Wananga landing Wananga landing
Student story

Ella Guillemot-Mene

20 July 2023

"One of the greatest things with the BYCL is that you are developing so many transferable skills..."


Studying towards a Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership

Ella is inspired by communities reacting positively to adversity, something she has witnessed first-hand.

“As a born and bred Cantabrian I have experienced the great power of community, especially with the immense hardship the city has been through,” she says.

She always knew that she would be involved in the future, but didn’t initially realise that she could do so while studying at UC.

“I have always been passionate about community and leadership, but never knew how I could develop these interests into practical, theoretical, and transferable skills.”

At the time, she was enrolled in the Bachelor of Music. Once she investigated the Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership (BYCL), she realised she could combine all of her passions into one degree.

Ella says, “I saw a great opportunity to explore both my love for music and my passion towards youth and community engagement. One of the main aspects of the BYCL degree that appealed to me so greatly was the flexibility and freedom that came with it.”

The BYCL degree provides the opportunity for students to design their own study based on their interests or to pick one of four suggested pathways: youth work, social entrepreneurship, humanitarianism, or social activism. Ella is enjoying a blend of subjects that are developing her knowledge while including her passions. 

“I am keeping the degree slightly broader for this year, so as to get a taste of everything, but am primarily taking subjects in the education, sociology, service, and music realms. I really love that I have the ability to continue studying music through the degree, as it helps keep a good balance.”

Ella likes that the BYCL degree prepares students to be adaptable in a changing employment future.

“You are developing so many transferable skills that are applicable to a massive range of roles,” she says. 

Students develop skills in leadership, project management, bicultural competence, and community engagement.

“The landscape of the world is changing so quickly and is heading in a direction where we have to be adaptable, and the BYCL prepares you to have this versatility. I am particularly interested in employment roles surrounding project management and community engagement.”

Ella says she is ‘loving studies’ and recommends the BYCL degree to students who are passionate about their community. For her, one of the biggest benefits is connecting with inspirational people; not just the lecturers, but her classmates too.

“One of the best bits is definitely all of the amazing people I have met – between the students and the teaching team. It has been a highlight to have the opportunity to connect with so many passionate people, all with different strengths and areas of interest. Not only does the teaching team have such incredible life experience and expertise to share with us, but I feel I equally learn a lot through class discussions and relationships with my peers.”

More student stories
Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.