‘The Santander Level Up Bursary Gave me Enthusiasm to Work Harder’

Kingsley Ohuruogu studied BA Accounting and Business Management with a Year in Industry at Kent Business School and graduated last year.  He received a Santander Level Up Bursary to compliment his studies. The scheme is aimed at Stage 3 BAME students and provides them with financial incentives and leadership coaching.

What inspired you to study at Kent Business School?

Before I went to Kent I did an accounting apprenticeship. It was really worthwhile, but I wanted to deepen my knowledge and have all the extra-curricular experiences that university has to offer. The Business School and my course ticked all the boxes.

Where did you take your Year in Industry?

I got the placement through a KBS employability event, I have to admit, I got dragged along by a friend after lacking the enthusiasm to go. It was there I met a really great guy who worked for an insurance company in London, and we had a good rapport. I managed to get a Year in Industry placement year with his firm, within the brokerage team.

What did you learn?

It was good for me because it showed me what I didn’t actually want to do. While the insurance industry had its strengths, it just wasn’t for me. But it did show me that I had to work hard in my studies to get into the city and the finance industry.

Where did you find out about the Levelling Up Bursary?

I was contacted by the Student Experience Team at the University to say I was eligible. I was averaging a 2:2 at the end of my second year and was told it was a scheme to help me to build up to a 2:1 or a First. It came at the perfect time, after my Year in Industry where I had seen the world of work and the sort of thing expected of me.

How much money did you receive?

I got a thousand pounds separated into instalments, which is a lot of money to a student!

What difference did it make to your studying?

It helped in general life at university. I had a lot of things to pay out for such as a few expensive textbooks and things like that. Knowing the money was there to aid my studying gave me more enthusiasm to work harder and use the money wisely.

Tell us about the coaching you received?

The coaching I received from Maureen was superb. Her classes on emotional intelligence were incredibly insightful and I still refer to her tips when interacting with others whilst at work and in my personal life. Maureen was able to articulate her ideas and knowledge in a way that was fun and engaging; it was also nice to do the training with other like-minded students because we were able to relate the training to situations we faced whilst at university.

How did the scheme benefit you in the long term?

I have lifetime access to the courses that I purchased, meaning that I always have the option to refer to them in the future if need be. The scheme has been useful for the long term in that it I obtained valuable lifetime courses, that I wouldn’t have typically purchased under normal circumstances.

How did the leadership training benefit you, what was one thing you learnt that you now apply in your daily life?

I learned to put my energy into the things I have control over, and not to waste energy on the things that I do not have control over. I found this important because often there were times where I had no control over a situation, but I would still get frustrated about how it was affecting me. The course taught me to switch my thinking to what I could do in response to the negative situation, and this in turn helped me to become better at problem solving.

What would you say to a student who have been accepted onto the level up bursary? Would you recommend this bursary?

I would tell them to make the most out of the bursary by using the amount to purchase any course that piques their interest. Whether it be a language they’ve always wanted to learn, a skill they’ve always wanted to have, or something that’s more geared towards their chosen career field. I would certainly recommend this bursary, because it taught me new techniques that I’m still using in my daily life, and I’ve made use of the courses that I purchased using the money I received from the bursary.

You work a graduate job now – how did that come about?

Yes, I work as a trainee tax accountant in the Private Client Tax team at Cooper Parry. It’s a graduate role and I don’t think I’d have secured it without my 2:1, so the bursary really helped me to get here.  I’d recommend anyone eligible to take the bursary, make the most of what Kent has to offer you – it will set you up for a positive future.

Santander Level Up Bursaries are available to select students within Kent Business School. For more information click here.

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