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Nneka Akudolu, Criminal Barrister. 1997 Access to Legal Studies; 2001 LLB Law and Politics; 2002 Bar Vocational Course 

Nneka's story

I was in a waitressing job, working anti-social hours for very little money. I had to step back and look at my options, but with four GCSEs to my name I felt I didn't really have many!

I just wanted to get a degree and see where that took me

I saw an advert for an Access to HE course taught at Tower Hamlets College. I didn't have any particular career ambitions when I enrolled on the course - I just wanted to get a degree and see where that took me.

At the beginning of the course, I found it daunting to get back into studying and doing homework after being out of education for so long, but that soon passed.

I was surprised I enjoyed the learning so much

The tutors were incredibly helpful and motivating, and the students supported and encouraged each other. I was surprised I enjoyed the learning so much. But the real highlight for me was when I received an offer of a place at Cardiff University.

I definitely couldn't have taken a degree without first completing the Access to HE course. I had bags of confidence after completing the course.

I now have a good job, which will hopefully enable me to be financially stable in the future. My earning capacity has increased enormously.