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Vanessa Naddamba

BSc (Hons) Public Health and Community Wellbeing

In August 2021, 21-year-old Vanessa Naddamba graduated with a first-class honours degree in BSc Public Health and Community Wellbeing from the University of Bradford.

Born in Uganda, Vanessa moved to the UK when she was nine, to start a new life with her mother. Experiencing a completely different culture, she attributes the transition to her adaptable and understanding character.

This personality brought her to study Public Health and Community Wellbeing, and this is her story.

"I've always been interested in equality"

"Since I was young, I’ve always been interested in epidemiology, and why different populations are affected by diseases differently. That was a module on the course at Bradford, so I had to find out more. I could explore what I’m really interested in.

"I did an A Level in Sociology which piqued my interest in equality and why outcomes are different for people, which led me to think about exploring a degree in Public Health.

"I liked the look of the course at Bradford because it was so flexible. I knew I could also pursue other interests and would never just be doing one thing, which really appealed to me as someone who is definitely academic but also has lots of other things going on."

"I attended an Applicant Experience Day at the University and my decision was instant"

"I was considering a few different universities after receiving unconditional offers.

"I received such a warm welcome as soon as I came to Bradford, my decision was made immediately. I got such a good vibe from the city and the lecturers, and I remember thinking I could stay here, I could be here. There were so many things that came together that day, it felt like fate – the people were lovely and I felt at home straight away."

"The Students' Union helped me a lot"

"I joined five different sports societies when I started. The Students' Union helped me a lot in terms of releasing stress through playing sports, making friends, and feeling like part of a family. I’m from a big family at home so to get that at uni was such a bonus.

"I also loved my time as a student ambassador and representative. You get to give new students tours at the open days and it was really cool to pass on my knowledge and advice. I hope it helped them."

Undergraduate student Vanessa Naddamba

"Who you vote for genuinely affects how people live"

"I loved learning about social policy and welfare on the course; I found the politics side of things really fascinating. It made me realise that what you vote for genuinely affects how people live, how different people have different access to certain things and the inequality of it.

"The knowledge and experience I’ve gained during my degree will help me do something about that."

"It was eye-opening to go from writing an essay to seeing how difficult things actually are for people"

"I’ve always been interested in working with homeless people, so when an opportunity came up to do a work placement at Horton Housing as part of my course, I jumped at it.

"I would get the chance to work with homeless people and people who had mental health issues, and I have to admit, I was scared. I’d heard so much prejudice about homelessness and mental health without realising it and had never really been exposed to it.

"I had prejudice I didn’t even know about, and those first few days on placement, it affected how I interacted with them. I really had to self-reflect then; it was a wake-up call and I actively tried to work on my prejudices.

"With Public Health you get to see how policy really affects people and their livelihoods. It was eye-opening to go from writing an essay to seeing how difficult things actually are for people; seeing how they lived their everyday lives.

"I saw a young mum who had problems with substance misuse. I worked with social services and helped her work on herself so she could get her kids back. I saw how genuinely difficult it was for her, going through relapses and the daily struggles she faced. That placement changed everything for me, and I’m so glad I’ve got that experience and understanding now."

"Our lecturers were there to look after us, not just teach us"

"They were always so responsive and understanding, especially during the pandemic. They were there to look after us, not just teach us, and knowing I had that support was really reassuring throughout my studies. You get such a sense of community at Bradford.

"I’m an independent learner, but them just being there to talk things through any time I needed them was so helpful."

"I've got so many new skills from doing this course"

"I feel like my interpersonal skills were good before I came to Bradford but now they’re in a different league!

"I’ve learnt how to do great presentations, be more self-reflective, really understand how to interact with people in a room, and my organisation skills have come on so much. The best thing is that I’ve polished my professional identity, and feel confident to move forward into a successful career."

 

"I want to work in project management now"

"I loved the project management module in my third year and felt that my personality and interests really clicked with it.

"I’m now moving on to a Master’s in project management in Manchester, and I couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone at Bradford."

Undergraduate student, Vanessa Naddamba stood in front of a white wall