The opportunity of a lifetime

Bucks New University kitchen degree course student Natalie Peters has been writing for kbbreview throughout her studies. With her last presentation complete – via Zoom, thanks to Covid – she is now eagerly awaiting her results. With sponsorships up for grabs, she reflects on the last four years of study and explains why applying for a place on the course is an opportunity not to be missed 

Uni work is now complete, our final presentations took place in the end via Zoom with all our tutors and fellow students present. Originally, pre-Covid this would have been done at our final residential as a stand-up presentation in front of our tutors and peers. It was still very nerve-wracking and felt a bit strange to be doing it via the computer rather but we made the best of it and once the ball was rolling it felt better and perhaps a little more relaxed than it would have been doing it in person –  just with the added worry of internet connections dropping or someone hacking in and doing a spoof in the background.

We started the day off with our presentations on Project Management to our tutors Rob Mascari and Craig Matson. This gave us a bit of warm up ready for our big Community Kitchen final presentations which took place later that same day with Johnny Grey, Adam Thomas, Craig Matson and course leader Natalie Parkins. We all did a smashing job presenting our work and they were all fabulous projects. We have worked so hard this last year and you could really tell, it was all informed creative design – exactly what this course advocates. It was really nice afterwards as all the students and tutors stayed on the line and had a virtual drink and chat which was much needed after a day full of adrenalin and nerves!

It has been a strange feeling afterwards – the relief and pride to have finished university and for the presentations to have gone so well but also sadness and a feeling of loss. Sad that Covid-19 had robbed us of our final residential and all spending time together to celebrate and a strange feeling to think ‘Whoa’ this is now all finally over. The course becomes a huge part of your life and transitioning back is quite odd. We are now eagerly awaiting to hear our final results.

For anyone reading and considering the course for their business, please know that it is an amazing, once-in-a- lifetime experience and an opportunity not to be missed. It has been a huge success for me personally and for our business. My extensive learning, not only in specialist creative design and new ways of thinking, but also in business, marketing and project management, has been brought straight back into the company and our whole team have learned and been inspired by my journey on this course.

It has transformed our business. It was really amazing how quickly we were able to see tangible results from me embarking on the course. Within just a few months I was making a lot of changes to procedures and the whole company morale shifted as we all became inspired and fired up by all the new things I was learning and reporting back to everyone. Biophilic design and designing for wellbeing was a big interest in our company, as was accessible design.

Project management has transformed how we do things, so too has marketing. We continue to reap the benefits: profits continue to rise even in these times, our order book is strong and we have such a great renewed sense of passion for our wonderful industry and our business.

Having industry experts at our fingertips and learning from the elite is invaluable and truly awe-inspiring, people you could only dream of meeting and having access to normally. It has also been a fantastic opportunity to make friends and network, all the students in all years spend time together and it’s great getting to know new people and bouncing off each other in general and creatively.

The TKET funding, supported by all the wonderful companies who offer sponsorship for students, is a real game changer to people’s lives and offers incredible added value. Please look out for the sponsorship opportunities available – receiving Franke’s letter offering sponsorship for the course was one of the best things to happen to me. I know they are looking to sponsor a new student for the next three years – so go for it!  I jumped at the chance of this amazing opportunity and the rest, as they say, is history.

My company sponsored me for 50% of the university fees, as well as providing additional support in time, encouragement and guidance but they have not regretted it and we have not looked back. The course is an extremely worthwhile investment for any business, after all there is no better way to improve your business than to invest in those on the front line representing your company to the highest standards.

Natalie is sponsored on the degree course by Franke. To find out more and register for Franke’s sponsorship, click on this link:


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