18 May 2022

Graduate ‘who went above and beyond’ named student of the year

A graduate from Aldbrough has been named Higher Education Student of the Year 2021 in an awards ceremony at East Riding College.

At the ceremony, Will Smith was also awarded first-class honours in his BA in contemporary media, design and production from the University of Hull.

Will first joined the college as a level 3 student after leaving full-time education. When checking out his options for progression to university he was drawn to the practical nature of the degree at East Riding College.

He said: “The degree at ERC was much more practical than some other degree courses I looked at; hands-on – you learn what you’ll do in the job. A huge part of what we did was production; in the last year our professional production module meant we were sent to clients to work for them, working to a client brief and producing what they needed, making us industry-ready.”

Will was also praised for his willingness to help other students across all levels with their work and projects, imparting what he had learnt and guiding them through their work while completing his own studies.

Head of curriculum Tracey Murray said: “Will is the perfect candidate for student of the year. He went above and beyond in his commitment while studying for his degree and his enthusiasm and work ethic is infectious.

“Will never said no to any extra module projects or external and internal activities at the college; he completed all projects to a very high standard, overcoming any barriers along the way. Will would lift the spirits and morale of students around him when they felt like they were struggling, he was always spurring them on to succeed.”

Will is about to start his first marketing job, which is where he sees his career heading. He added: “I’m really proud. I worked hard to get a first and I’m confident the practical nature of the degree has got me ready for the industry I want to work in. In my new job I’ll be creating marketing content using all the skills I’ve learned and practised on the course.

“I really do recommend East Riding College – the course is amazing, the price is amazing, the small class sizes are a bonus and the tutors are great – I can’t praise them enough. They know you on a one-to-one basis; you can ask them anything.”

Some 168 graduates and more than 700 guests attended East Riding College’s higher education awards ceremonies in Bridlington on Saturday. An unusual “double graduation” was held at the historic Priory Church of St Mary to award degrees to students who completed their studies in 2020 and 2021.

Honours were conferred by the University of Hull and the University of Huddersfield to graduates from across the East Riding.