When choosing to study marketing at university, Carly Tait was keen that the campus had a friendly, community feel and so for her the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) was the obvious choice.
Carly says, “My fondest memory of <UCLan> was living in halls and having a good time and the social aspect: the memories that you make they really do last a lifetime. I definitely think of the girls, everybody I met on the course and really just all of the people that I've met over the over the three years and how they're still part of my life and meet up today.”
“My time at UCLan was like a second home and it really transformed the way I built relationships and it transformed my life in the sense that I've now got a second family for life,” she adds.
“My friends and the people that I met there have stayed with me since I left and so for me that that is one of the biggest aspects of being a graduate of a university such as UCLan and not only that obviously my degree is obviously helped me become who I am today being a professional athlete.”
In addition to marketing, Carly’s other passion is athletics. Carly, who has cerebral palsy, was inspired to pursue athletics after witnessing Team GB’s success in the 2012 Paralympic games.
“An athlete was never something that I thought I would be five years ago and to be able to use all the lessons I learn it you plan to become someone else entirely really did transform my life.”
And transform her life it did: Carly was a member of Team GB in the Summer Paralympic Games and won two silver medals in 2016 IPC Athletics European Championships in Italy, competing in Wheelchair racing.
After graduating from UCLan Carly continued to follow the career that she had a degree in, and got a full-time marketing position. She is now a Digital Marketing Manager for The Co-operative Group.
“For me the most interesting part of my job is definitely the variety of ways that you can communicate with the customer and reach a customer but specifically on the digital platform,” explains Carly.
As for plans for the future, Carly says: “Now that I have ticked the box of being an elite athlete and a Paralympian, it's now time for me really to go back to work go back to my old roots which is being a marketing manager and really start a new goal and start a new life in the professional world.”
Carly’s advice for any new students going to UCLan is “to throw yourself into every new opportunity that comes your way.”
“For me when I started there when I started at UCLan I was really not as confident and I was a bit scared and it was a new place and new people new city and so for me I had to learn to conquer experience because at the end of the day these experiences that you make at UCLan are your memories for life.
“For me I was so glad that I just threw myself into everything because it really made such an impact.”