‘Proud To Be’ – Celebrating the Association’s BAME Volunteers and Students!

Meet ‘Narraser', who is ‘Proud To Be’... “An OU undergraduate student, business owner and full-time worker!”

A photo of Narraser

What are your preferred pronouns (optional)

I identify as She/Her.

Tell us a little about your heritage…

I Identify as Afro Caribbean but was born and still live in Britain. However, according to my ancestry DNA, I am also 32% Nigerian and, I fully embrace my African side alongside my Jamaican side. Best of both worlds!

What course or qualifications are you studying? 

I am studying module ‘B206 – Understanding Customers’ as part of a BA in Business Management – Marketing.

What inspired you to start studying at the Open University (OU)?

The honest answer is, I was bored and wanted something to do alongside my full-time job! An angel card reader did say that I was going to have a big change in my life… I didn’t think it was going to be in education but I have been enjoying it, so far.

How did you find the study experience at the OU?

  • Did you have any positive (or Ah-ha!) moments that motivated you to persevere? 
  • Did you find any aspect particularly challenging? 

With everything in life, you will always find things that you enjoy and things that you won’t enjoy; the great thing about the OU is, you can read about the module before you pick it and you can also find students who have studied the same module (before), that you can ask questions, to find out if you may or may not enjoy it.

For me, studying at university is also about building relationships, so I would say the most challenging thing about the OU is it can be hard to build relationships with fellow students and tutors on your modules; which can make things difficult at times, but you should never let this stop you from achieving your goals, as you can always build relationships with others later at the OU.

What were the community and representation like? Did you feel the OU & Association represented you and your heritage fairly)? 

At first, I did not feel represented at all, but now I feel like it’s making a start! Last year, the Students Association created the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Association, which is good as we have a little community that we are building. It’s nice to be able to talk about certain things, and with people who can relate to and understand what I’m talking about. We still have a long way to go but we can only grow, so it’s a step in the right direction and I can’t complain about that.

What one thing would you encourage (1) the OU and (2) the Association to do more of, to help (more) students like you study here and feel a part of the community?

The OU and the Association should be working together, as they are both parts of the bigger picture. It would be nice, to see them highlight BAME lecturers and authors that have written materials relating to courses that the OU offer and to showcase the achievements of BAME students, volunteers, and Alumni. I feel that it is important that we see people who look like us, and the contributions and achievements they have made, as that gives us something to aspire to.

What’s next for you (eg, do you have a plan for after your course or module ends)?

When my course is finished, I would love to pursue a job in marketing, focusing on brand management for start-ups companies, or I may just start up my own business in marketing, to add to my business empire; having started my own wax melt and candle business ‘butterfly melts‘.

Keep watch for more ‘Proud To Be’ BAME Students’ stories across Black History Month.

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