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Temilola Raiwe

BA Language (Japanese) with Management

Temilola Raiwe considered going to a traditional daytime university after A-levels, however she just couldn’t see herself fitting in there. Instead, Birkbeck’s evening education model allowed her the freedom to ease herself into her studies in Japanese with Management.

Why did you choose Birkbeck?

I really wanted to go to Birkbeck. A lot of Japanese courses lead into the language sector, or into interpreter roles, but I’m more IT/business orientated. So the fact that Birkbeck offers Management with Japanese was a really good fit for me.

What has daytime freedom meant for you?

I have the time to get internships, apprenticeships and work during the day so at the end of my degree, when I’m looking for jobs, employers do not say, ‘You spent three years at university…and what?’. Having the opportunity to get that experience while I study is definitely the big plus of coming to Birkbeck.

In this way, I was able to relax into my studies. For example, I don’t have to get up early and rush to a class, like in traditional universities. I didn’t think that I would like to attend lectures in the evening, but having that opportunity to use my daytime to properly consolidate what I learned the night before has worked really well for me. It actually fits well with the way I naturally study.

How has your first year been?

I’ve had a good time. I wasn’t in employment when I started so I took the time to really get into my studies, learn how university works, to figure out what was required of me in my modules, and to develop my critical thinking.

And how are you finding studying Japanese?

I’ve never studied Japanese before, so it was a really new experience for me in terms of how to learn such a different language as a beginner. It was really amazing how our teacher broke it down for us, and made it really engaging and fun.

Have you made friends?

Ever since I started, everyone has been really friendly, and so I’ve found it easy to make friends with my classmates. The social aspect of Birkbeck is interesting because most people don’t know each other, so there’s a real ‘let’s make friends’ aspect to the experience. A lot of us do go out together after class, or meet up and have dinner. Especially my Japanese class – we’re always hanging out with each other.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of studying at Birkbeck?

The only advice I would give is, if you have a goal and a drive, Birkbeck will help you achieve it. This is a College that will give you all the opportunities, all the contacts and all the facilities that they can, as well as the top-quality teaching to make sure that you go away and feel that you can achieve your goals at the end of it.

What really makes the College special is that it’s a university for everyone. It’s definitely a university that’s very inclusive – no matter what your circumstances, where you want to go or where you’ve been, this is a university that if you have a goal and aspirations, you will be able to achieve them.

Hear Temilola speak about her experiences here and here

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'I’ve found it easy to make friends with my classmates'