• Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

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First-class celebrations for father and daughter

A successful father and daughter duo, who both achieved first-class honours degrees, enjoyed an extra special graduation as they were able to celebrate their achievements together.

Kiera Tomlinson and her father, Neil, both from Darlington, graduated on the same day having completed their studies in 2020.

The pair returned to campus to share their academic success as a family during Teesside University’s graduation ceremonies last month.

Kiera, who was awarded a first-class honours degree in BA (Hons) Interior Design, was proud to be able to share this important day with her dad.

She said: “I loved the fact that we studied and graduated alongside each other – it was a really special thing not many people get to experience, and it felt quite surreal going back.

“My course involved a lot of self-teaching and independent work, which I feel prepared me for going into a real workplace environment. One of the most helpful things was having to present to fellow students which prepared me for presenting to clients.”

Since completing her course, Kiera has pursued her dream career in interior design and has joined a studio in the area.

She added: “I am currently working at Studio Dean, a residential interior design company in the North East.

“One of the things I like most about my job is that it changes every day. I can be designing a house one day and out on a site measuring up the next, and it really keeps things interesting. 

“My favourite thing about working for Studio Dean is working somewhere I can design spaces I truly love with a lovely team of people.

“In terms of what’s next, I would love to progress within my company and keep designing beautiful houses.”

And it was top marks all around, as Neil also received a first-class honours degree in BA (Hons) Marketing from Teesside University International Business School.

He said: “It was fantastic graduating. Neither of us thought it was ever going to happen so it was great to see classmates and lecturers.

“The best thing for me about coming to university was just having the opportunity to do what I had written off years ago.”

Neil credited the Business School’s reputation and the tutors he met at an open day with encouraging him to study at Teesside University, where he gained the valuable experience and high-quality training which led to his current role as Marketing Communications Manager at British Gas.

He added: “I’ve always been passionate about marketing. University helped prepare me, both with knowledge and process. Being part of the Marketing Clinic team was really helpful.

“In the future, I’d love to do my master’s and possibly become a lecturer at Teesside University.”

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