Studying at Staffs sets office worker on dream career path

“I definitely think that stepping out of my comfort zone is the best thing that happened to me. I never thought I would graduate, let alone with a first!”

Julie-Anne Slevin, BA (Hons) Journalism and English Literature

Mature student Julie-Anne left her office job to study at Staffordshire University and has graduated with first class honours, a new job and a place on a postgraduate course.

29-year-old Julie-Anne Slevin, originally from Lichfield and now living in Trent Vale, spent several years working in an office as a merchant trainee before deciding to pursue her dream career and go to university.

She explained: “After six and a half years I got to a point where my career stalled, I wasn't getting to where I wanted to be and I knew I was capable of more. At the time I lived in a house with Staffordshire University students and they suggested I go to an open day.”

It was at the open day where Julie-Anne met Course Leader for Journalism Jackie Gregory who recognised Julie-Anne's potential and encouraged her to apply. Julie-Anne secured a place to study BA (Hons) Journalism and English Literature and hasn't looked back.

On the course Julie-Anne got plenty of hands-on experience reporting for student news channel Staffs Live every week. She also helped to organise the Staffs Future Journalist competition securing BBC journalist Clive Myrie as a guest speaker for the event.

“It was a challenge in first year but I was getting good grades almost straight away because of the support of the lecturers.”

“Because of real world skills that I've picked up on my degree, I'm now able to go for jobs within the sector and be confident that I've got all the right skills.”

As well as embracing her studies Julie-Anne made the most of extracurricular opportunities, acting as student representative for her course and working as a student ambassador over the three years.

“Being an ambassador was a great way to meet people from others courses, to settle in and make friends.” she commented.

“I'd definitely recommend grabbing the bull by the horns and making the most of the opportunities available at the uni.”

Julie-Anne’s hard work paid off and she graduated with first class honours and received a special award for contribution to her course.

Soon after finishing her course, Julie-Anne secured a role as a Communications Support Officer working in Staffordshire University's Marketing Department. In September, she will start an MSc in Public Relations and hopes to eventually work abroad in America.

“The pivotal moment for me was when I came to the open day and met Jackie. Something in me made Jackie give me a chance, I took that chance and now I have a first!”

“There are so many options in education, including part-time and distance learning, so you'd be absolutely crazy to stay in a job where you're just comfortable.”

She added: “I definitely think that stepping out of my comfort zone is the best thing that happened to me. I never thought I would graduate, let alone with a first!”


From 17 August, prospective students can contact Staffordshire University for an offer on Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter. Until then, our Clearing Ambassadors will be manning social media platforms, offering live Q and As. Visitors to our dedicated Clearing webpages can find further help and advice and experience virtual tours of the University campus.

Find out more at or call our Clearing hotline on 0800 590 830.


Amy Platts
Multimedia Press Officer
Marketing and Public Relations
L600, Flaxman Building
College Road
t: +44(0) 1782 292702
m: 07799341911