceremonies in Warwick.

The former students were presented with certificates at St Mary’s Church in Warwick as part of college group WCG’s (which includes Royal Leamington Spa College) three days of celebrations.

The graduating students were a mix of 2020 and 2021 graduates – as 2020 graduates were finally able to celebrate their achievements after disruption caused last year due to the pandemic.

Patrick Smith. Photo supplied

Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, was on hand to present students with certificate scrolls and was joined by the representatives of the college’s board of governors across the two ceremonies featuring Royal Leamington Spa College graduates.

Peter Manford and Linda Norville represented the board of governors at the ceremonies.

The ceremonies also featured keynote speakers Helen Peters, CEO of Shakespeare’s England, and Nik Spencer, an entrepreneur, inventor of the HERU and former student at Moreton Morrell College, which is also in the WCG group.

Angela Joyce said: “After an incredibly difficult couple of years it was fantastic to bring together all of our graduates to celebrate their achievements – which had been a long time coming for our class of 2020.

Sarah Amaira. Photo supplied

“Our degree-level courses pride themselves on providing the skills and knowledge to help our graduates to succeed in the next stage of their development, and that is reflected in the latest figures showing that 95 per cent of our graduates currently are in employment or undertaking further study.

“Graduation day is a culmination of three years of hard work for many of our students, who may have been juggling jobs with education and overcoming other personal challenges. Add a pandemic into that and it is all the more impressive that they have achieved what they have.

“We would like to congratulate all of our graduates on this magnificent achievement and look forward to following their development as they take their next steps into employment or by continuing to develop in education.”

Britt Van Zeeland, 31 from the Netherlands but now living in Warwick, achieved BA (Hons) Business Strategy and Management and says the degree will help progress her career into more strategic roles.

One of the group of graduates. Photo supplied

“It’s really nice to be graduating. I came over in my early 20s and was completely done with studying,” said Britt.

“I realised as I progressed through my career that to take the next step I needed a degree, so I took the evening course at Leamington. I hope with this degree I can work in more strategic rather than operation roles and progress in my career.”

Jamie Parker, 24 from Hagley, graduated with BA (Hons) Digital Film Production and also delivered the student vote of thanks at his ceremony.

“I’m thrilled to be graduating and it was great to see everyone here I have studied with,” said Jamie.

One of the group of graduates. Photo supplied

“I chose to study my course because I wanted to pursue one of my lifelong ambitions of becoming a producer of a children’s television series. I’m now applying for production assistant roles, and keen to get involved in every aspect of production – putting to test what I have learnt on the degree.”

Patrick Smith, 21 from Southam, graduated with FdA Business and Management.

He said: “It’s been an interesting three years and I’m thrilled to have graduated. I wanted to do something within business because it was something I enjoyed in school. WCG was the perfect place for me, a really friendly environment and community feel.

“The tutors were incredible throughout and made it a great experience, even helping me when my third year was interrupted with surgery. Now I’m looking to work in digital marketing and secure a position in that profession.”

Sarah Amaira, 35 from Southam, achieved her BA (Hons) Early Years, Childhood and Education Studies while working full-time at Long Itchington Pre School.

“I had previous early years qualifications and have been working with children for a while,” said Sarah.

“Doing my foundation degree and putting it in practice I saw a real increase in my knowledge and actually achieved a promotion to deputy manager, so completing the top-up to achieve the full degree was really worthwhile.

“There were lots of tears but lots of happy ones too and when you get your grades back you realise it was all worthwhile.”

WCG offers higher education courses in a wide range of subjects through full time and part-time options. To find out more visit www.wcg.ac.uk/study