Case Study

Ilaria Grafone

FdA Business and Management


Ilaria Grafone is coming to the end of her first degree at the University of Sunderland in London. She tells us about her plans for the future and what it’s been like studying under COVID-19 lockdown.

Although I joined the University as a mature student, I would say that it’s never too late to make a change in your life and reach your goals.

I never thought I’d want, or even need, to study at the university level. I’d spent years working in the tourism industry in the UK.  

I’ve had jobs in hotels and travel agencies, and really thought I knew everything I needed to know, from planning holidays for people to the ins and outs of hospitality and organising events. 

But over time, I started to realise I wasn’t fulfilling my true passions. I want to work for a big organisation focused on arts and fashion.  

Maybe even one day I could start my own company. 

But to do that I need a degree, which is how I came across the University of Sunderland in London.  

I’m coming to the end of my foundation year in Business and Management, which has been eye-opening for me.  

The course combines fascinating theory with fun practice, which has kept me motivated throughout the whole year.  

I’ve learned a lot about the kinds of things that go into running a business. Now I’m finishing, I’ve already started planning what to do next.  

I have applied for the BA (Hons) Events and Entertainment Management degree so I can start to apply the business knowledge I got on the foundation course to the industry I want to work in. 

I came to the University during the COVID-19 pandemic, but I’ve never felt disconnected. 

As well as providing great courses and loads of opportunities, the online learning has just been organised so well and the IT support is brilliant. 

I spent the whole of my first year studying remotely, but I managed to go to every lecture and workshop with no issues at all. 

More importantly, I really feel like I got the same amount out of every module as if I’d been going to lessons in person. 

Looking back over the last year of my studies, I honestly could not be more satisfied with my decision. 

Although I joined the University as a mature student, I would say that it’s never too late to make a change in your life and reach your goals.”  

Want to follow in Ilaria’s footsteps? Take a look at our Business, Management and Finance courses now. 

You can also register your interest or book a personal consultation to find out more. 

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