Journalism student Kate Lee will complete her time at the University of Worcester in a traditional gown and mortarboard at the graduation ceremony – but her student experience has been far from typical.
Kate and her fiancé, Paul, both now have degrees from the University of Worcester, after juggling their studies with caring for their rapidly expanding family during the past four years.
The couple have three children under the age of four, and 25 year-old Kate, who will today graduate with a 2:1, admits that teamwork has been key to them both excelling academically whilst also raising a family.
She explains: “Paul, who studied Geography, started at Worcester the year before me – I had our first son, William, in February 2010 and enrolled on the Journalism course in the September, by which time I was pregnant again with our second son, Oliver.
“I found it was a bit of a scramble to get all my assignments completed and handed in before my due date, but I managed it! I was lucky that the University had a nursery on site, and when I returned for my second year, Oliver was old enough to attend.”
At the end of 2012 – midway through the final year of her studies – Kate was pregnant again, with the couple’s daughter, Aoife.
“It was a struggle doing my third year, writing my dissertation and being pregnant and having two toddlers at home, particularly because I suffered quite badly with morning sickness,” she continues.
“I managed to get everything in in time though – Paul graduated in 2012 and I am very lucky that he has been so supportive and given me time to do my work. We make a good team!”
Kate specialised in covering equestrian events during her studies, including working at the Cheltenham Gold Cup as part of an independent study module. She is now covering similar events on a freelance basis, and Journalism Subject Leader Claire Wolfe believes the determination she has already shown will mean she continues to excel.
“Kate has really impressed us with her dedication and drive,” she says. “She really worked hard to achieve a good degree and we are not a bit surprised that she has had the motivation to set herself up as a freelance in her chosen field. This will be an ideal way for her to juggle work and family.”