Tom Williams talks about how he found a home at the University of Central Lancashire, and how he now helps students from all over the world do the same in his role as International Officer.
There was never much doubt about where Tom would take his degree. “UCLan always seemed like the only place I would study and when I visited on an open day, I just got the right feeling,” Tom said. “It’s like when you’re house hunting, you just know when the right one comes along, you get that gut feeling.”
Trusting his instincts, Tom enrolled on our BA (Hons) Journalism and Public Relations course, and he wasn’t disappointed. He said: “Studying at UCLan gave me a great deal of confidence in my own ability and intelligence. I had always been decent academically but never threatened the top of the class. At UCLan, I surprised myself with how much I thrived academically thanks to my own hard work but also the teaching, support, course structure and resources available to me. I really flourished and this helped me get a good grade and graduate with confidence, innovative ideas and a strong work ethic.”
Tom remembers what made studying here special for him. He said: “I often talk about feeling part of something bigger than just a university and it isn’t just me who has felt this. I've spoken to many other students and graduates who've mentioned it too. It’s the ‘UCLan Family’ - where you’re valued, cared for and nurtured. Even after leaving the University you still feel a part of it and there’s a real sense of belonging.”
"I instantly felt at home here, plus the Journalism course was one of the best in the country. "— Tom Williams, BA (Hons) Journalism and Public Relations
After graduation, Tom interned at The Sun, Ladbrokes and Men’s Fitness Magazine, among others, before landing a job at a marketing and PR company. His career was well on it’s way.
In 2019 he returned to UCLan as an International Officer. Who better to promote the University on a global scale and attract international students to study here than one of our own alumni? And Tom’s just as thrilled as we are that he’s back. He said: “It felt like I had come home. I haven’t looked back and really feel like I have found my niche. It helps that I feel so passionately about the University and what it offers to students from every corner of the world. I love to help students embark on their own journey and become a part of the UCLan family, which was exactly how I felt when I first enrolled here in 2010.”
Today, Tom is hugely proud of representing his alma mater across the world. In telling his own university story to prospective students, he plays a part in the life journey of many people, young and old. He said: “It’s incredibly rewarding when you meet a student in their home country. They choose to study at UCLan and then they flourish. Recently, a student from the UAE whom I first met over three years ago graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Psychology. I felt like a proud father!”
Tom’s journey proves that it can take a few twists and turns of fate before you find your perfect career, but he advises patience and positivity. He said: “When I was at UCLan I didn’t even know international student recruitment existed so I guess my advice would be (especially if you are not studying a vocational course) that if you don’t find your passion and your “career for life” at first, it is not the end of the world. You will get there eventually!”