Marina Abey Thomas

MA New Media 2021

Why did you pick the University of Leeds?  

I picked the University of Leeds because I was determined to study in a university that was part of the Russell Group. But apart from being a reputable institution, Leeds also ranked top in student satisfaction rates.  

Being from India, another thing which really attracted me to Leeds was its diversity. I was keen on a university that nurtured a large community of international students and gave them a chance to be part of so many events and societies. 

How was studying in Leeds different to your previous academic experience?  

My experience of studying in Leeds was different from any of my previous experiences as this was my first time in a foreign university.

The Faculty of Media and Communication allowed me to express my individuality and academic capabilities through the various projects and seminars that I was a part of. I was able to include a lot more critical thinking, analysis and research in the work that I was producing. Facilities like the academic writing workshops and language skills sessions really helped me in coping with the different academic structure here.

During my time at the University, I was also a course representative for my degree, MA New Media, which really helped me in gaining leadership skills and understanding students’ perspectives.  

My academic year was quite different from what I had expected, due to the pandemic. All my lectures were online and I could not interact physically with any of my course mates or professors until the end of my term. However the entire faculty provided me with every facility and support, making sure I got every bit of regular academic life experience that I was supposed to. 

Did you have any part time jobs/gain career experience while at Leeds? 

I was able to partake many part-time job opportunities. First, my experience as a Link to Leeds ambassador was one of the most fruitful experiences of my time in the University.

I worked with a diverse group of student ambassadors and seniors, while holding the responsibility of representing the University to prospective students. As part of Link to Leeds, I guided campus tours, did social media takeovers, hosted live events and solved student queries.

I was also a part of the International Student Office, where I hosted welcome activities like Global Café and Leeds University Union tours, to name a few. 

The opportunities not only gave me a chance to earn a good amount of pocket money but also allowed me to practice leadership, working in teams and communicating across various levels of authority and students from around the globe.

I believe taking up a part-time job opportunity was one of the best decisions I took. 

What did you think about the city of Leeds?  

Leeds, as a city, has been very welcoming to me. The people are friendly and warm, making a time away from home not so bad.

Leeds is the prefect mix between modernity and traditional charm. It has the some of the best eateries I have been to and the same goes for the clubs and breweries. My most favourite bits, however, were the museums and art galleries, Leeds Art Gallery being my first choice.  

Apart from this, I also loved that Leeds was at the perfect distance to travel to various parts of the UK. I made day trips to York, Manchester and Bath and took trains to London and Scotland very conveniently. 

What advice would you offer to anyone thinking about applying to the University of Leeds? 

I would say that if you want to study in a university that believes in giving a quality academic experience, along with an amazing student life, then the University of Leeds should be your go-to choice.

Along with my academic journey, every single activity that I had undertaken in the University, be it be the societies that I was a part of (LSTV, LMS, Bollywood dance society), the part-time jobs I had, and the leadership roles I was awarded with, helped me in creating my professional identity and gaining a lot of valuable skills for the future.