The girl who graduated

You might remember Niamh Wilson (BSc Psychology, 2021) from previous editions of Old Joe, the 10,000 Lives appeal and our Birmingham In Action events. Throughout her time at University, she has helped show the impact of outreach and careers programmes. As she graduates, watch Niamh's journey and hear how all the support made a difference to her time at Birmingham.

Audio described version

Niamh’s student journey – and the support that helped her graduate

  • August 2017

    Attended the Academic Enrichment Programme summer school

    While studying for her A levels, Niamh attended the AEP summer school, which helped give an insight into University life and encouraged her to apply to Birmingham.

  • August 2018

    Received her A level results

    Inspired by the summer school, she earned the grades she needed to get a place at Birmingham and decided to study Psychology.

  • 2018

    A2B Ambassador and bursary recipient

    Thanks to generous support from graduates, Niamh was awarded an A2B bursary which helped her travel back to visit and take care of her mum who suffered a stroke. Niamh became an ambassador for the A2B programme (part of Pathways to Birmingham). 'I met so many friends on the A2B programme and we all have the mind-set of helping the younger generation get to University.'Niamh as outreach ambassador

  • October 2019

    Helped at Outreach events 2018-2021

    'My proudest achievement at University was giving back to the Outreach team. I went on school visits and mentored Year 12 students at the summer school and it was very rewarding to see what they went on to do next and to give back to something that helped me.'Niamh and friend at University event

  • January 2021

    Gained support from a mentor

    'Having a mentor has been an amazing experience. Birmingham graduate Paul gives me the best life advice and chats to me every week on Zoom. I really believe your network is your net worth and Paul has helped me to grow my network massively. I'm so grateful!'

  • July 2021


    'University has gone far beyond my studies and into character development. It's been a transformative few years and has moulded me into an adult who is ready to graduate.'Niamh in graduation robe

After graduating Niamh plans to start her own business in property development, with a long term goal to help provide more affordable student living. She also wants to pay forward the support she received by becoming a mentor to someone in the future.

'I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been a part of my journey. I had such a confidence boost and belief in myself from all the alumni I spoke to. You might not realise that those tiny conversations you have with a student when you are at an event have such an impact.'

This summer marked 120 years since the first Graduation celebrations on campus and also a first for graduation celebrations at the University. With advice from Birmingham City Council Public Health and COVID-19 measures in place, graduands were invited to campus with two guests to celebrate their achievements in a festival-style outside event.

Located in the beautiful Green Heart, graduates and their guests enjoyed food tents, afternoon tea hampers, speeches and a live band. To mark the special occasion, they received a bespoke memento scroll designed by Helena Checkley (BSc Economics, 2018) and a free professional photograph and a video clip of their moment on stage in their cap and gown in the Great Hall. A virtual celebration was held for those who couldn't come to campus.

Visit our website to join thousands of other alumni and donate to support aspiring students like Niamh or email the alumni relations team to find out more.