Student profile: Sophia Riley

Why did you choose to study your chosen course at the University of Liverpool?

I enjoyed media studies at A Level and was keen to develop my knowledge on the subject, I wanted to know more! The course appealed to me because it explored how the media shapes us and our perception of the world. I didn’t want to leave home and knew that there was a great university right on my doorstep so made UoL my first choice!

During my second year the opportunity arose for me to do a ‘Year in Industry’ placement, so I spent 2018 – 2019 as Communication and Public Relations intern at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. After this year of experience, I know I definitely want to persue a career in PR and communications.

How has University been different from A-levels?

I feel like university has been more enjoyable than A Levels. I found A - Levels restrictive in choice, whereas studying at degree level has enabled more freedom which has allowed me to focus on modules that I have genuine interest in. Learning has been exciting during the last 3 years of my course and I look forward to what my final year will bring.  

What has surprised you most about Liverpool?

I take great pride in my home city and have watched it develop throughout my life. I enjoy it when other students and people travel to Liverpool because they simply love the city. The friendliness and sense of humour of the people that live here is the best part (if I do say so myself).

Sophia Riley rapid fire questions

How has your learning been facilitated since coming to Liverpool?

The way my learning has been facilitated during my time at university has been very varied. From on the job learning during my time at Liverpool John Lennon Airport to discussion based seminars, working in groups for presentations, variations in assessment and lecture styles across the course, as well as having online access to lecture materials and being given so much choice in modules.

What extra-or co-curricular activities do you take part in, and how do these affect your student experience?

I run a blog on my experience of the world of disability, this has allowed me to engage with other disabled students from around the world, share my story and generate some awareness for disability rights. This has inspired me to apply to be a Disabled Student Mentor at UoL, to help other disabled students at my own university, which I will hopefully be able to do throughout my last year.

In addition to this I have recently started working as a Student Ambassador for School of the Arts. My unique experience as the first Communication and Media student to do a year in industry placement gives me an insight into what life would be like for prospective students and first year students who are thinking about doing a year in industry. I am available for them to ask me any questions about student life during SOTA events.

If you could go back, what advice would you have given yourself before going to University?

The key piece of advice I would give myself is to join societies and put yourself out there as soon as you arrive to university. Step outside of your comfort zone because that’s where all the personal development and fun happens!