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Charlotte Gregory

BA (Hons) Retail Management, 2017

“The BA (Hons) Retail Management course – a part of the Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise - was originally suggested to me through a friend already studying at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). I was 21 and feeling completely lost as to what I really wanted. I did not know where I saw myself heading or what I wanted to achieve and had no direction to go in. This friend and I had similar interests and she was so enthusiastic about her first year of study, she encouraged me to get in contact with the course leader and it has been the best decision I ever made.

From the first day, my course leader - Cheryl Gordon, established herself as a point of contact for us all, something I would greatly appreciate over the coming years.

Throughout education, it is important to feel supported and listened to, this is no different at any stage in your life. Lecturers at university do not just want to see you pass your degree, it is because of my lecturers that I have a clearer goal for what I want to do now that I’ve graduated (with a first class honours I should add!)

The modules you will take are great in a sense that you can specialise in your later years to a more specific degree. In the first year, the degree will provide you with enough experience to know what you will want to carry on with and explore further. The first modules are carefully chosen to provide vital insight into such things like Human Resources (HR) and Operations, and I continue to use my knowledge today. You never know when it is going to come in handy to schmooze a department head or external source!

Retail is such a versatile course, my course mates and I have had so many opportunities that have taken us across the globe in all different fields; within a year, I know people have become department heads, buyers, worked in marketing campaigns, you will be excited to quip an answer when someone asks ‘isn’t that just working in a shop?’

I would 100% recommend taking a placement year. I was able to work in the most exclusive bridal company in the UK for a year and if anything is to prepare you for life after university; it’s interning! I was not making cups of tea or answering the phone, placements give people a full time role. Who else can say they sent a dress to Kate Middleton at Kensington palace during their summer? The experience I gained there has opened up channels of work I did not know would be possible for me, and the confidence you leave with ready to enter the ‘real’ working world is invaluable.

University offered me so much more than a degree; it has provided me with guidance on what paths I could take in later life, it’s given me the best friends I could have ever asked for, studying management has also helped my contribution in my current role with a (rather hefty) promotion within 9 months of working for a luxury furniture company included.

I have grown as a person. I am about to turn 26, feeling very content with my career progress so far and driven to continue my journey. I left university the happiest I have ever been with a sense of purpose and pride in my achievements.

You do not need to go to India to find yourself.
Eat. Pray. UCLan.“

10 May 2018