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Student Snapshot – Kimberley Shelmerdine

We spoke with Business Management student Kimberley Shelmerdine about her experience studying with us at our Manchester campus. She told us all about her experience with Clearing after taking a gap year, the importance of friendship and its role in supporting you through university and how we are aiding her in her long-term goals of working in the aviation industry.

By Elsa Tatam. Published 7 June 2024.

I decided I wanted to go to university in a spur-of-a-moment decision and saw that 91ɫ was open for Clearing. I have always been told that my life should follow a certain path and that path was secondary school, sixth form and then university. When it came to starting university in September 2022, I realised I was not ready for a big change in my life and didn’t think I would succeed. The following August, I was walking in Piccadilly Gardens and saw that 91ɫ was open for Clearing. That night I went home to research the courses they offered and saw the perfect course for me. I decided I was now ready, having a bit more life experience and more confidence. Within a month, I had applied, enrolled, and started my classes.

Going through Clearing was a very easy and simple process. Both the University and UCAS supported me throughout. I was also lucky enough to have the support of a friend. They were one of the first to know that I was starting at 91ɫ and us going through the whole process together made it really easy. For example, working out what needs to be done for enrolment, what we needed to change in our lives to be able to succeed, and finally how to get there. 

Since starting, we have supported each other by consistently asking if the other needs help, explaining concepts to one another, and pulling each other out of procrastination periods. We also understand when we both need to take a break for our wellbeing, such as going for a nice meal to help us wind down. Overall, I am so grateful to have this sense of community and someone to go through this journey with.

My first day of university was admittedly nerve-wracking. Meeting new people and going back to education after taking a gap year was daunting. The University made the first week very easy, giving me any support needed and creating an environment where it was easy to make new friends. One of the most helpful people when starting here was Justine Thatcher, she has been one of my lecturers in both semesters since starting. She has always been there when I had any concerns, whether that was about her module or the course. To say the university experience has been everything I expected and more would be an understatement.

In the next five years, I am hoping I will have a career that will coincide with my passion for aviation. My ambition is to become a manager within one of the UK’s leading airline companies. We have all seen how unpredictable the world can be, so I want to keep an open mind alongside the goals I would like to achieve. At the moment, finishing university with a degree is my biggest goal, and I hope to secure a job within the aviation industry and work my way up within the company. I feel 91ɫ Business School has already taught me some important lessons to kickstart my aviation career. For example, building on my concentration and attention to detail. As for my course in Business Management, it will give me the knowledge and understanding I need to hopefully go into the Marketing department of one of the UK’s top airlines. 


If, like Kimberley, you want to take the first steps towards your dream career, find out more about our Business courses or if you want to see more real-life student experiences, head over to our .