Episode 2: Pride, Open Days and Clearing

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What's in this episode?

We didn't get cancelled!

Jack and Lee are back to talk about the upcoming open day, applying to university through Clearing and celebrating Pride Month with an old friend. Coming up this month:

Who Alumn-I?: Featuring Tor Njåmo, Ravensbourne graduate and LGBTQ+ advocate

Open Day spotlight: Mollie from our marketing team comes on to talk through our upcoming in-person open day

Student stories: BA (Hons) Product Design student Ekiel Edwards-Antoine tells us about his experience of applying to Ravensbourne through Clearing.

Our Student Services team are here to support your university journey and ensure that there's help available when you need it most. If you have any concerns about your wellbeing, finances or could use some general support, email the team on [email protected]. You can contact Nightline for confidential listening and practical information (term time only) on 0207 631 0101 and The Samaritans for support at any time, day or night, via their free helpline on 116 123.

Don't forget to connect with us on social media to give us your thoughts or feedback and for everything else, you can find it on our website.

We hope you enjoy the episode!


Jack Brown  0:00  
Hello and welcome to Episode Two of our Ravensbourne podcast Ravecast. My name is Jack.

Lee McMahon  0:05  
And I'm Lee and somehow we've not been cancelled after the pilot episode.

Jack Brown  0:07  
Coming up on today's episode,

Tor Njamo  0:09  
I never felt I never felt fearful of being bullied or patronised or judged for being gay. I thought Ravensbourne was a very open and welcoming in that way.

Ekiel Edwards-Antoine  0:22  
I don't clearance open. I remember it was the 15th of September of 2019. But I applied, and actually workplace Three days later,

Jack Brown  0:32  
I just merely left you an imprint that you could fill with your own shoe. It's an episode crammed full of all the very best of Ravensbourne University London.

Lee McMahon  0:41  
Now, Jack, how are you? or more importantly, what did you have for breakfast this morning?

Jack Brown  0:45  
Lee, I'm really good. It's lovely to see your face. I didn't have breakfast this morning. Which is terrible. Because it is the most important meal of the day officially. What did you have?

Lee McMahon  0:58  
I went to Leon on my way to work. And I had an oat milk latte, and an avocado and halloumi muffin. So I have had a rather bouji breakfast very trendy lately. Yeah. I just love Leon. It's just really nice.

Jack Brown  1:13  
And what about the food chain? Listen is but we've had so many great responses to our first episode. It's lovely to be invited back. What were your kind of favourite responses and reactions from Episode One, Lee.

Lee McMahon  1:26  
My dad's listened to it. I didn't understand it. Sure. Okay. He thinks we're on the radio. It doesn't quite get blood podcast is yet so we're working on that. So that's my favourite response so far. But we had lots of lovely responses. I had some friends that messaged me. I had course leaders from ravensbourne get in touch and say that was really nice and different and refreshing. So yeah, it's all really, really exciting.

Jack Brown  1:51  
We had some like emails and stuff, didn't we? Which was really nice. Which was very good. And we've learned that actually Lee me and you are dulcet tones. And it's one of the most engaging things we've done in a long time at ravenswood. And so who'd have thunk it?

Lee McMahon  2:06  
I thought you're gonna say we send people to sleep then?

Jack Brown  2:09  
Well, maybe people maybe that's why it's so engaging. People have just left it on wall. So nodded off, and how to sleep. But hopefully we've you know, inspired. You know, this is what it's all about. We want to showcase the amazing things that happen at our university. And we hope to continue doing so for many more episodes to come.

Lee McMahon  2:28  
Now Jack, we're on to Episode Two. And if you had to guess, what was the most anticipated event of the Ravens born calendar, what would it be? 

Jack Brown  2:37  
Is it Episode Two of the Ravensbourne podcast rave cast? 

Lee McMahon  2:41  
For us? It is yes. But for everyone else? No.

Jack Brown  2:45  
Is it the new and improved virtual degree show?

Lee McMahon  2:49  
Close and very important for all of our graduating third years and their friends and family? But again, no.

Jack Brown  2:55  
Okay, if it's your favourite, it's going to be something really sad, like the June Open Day.

Lee McMahon  3:00  
Correct. And hey, there's nothing quite like welcoming people to the summer, open day. And what's even more special about it this year, is it'll be our first in person open day for over a year.

Jack Brown  3:10  
Okay, well, I guess off the year, everybody's heard that it's going to be lovely, very nice.

Lee McMahon  3:14  
And don't just take my word for it, you can find out just how amazing it's going to be from our next guest, Molly for marketing.

Jack Brown  3:22  
Hello, Mollie, from marketing. So lovely to have you on. Thank you for being here today.

Mollie Hinton  3:27  
Thank you for having me. I feel like just quickly, I feel like this is the most anticipated event of the year, but I'm definitely the most anticipated guest of the year. Got me in early.

Jack Brown  3:39  
Well, all I'm saying is thank goodness, we pre record these because goodness knows what you're going to what you're going to come out with. And it's so lovely to see you. Weirdly, we're all in the building today. But we're all kind of doing this separately. Ah, remain kind of COVID secure, but we're using a new piece of software, which is really exciting. So I can see you will probably catch up afterwards. But it's Yeah. Lovely. See, thank you for being on. And as we were just saying that it's really exciting to be able to welcome everybody back to the building for our first open day in a long time. This is on the 26th of June. So can you start off by telling us a little bit about your role, what you do here, and also what our prospective students can expect from the event.

Mollie Hinton  4:17  
So the event has, obviously had to take a bit of a change from our normal open day. But it's super nice to be able to invite people back to the building, as the building is definitely a special pay. But yeah, from the event, I guess, actually being able to see the building and our brand new Institute of creativity and technology over the road in the design district which is brand new and just opened also to be able to talk to a course leaders in person. And that will also be the first chance for over a year to be able to do that. And we have lots of options. Students, our lovely Student Ambassadors will be leading the tours and be able to answer any other questions. From a student point of view. We have like our amazing admissions team that will be able to help with any admissions inquiries. And any questions regarding like finance and things like that will be able to be answered by our Student Services team accommodation. So genuinely just being able to answer all your questions that you might have had, that you might have not been able to ask you in our virtual open days, and also be able to actually see the building in person for what it is rather than a virtual tour. Great.

Lee McMahon  5:44  
And I'm only obviously, you know, we're we're responding to government guidance, and we're keeping an eye on on what's coming out in the news. But we're still taking every COVID precautionary measure, I guess, and can you tell us what's been put in place to make sure the event is kind of completely COVID secure.

Mollie Hinton  6:00  
So yeah, we have put in a lot of precautionary measures, and just to ensure that all of our students, and our visitors are all completely COVID safe. So we are doing tours of just six people. And that's including our, our student ambassadors, so there'll be five guests per tour. And to be able to be entered the building, you'll have to be doing a negative test at least three days before coming, and be able to prove that you've done a negative test. We've got a one way system around the building, which allows you to follow that. So our tour has slightly changed of what it used to be. But we've got lovely Student Ambassadors that have been fully trained to be able to conduct the tour. And so you'll be able to see the building in all its sight but in a very safe way. And then we will be using masks and antibac throughout the day to ensure that everything is completely safe. 

Jack Brown  7:02  
And Mollie, you've been working with the open days for a long time. Now obviously, wesaid it's first one back for a while. What are you most looking forward? What is the one thing you're like, Ah, this is so much better than doing it virtually what's the one thing you're most excited about at this at this year's Open Day,

Mollie Hinton  7:18  
probably actually being able to see students it's, it's lovely, our virtual open days have been amazing. And our, the q&a from students have also been amazing. But there's nothing just like a normal conversation where you can just talk to someone about what they're interested in and make sure that their experience and what they find out is completely tailored to the cause that they're enjoying. And they're like interested in and and making sure that they have a lovely time in the building. And also the goodie bag Can't go wrong.

Jack Brown  7:54  
Now Mollie, listen, we're we're not just we're not just work colleagues. We're great mates too. It's almost like I wrote that in the script, isn't it? And you know, in fact, Ravensbourne is where we first met, you know, we were both graduates. It's no secret. I was an alumni of the television course, as are you. That's how

Mollie Hinton  8:11  
can I just point out? I am three years younger than Jack. So don't don't be putting us in the same age category.

Jack Brown  8:19  
And that is why we do a podcast so nobody can see our faces. So what is it about Ravensbourne that you love so much? And why did you decide to come back? You left and then you came back to work here? So what do you must love it? So why did you love it so much?

Mollie Hinton  8:32  
I love Ravensbourne. I feel like I blossomed as a person here. And I know that sounds ridiculous. And it sounds like some sort of cringy quote, that's going to be like written on a tote bag or something. But, um, no, I feel like I really sort of like found what I enjoyed doing here. And what my sort of passion was about and then I obviously met a great group of friends some I'm still friends with some didn't quite make the cart. But yeah, obviously Jack being my best friend. And so when how I started working here was quite interesting, actually. Jack used to do my job back in the day. And he when he moved on, he was like, Oh my god, like, you've got to come back like please. And I was like, No, Jack. That's a stupid idea. And he was like, No, no, no, come on. Like, we just come back. And then yeah, I've come back. And I absolutely love my job. And I wouldn't. I mean, there's I was gonna say with changing for that. There's definitely little things I would change. But I do love my job. And I love the people that work around and I love the students and I love working alongside the creativity and the community that we all have here and I feel like we're really tight knit, which when I sometimes I speak to my friends and they talk about their jobs, and they don't know, people that work here, they're in everywhere. I feel like everyone knows each other and that's what I love about Oh,

Lee McMahon  10:01  
that's so sweet. And sounds like you're following Jack's footsteps. So, Jack looks like we might be looking.......but, you took his job, 

Mollie Hinton  10:11  
I've made my own footsteps, 

Jack Brown  10:14  
I just merely left you an imprint that you could fill with your own shoe.

Lee McMahon  10:19  
But are we looking at the future host of rave cast?

Jack Brown  10:24  
I mean, I'd have to be seriously unavailable slash ill or on holiday for that to happen

Mollie Hinton  10:30  
Do you know what it's actually really funny? Because Jack's wanted to do a Ravensbourne podcast since university and it's only just been commissioned. So, honestly, I'm surprised it's not like it's gone front page on all the news, to be honest. But I mean, it takes a while to grow.

Lee McMahon  10:51  
We have a five star rating on Apple podcasts. I don't know if you knew that.

Mollie Hinton  10:55  
It doesn't count if you clicked every five stars, Lee. Other people I know, five others as well? Well, no, honestly, the last one was amazing. And obviously to keep up the momentum having me as a guest is obviously quite important. 

Jack Brown  11:09  
Well with your social follwers Mollie, we should be expecting to have maybe like 10 or 20 more listeners, you're gonna make this podcast go viral.

Lee McMahon  11:16  
Not it Mollie. That's what it is. Now, Mollie, what you've been here, a long time. in fits and spurts. You put the furniture now. So what would you say to someone listening to this podcast? Considering coming to study at Ravensbourne?

Mollie Hinton  11:32  
What would I say? Do you know what? I'm not gonna say what I'd say to someone coming to Ravensbourne. I'm gonna say what I would say to myself when I was making the decision. Because, obviously university is a massive decision. And there's lots of different options and things. But one of the main reasons I picked Ravensbourne was because you aren't just a number, you actually matter. And you have, where we're at, like a smaller knit community, you know, a lot of people, and you know, not just people on your course, you will know, people throughout the university, which I think the community is what makes Ravensbourne, the place that it is, and the collaboration with loads and loads of different courses, is what like really sets it apart from different universities and allows you to not only grow your own knowledge, but grow as a person and meet hundreds of different types of people. And just learning about yourself learning about other people. And also learning about the course that you're really, really passionate about. And I think the passion is what makes this place amazing. Is everyone is so passionate.

Jack Brown  12:54  
Mollie, thank you so much. It's almost like you need to go and get a job in marketing. You sold it so well. Thank you so much coming on the podcast. It's been so lovely to have you on. For more information or to book your place for our open day, you can visit our website ravensbourne.ac.uk. Thanks, Mols. 

Mollie Hinton  13:10  
Thank you for having me.

Lee McMahon  13:12  
Now Jack is June. The sun's been out recently. It took a long time. But as soon as it hit the 1st June, that sun came out from hibernation, and our students are getting ready to finish for the summer. And this month, we've been asking the question on social media. What are you most looking forward to doing this summer that you couldn't do last summer?

Jack Brown  13:32  
Yes, that's right Lee, and we want to say a massive thank you to everybody who's got in touch via our social media channels had a huge response to this. Obviously, because everyone's excited about the summer and this year more than ever. But before we look at our responses to our polling, what are you most looking forward to doing this summer that you couldn't do last summer,

Lee McMahon  13:51  
I would say hugging my mum. I've managed to see my mom a few times in the last year. She doesn't live in London, so we don't get to see each other much particularly now. But we haven't hugged in about a year and a half. So that I would say hugging my dad too. But he's not the most affectionate man. And I think he'd get a bit weirded out by me hugging him. So hugging my mom. And hopefully seeing my nan as well. I haven't seen her for that will be lovely. Where do they Where do they live? They live on the south coast, just outside of Portsmouth where I'm from. And then if you noticed, I pronounced Portsmouth to make sure that it didn't sound too common over the pause. And what about you? What are you looking forward to?

Jack Brown  14:34  
Well, that's lovely Lee and obviously, you know, hugging friends and family that we've not been able to do is definitely up there. I think for me personally, it's got to be going on holiday right? We've not not been away for like two years and I love going away to you know, Sunny places and I loved in city breaks and stuff like that. So I think you know, watching the amber and green travel list very, very closely. But obviously there is still a bit of caution isn't there? You know, I don't think I'm going to be that first person on that plane, you know, but once I've kind of let it, let it kick off and make sure everything's okay. And we've had our vaccines and everything like that, then then I'm going to be up there. So, yeah, I'm just so excited. It feels like there's so many more possibilities this year than than there was last year. So looking at our social poles, we put four poles out there, right. And the options were visiting loved ones, like yourself, watching the Olympics, or the Euros because obviously, they were, of course, cancelled last year when they are celebrating birthdays and weddings in large groups, or travelling. So I'm going to start with the bottom two out of those four, what do you think what they're kind of the least favourable out of the ones that we mentioned?

Lee McMahon  15:43  
I've got a sneaky feeling that a lot of people have been seeing their family on the sly. So I think one of those is lower down because people have been doing that anyway. So I'm going to say seeing friends and family as well. Okay, and the second second bottom. I don't think people are that fussed about the Olympics or the euros. I know. I'm quite sporty, but it's a nice crowd, isn't it? Yeah. But then saying that, when the Olympics comes along, everyone just seems to love it. They watch the Judo and the kayaking and you know, all these random sports that you would never watch in a million years. But as soon as the Olympics comes along, people watch, it's actually I think the Olympics in the top two, so I'm gonna say seeing friends and family and birthdays and weddings is in the box.

Jack Brown  16:30  
Okay, well, I'm gonna pick out your misery. So the least favourable out of all of the four that we mentioned, was you were right, watching the Olympics, and the euros that was the least popular out of all four. And the second bottom was celebrating birthdays and weddings. Can you believe so? We'll find out when travelling and loved ones. Poll right at the end of the show. Okay, coming up next, we're bringing back one of my favourite features from Episode One who-alumn i? and this week Lee, we've got a corker

Lee McMahon  17:05  
I'm so rubbish at this.

Jack Brown  17:07  
You are so rubbish at this, but it's my favourite game. And the best thing ever, is, I'm going to tell you straight away. It's not somebody from TV like it usually is. So it's somebody's brand new, and we've got Tor Njamo with us, Tor lovely to see you virtually, but lovely to see you nonetheless. 

Tor Njamo  17:25  
Yeah, great to be here. Always a pleasure. 

Jack Brown  17:28  
Now Tor, we're gonna get we're gonna have a little chat with you in a moment. Because you've been up through some really exciting and interesting stuff since you've graduated. But before we do that, I want to get you to play whoalumn i?. Now did you listen to Episode One Tor?

Tor Njamo  17:42  
I did not get round to listening to episode one. So this is all a surprise to me. 

Jack Brown  17:46  
Well, you know what, I'm going to tell you off for not listening. But it's going to be even more of a surprise for you, which is fantastic. So in this game Tor, we get Lee to try and guess when you graduated as in what year? And what course you studied with us. But here's the catch. She's only got 10 questions. And you can only answer yes or no.

Tor Njamo  18:07  
That means I also have to remember the answer to these questions. I have to think about when I graduate I can't even remember when I graduated because you know, I was there for a while.

Jack Brown  18:18  
In so many forms, as we will come on to Yeah. But we're going to give it a go. And let's see what happens. So Lee got you got 10 questions. Yes or no only please Tor, and you've got to find out which course taught studied. And when he graduated Lee, over to you and good luck.

Lee McMahon  18:35  
Okay, well, this is gonna be a lot harder because it's not someone from TV production. So, talk question one. I, I reckon maybe you were in a course. Similarly related to what Jack studied, which was TV. So did you study a media based course? 

Tor Njamo  18:53  

Lee McMahon  18:54  
Okay. we're off to a good start. Question two. It's gonna have to be our most popular course. Did you study digital film production?

Tor Njamo  19:05  

Lee McMahon  19:06  
Oh, I thought I was onto it then. Okay, question three.

Jack Brown  19:13  
And Lee. It might be just to just to kind of give you a bit of a help. It might be a course that we may be has transformed or a longer run here at Ravensbourne.

Lee McMahon  19:26  
Well, that's cheating. Okay. So, I mean, if I get in the realms of it, Jack, then you're going to have to give it three because I can't remember all of the courses that we didn't don't use. Question three Tor. We're currently in the music studio. So 

Tor Njamo  19:44  

Lee McMahon  19:45  
was your degree music related? No. Okay. I'm running out of questions. Question four media based media based. Next door, I guess is the editing suite. So did you do an editing related course like editing and post production?

Jack Brown  20:03  
There's some may be some hints of that, but I'll leave it to tour to give you the answer.

Tor Njamo  20:10  
I think it's like somewhere in between. 

Lee McMahon  20:13  
Soft no?

Jack Brown  20:13  
Only yes or no Tor. 

Tor Njamo  20:19  
So maybe No. 

Lee McMahon  20:23  
No. Oh, I don't think I'm going to do very well today. Question five, am I on? Five, it's not editing, it's not film? Oh, is it digital television technology or the more technical side and, and computing side of TV production? 

Tor Njamo  20:57  

Jack Brown  20:57  
You've only got five left, you got to find out when he graduated

Lee McMahon  21:01  
 I'm switching switch. Yeah, I'm switching tactics. So I think you graduated before Jack. I don't think he was studying at the same time as him. Did you graduate before? 2016? 

Tor Njamo  21:16  
I actually don't think so. I think I, no.


Lee McMahon  21:29  
Question seven. Oh, my God. Did you graduate in in 2016? 

Tor Njamo  21:37  

Jack Brown  21:42  
This is hard Lee.

Lee McMahon  21:47  
Question eight.

Gonna go up one? Did you graduate in? 2017? You think so? Okay. We can verify that.

We'll get we'll just say that I'm right. Because it's big, quite hard. 

Jack Brown  22:15  
Two more Lee. 

Lee McMahon  22:15  
Okay. So two questions. Okay. It's really hard. Because I feel like music and sound design used to be a different course. So maybe it was called something like music production, 

Tor Njamo  22:24  
no mate

Jack Brown  22:33  
just go and just go for a stab in the dark. Nothing left now. One more to go.

Lee McMahon  22:50  
I think I was closest with editing and post production. Right. So let's go for did you study? post production? 


Jack Brown  23:01  
Go on Tor, put him out of his minsery?

Tor Njamo  23:03  
Well, so I had quite an interesting journey at Ravensbourne. First of all, you know, I was there for actually, I was probably there for about seven years in the end. So you know, I did more than I did more than just one thing. So I started out my BA was in web media. And then, you know, I was the president of the Students Union for a year. And then I studied post production. So I did social innovation for a year. And I think

Jack Brown  23:29  
so I think right, what happened was, I think we graduated at the same time in 2017. For me from the BA course and you from the post grad course. But I think you graduated from your undergrad in 2015. 

Tor Njamo  23:41  
Yeah, well, because why I said I didn't graduate. So basically, what also happened is I also did my PGE at Ravensbourne. So you actually didn't graduate for like before, like 2017, 2018. So I've actually done three degrees at Ravensbourne

Lee McMahon  23:54  
So technically, you've graduated three times. 

Tor Njamo  23:56  

Jack Brown  23:57  
So and I think Tor is one of the only people to have done more things at Ravenbourne than me. So it's Yeah, I always feel you know, we're on the similar similar wave length, 

Tor Njamo  24:08  
but I think you've been there for longer than me now, though. Right? 

Jack Brown  24:11  
Oh, God. Yeah, probably part the furniture now me. Tor, Listen,

Lee McMahon  24:15  
Sorry. Go back for me. So just so I've got this right, you did web media for your BA Tor, and then you did your PGE afterwards. 

Tor Njamo  24:22  
Well, I, no I did my post grad. Social innovation.

Lee McMahon  24:25  
So so that would have been the MDes. 

Tor Njamo  24:27  

it was the MDes Yeah.

Lee McMahon  24:29  
Was that with Paul Sternberg

Tor Njamo  24:31  

Lee McMahon  24:33  
He's still here. He's loving life. He's leading our postgrad now 

Tor Njamo  24:36  

Lee McMahon  24:37  
He's, he's a wonderful man, and I love him very much.

Jack Brown  24:41  
But as you say, Tor, you were also student union president and you've you were a lecturer here so you really have done and seen everything. So we're honoured that you came back to us. It's lovely to see you albeit virtually. So Tor, They were some of the things you got up to whilst you were here at Ravensbourne. But tell us what have you been up to since you, since she left us......

Tor Njamo  25:02  
yeah, yeah, no good question. So I suppose what have I done since since I left the team since I left Ravensbourne. For the last three years, I've been working part time at a tech education company here in London called decoded. We have actually done a similar journey as I've done with Ravensbourne, I've sort of been like sort of moved around in moved around in different roles. I'm now the senior coach and trainer at the coded means I do lots of like performance coaching and teach training and just helping people become the best version of themselves. And then I also run my own spiritual wellbeing practice. Outside of that I wear a couple of different hats, but it's really all about well, being health, making sure that people can flourish. I also do the occasional gigs for like leadership companies that do like consultancy and deliver lectures and deliver workshops and like leadership and that kind of stuff. So I really just really enjoy coaching, wellbeing, leadership, you know, human performance, all that kind of stuff. How much do I use with my degrees, at least I used my BA to do my lovely, great designs, I do my websites, you know, I do my social media myself, which is really great. And then my social innovation degree had a lot of like systems thinking and design thinking involved in it. And I definitely use that a lot in my work at the coder. Because like when we go to change, and we design programmes and stuff like that, I derive lots of learning from that from my from my degrees. And obviously, my PGE which is my teacher training is basically what I do now I decoded at slightly lower level, it's like I run a teacher training programme at decoded. So in so many ways, I use all of my degrees.

Jack Brown  26:47  
You wear a lot of hearts as you did you know, when you were here, as you say you've you've followed a similar pattern since you've led what is if we if we had to kind of pin you down to kind of one thing that you absolutely is your favourite thing that you love doing? What would it what would it be? Or is that? Is that such a hard question to ask you. You can't

Lee McMahon  27:05  
designers, they hate being put in boxes

Tor Njamo  27:08  
Good question. And I just love I love holding space for other people, right? So I love holding space for other people where they get to think out loud and like just explore because I think we're, I think human beings can be really bad at holding space for ourselves. Like we don't give ourselves the space to do that. So to invite someone else into that space and hold that for them. That's probably my favourite thing to do. And I do that on a one to one basis. That's probably my favourite thing actually.

Lee McMahon  27:37  
That's all sounds amazing. I feel like you must love getting up in the morning, you know, just the impact that you can have on people and and you know, working in kind of spiritual wellness and mindfulness kind of sphere, particularly in the last kind of 18 months. I imagine it's kept you very, very busy as well.

Tor Njamo  27:57  
Yeah, no, absolutely. It's a it's an incredible privilege to have managed to carve myself away into that space. And it's just, yeah, it's just incredible to be able to, yeah, have that positive impact on other people. And yes, I am a morning person. So yes, I do get up quite early and do my stuff.

Lee McMahon  28:17  
I think you're the only one in this room. That is one of those. And so when you were here, you were a member of the LGBTQ plus community. Can you do you mind telling us a little bit of kind of what that was like and sort of, you know, starting at university, you know, being an adult for the first time?

Tor Njamo  28:35  
Yeah, it was like great. I thought that Ravensbourne was incredibly welcoming. And I really hope that it still is, you know, I was I felt like I could, I never felt I never felt fearful of being bullied or patronised or judged for being gay. I thought ravensbourne was a very open and welcoming in that way. And you know, I think in my, in my second year, I joined the LGBT society, and it was brilliant to be a part of that community and nurturing that community. In my third year of my BA, I was a president of the LGBT society. So just continuing, being able to, to be able to have that positive impact. That's both in so many ways that comes from my heritage from Norway as well, because I think Norway is a very open society, although obviously, there are cases where people like are getting thrown out of homes and stuff like that, which is horrible. And But yeah, I thought that Ravensbourne always was an incredibly open, inclusive and welcoming space in terms of the lgbtqi plus all the numbers and letters, space. So I think that's, that's just amazing, you know, because I'm sure that is not the case across the country. I'm sure you will find places where people are being bullied and they can't be themselves. And I think that Ravensbourne did that really well. You know, yeah, I think they did that really well.

Jack Brown  29:55  
and Tor, you know, it is Pride Month. So So Happy Pride Month to you, June is Pride Month and we are celebrating Pride Month here at Ravensbourne.... you are actually the face of one of our pride campaigns on social media. So thanks for, for agreeing to it. And for you know, coming back and giving us some videos. You know, I've watched them, I've edited them. And you mentioned some really great thought provoking lovely things. So I'm just going to ask you, you know, for the purposes of our podcast, what does what does Pride Month mean to you? specifically?

Tor Njamo  30:27  
Yeah, really good question. So I'm so dreadful when it comes to like dates and time, but I can basically back home in Norway. The first Pride Parade that I went to, we do have those in Norway as well, albeit at a smaller scale. And I just remember, the first like guy I was introduced to was this guy called it off, who was the CEO of LGBT Health Norway. And I just remember, like this big burley man, he was like, in his 50s. And he was like, hey, come and join me does gave me a T shirt and just said, You are welcome. You know, and I think to just have that have that at such a young age is such a psychologically good thing. I mean, my parents were very welcoming. And they had no issues with me being gay. But I think also experiencing that outside of the home was incredibly important. I mean, I've been gone to Pride Parade every year almost since. And I think it's still a really important thing. I think a lot of people question why, why should we still have pride month? Like, does it really matter? should we care? And I really honestly think so. You know, we had this awful news over the last month with this kid in Iran, who's being murdered by his brothers. And I just think it's so important that people please places in Europe, places in America, just show the rest of the world that being LGBTQ is okay. And they shouldn't be harassed or treated in that way just because of their sexuality. So I think that's why it's still really important that we have such a thing as Pride Month. And pride.

Jack Brown  32:05  
Yeah, you can sometimes we get caught us so lucky to live in such a liberal countries, we do that actually. There's still places that that criminalise people for being gay. So yeah, it's Yeah, absolutely. You mentioned obviously, in that, that your your parents were obviously, you know, really happy for you and very welcoming. I watched the video that you made for us on social media, and there was something that I took from it was two pieces of advice that your mum gave you.

When you first told her that you were gay, what do you mind? Just tell us again? What those two things were?

Tor Njamo  32:40  
sure. I mean, it's, it's a fantastic thing to it's fantastic advice to give your 15 year old son would have just told him that again, is like the first thing she said was like, you need to always wear condoms. I was like, Okay, mother. Thanks. And then the second was like, hey, oh, it means I won't have any grandchildren. And it's like, I have four, three older sisters. And they all have children's I think she'll be right. And now they will have kids. So it's all good, basically. But yeah, I thought that was a fantastic comment from my mom. Back. It made me laugh. And I watched it. It really did. Yeah, no, it was it is it is it is very, yeah. And again, like I've had, at that age, when I was 15,16. I did have boyfriends, who got some, I say boyfriends, I had a boyfriend, you know, not at the same time. You know, my first boyfriend, his parents, they were like, okay, but they weren't amazing around him being LGBT. And you know, I think, I think it's not easy to see, but I think it does. It does psychological impact you if your parents don't accept you for who you are, because those are your closest who loves you, right, as opposed to love you. And then they reject a part of yourself, which is huge. I mean, it's obviously not everything that you are, but it is a huge part of who you are. So I was very lucky, he wasn't that I was lucky. And you can see how it impacts people. And I've seen that several times. And it's just awful, because I think it limits our ability to just be ourselves. And that's all we want to be right.

Lee McMahon  34:09  
And I think what gives me hope is seeing the progress that's been made from from our parents generation to us, and the inclusivity and the acceptance that we kind of have as a society Now, imagine what our next generation and our children are going to be like, because all you know, all of these programmes and these initiatives are built into school. Now. It's, you know, the commercial kind of, I don't wanna say it's quite nice kind of bandwagon, I guess, but, but the visibility, the pride and the LGBT community have in the public sphere now, I think is so great than I think the next generation, they're just going to smash it out of the park in terms of kind of equality and kind of inclusivity is really exciting.

Tor Njamo  34:51  
Yeah. Yeah, I really hope so. Yeah. Yeah. And it looks like we're walking in that direction.

Jack Brown  34:56  
Yeah. So we started coming to the end of our chat. It's been lovely. It's always lovely to see you, and always lovely to have you on. Just just lastly, you know, knowing what you know now being in your position now what would you say to somebody thinking considering coming to study at Ravensbourne? on whatever course they decide to do, but what would you What would you say?

Tor Njamo  35:12  
 What would I say to them? What a good question I'd actually have actually thought about this before coming on? Well, first of all, it's a very welcoming place for anyone, you know, whatever flavour of the rainbow that you are, or any skin colour that you are, I believe that Ravensbourne is a very welcoming and open space. So if that's something that you are worried about, then I think that's nothing to worry about when coming to Ravensbourne. I think Ravensbourne gives their students a lot of independence. So I think that you got to be prepared to put in the work. But I think Ravensbourne is very good at giving you back what you put in, if you put in 110% you get 110% back. I think people like Jack and myself, I don't know how long you've been at Ravensbourne for Lee, but you know, were you a student at ravensbourne? 

Lee McMahon  36:04  
No, no. But I've worked for just over two years now.

Tor Njamo  36:07  
Right? So you weren't a student at Ravensbourne. I think people like Jack and myself, we were kind of people who got invested. You know, we were student reps, we joined the we joined the Student Union. And I think it's just this is my tip, spend your time wisely. That is my that is my tip if you're coming to Ravensbourne, because if you put in 110%, you will get at least or more in return. Basically, that's what I That's what I think. tall. 

Lee McMahon  36:36  
That's lovely. Thank you so much. And it's, I guess it's just testament to the, to the experience that the students have that we can call an alumni up a couple of days before we're filming the podcast and being like, Hey, you want to come on? And you're just like, yeah, obviously. So thanks for coming on. If you want to watch Tor's extended video celebrating Pride Month, you can check that out on the Ravensbourne home pages on our social media channels. Yeah, thanks again Tor.

Tor Njamo  37:00  

Lee McMahon  37:00  
 All right. Our final guest on today's episode is a second year product design student who joined us through clearing the process where universities fill places on their courses towards the beginning of the year. And he's joining us now. Hello, Ekiel. Lovely to have you with us. Tell us about your clearing experience. And I guess how did you end up coming to us here at Ravensbourne?

Ekiel Edwards-Antoine  37:21  
Thanks for that, Lee. And Hi, jack. Thanks for having me. So my clearing experience was, to be honest, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. So Ravensbourne was a university I knew I was wanting to come to act just like Steve sort of how creative aspects and it became very industry based. So it was always something I was meant to apply to anyway. And I was in a position where I was going to have to redo my final year of sixth form because of health situation. So I was starting my year 13 over again. And I was in study one day and I thought you know what, I know clearance I can get somewhere I want to go to so it wasn't matter. The worst that can be said isn't that so I thought okay, let me put my application through. So I remember it was the 15th of september of 2019 that I applied, and actually got a place three days later. So it was literally a matter of days. And it gone from just putting in an application to having a confirmed plate. So it was definitely a lot more easier than I thought it would be.

Jack Brown  38:27  
 Wow. And Ekiel, had you had you applied to kind of other universities as well. I know you mentioned that you kind of always interested in coming to Ravensbourne. But presumably at that point, you're thinking, oh my goodness, I don't wanna go to uni. I just want to kind of get in somewhere. Did you apply to lots of universities? Or was it just solely Ravensbourne through clearing?

Ekiel Edwards-Antoine  38:43  
Because of the circumstances at the time, it was solely Ravensbourne clearing because that was as my number one option anyway, so I thought, okay, I might as well try and see if anything, then when I go through the proper process in the later terms of that six month period, then I would have no other options. But at that soul point in time, it was just Ravensbourne.

Jack Brown  39:02  
Amazing. And you were obviously really focused in terms of where you wanted to come come to university and come to us, which is great. Were you always so focused in on the subject. Did you know you always want I mean, you're studying product design, as we mentioned to you, did you always know you wanted to do that? Or was that kind of a last minute change as well?

Ekiel Edwards-Antoine  39:19  
No, that was 100% always certain so I did product design I picked that as my one of my GCSE options. I then carried that through to A-Level. So it was something I definitely knew that I wanted to continue. It was the subject area that I enjoyed the most out of all the ones that were available to me at the time. So it was 100% a conscious decision.

Lee McMahon  39:40  
Cool. And if you're coming to the end your second year now so you've probably had a largely very mixed experience. You've got the pre pandemic experience of being in the building quite regularly. And then the kind of most of this year being online and in this kind of hybrid mode. So what have you kind of learned in these last few years and have you enjoyed it?

Ekiel Edwards-Antoine  40:04  
um, I think, to be honest, it's been a good experience for someone like me, especially on a practical basis courseware a lot of what we do relies on using machinery using our hands on materials and actually having a workspace to work in. So I think us being able to have, fortunately, but unfortunately been in a position where we've experienced the both ends of pre pandemic, and post pandemic, it was a case of being a building first year, we got taught all the skills we needed, we got experience with the machinery, we've got to understand how we are expected to work amongst the industry. And then going into that transition of, Okay, well, now everybody's stuck at home. So how can we utilise the skills that we've already been taught to then apply that into a situation where we're not able to access the machinery that we'd most likely need to use or not able to access the workspaces that we would need to create certain projects or whatnot. So it was a nice opportunity to adapt our skill set to the circumstances that were handed to us. So it's definitely been enjoyable. The tutors and other classmates have all been completely supportive, the online teaching, and we were in positions where we were getting sent out materials and whatnot to help us complete projects from home. So it was definitely definitely a insightful, but also joyous experience, because I don't think it changed the university experience for me at all.

Jack Brown  41:34  
Aw, that's really good, really good to hear and, you know, at least sort of said, you know, being a second year student, it's almost like you've seen all sides of it during the pandemic. So, going into your third year, you know, hopefully things are looking a lot more positive. We mentioned earlier in the episode that we're hosting our first in person open day, you know, for over a year, so people are starting to return to the building. What are your kind of hopes for third year? What do you love most looking forward to now that we can kind of go back a bit more to normality?

Ekiel Edwards-Antoine  42:09  
I think the first thing is just being able to be amongst everybody quite a bit more freely, because I think we've raised there's that aspect of collaboration that is highly important. And so not being in building is not the most practical solution two, we have a collaborative environment. So I think that's definitely a something that I'm looking forward to going back to you. And also just being able to have access to that machinery again, to develop a skill set, once again, with machines that we've not used now for really over a year, just to help us give us that final push into creating our projects. Yeah, I think it's just going to be a insightful experience, because third year is the most important one, that's the crucial year. That's when we're sort of brushing ourselves outside of the university say, hey, well, I'm a young creative, I'm a young designer, pushing ourselves out there into the world. So it's definitely gonna be tough, but I think it's going to be more than worth it once the work is put in. And it's an opportunity really, for us to just say, present ourselves to the industry. Hey, we're now coming out there, this is what we've got to offer.

Lee McMahon  43:17  
Amazing. And if, if you were to kind of meet someone who's who's just about to apply for clearing, maybe he's undecided about where to go or what to study, what would be your advice to them? What would you say to them?

Ekiel Edwards-Antoine  43:29  
I think it's definitely an opportunity you should take I mean, I said prior, the worst thing that can be said is no. And then if that happens, you know, you've got opportunity, again, year after etc. But I always think it's a good thing to do for you to just take the opportunities is there, you're not going to necessarily know where it's going to take you. I didn't expect to be in a position where I started university like that. And now I'm in a position where I'm about to enter my third year. And it's just amazing to think how something like that so quickly changed effectively my educational life. So it's definitely something that you should go for. And I said, The process was really, really easy for me. It was just a matter of submitting an application you get contacted, now, what's your portfolio, you'll send a post that portfolio that will be reviewed and then hopefully, you will get your place but I definitely think it's something that you guys if you are considering it should definitely do. 

Jack Brown  44:28  
Ekiel, thank you so much for coming on and being so positive. We're so glad that it worked out for you sounds like you're having a brilliant experience, all, you know, with everything considering in terms of the pandemic, so we're thrilled to have you on and for more information about clearing, you can visit our website, ravensborn.ac.uk. Ekiel thank you so much again for being on, we've absolutely loved having you. 

Ekiel Edwards-Antoine  44:50  
Thank you guys so much as well. It's been a pleasure. 

Lee McMahon  44:51  
Okay, that's nearly all we've got time for but before we go, let's head back to our socials because I want to find out what topped our poll Have what you're looking forward to this summer that you couldn't do last summer, Jack....

Jack Brown 45:03  
Okay, Lee, I'm going to put you and all of our listeners out of your misery in second place we had travelling like me. So that means in first place was visiting and seeing loved ones, which was your choice. Great.

Lee McMahon  45:18  
I fall in the majority, yay!

Aw, how nice. Okay, that's pretty much it everyone. So keep an eye out on our social media channels @RavensbourneUK for our next hot topic that will be in episode three.

Jack Brown  45:31  
Thanks so much to everyone who has downloaded and listened to our podcast. For more information about us or any of our courses, please visit our website ravensbourne.ac.uk. 

Lee McMahon  45:40  
Thanks for listening everyone, see you next month.