Published: 05 August 2020

'Class of 2020' Podcast

With thousands of students set to graduate this summer, Rufaro Mazarura explores the experiences of young people graduating in the middle of a global pandemic, through a new podcast series. 

Image of Rufaro M

We’ve seen from all our student community champions that they have taken these unfortunate circumstances and used them for the benefit of not only those around them, but their own self-development too. These podcasts serve as source of familiarity and an emotional navigation tool for nervous soon-to-be graduates.

So, what does it really feel like to have an unprecedented situation thrust upon them at a time when uncertainty may already have been a huge element of a final year’s life? “From the day that lockdown was announced, I’ve had this overwhelming feeling of uncertainty about what my life after University will look like and so have so many of my friends in their final year” says Rufaro, the host of her new Class of 2020 podcast which explores the experience of final year students navigating the ‘new normal’ as a result of the pandemic.

In this podcast, she touches on different aspects of student life from mental health to job-hunting and talks to a range of students and experts about their experiences and respective advice on these subjects. In the first episode, she interviewed students from Surrey and others around the country about how they’re adjusting to an online version of university. In future episodes, she plans to interview experts on social mobility such as Dr Lee Elliot Major OBE and experts on mental health such as Dr Jane Morris from the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland. Rufaro has clearly already mastered the art of podcasting from her previous experience working part-time alongside her studies in the Student Enterprise Department, where she has taken ownership of the Start Up Surrey podcast, showcasing student start-up stories.

Rufaro shares with us her thought process: “I decided create a platform and resource where students and recent graduates could talk openly about their experiences and feel less alone. My hope is that by having (and recording) these honest conversations and expert advice, I can help other soon-to-be graduates feel connected to the wider student community and share ways that they can make the next steps into their future, as uncertain as it may seem”.

After graduation, Rufaro is hoping to pursue a career in TV & Radio and this project is a great way to showcase her skills whilst also delivering valuable content to her fellow students. In the near future, she is hoping to produce a few of her own freelance projects that focus on social injustice, education and self-improvement. Commenting further Rufaro said: “No matter what comes next, I’m going to spend the rest of my life finding new ways to share stories from unheard and underrepresented voices”.

Rufaro is also open to anyone wanting to get involved in the podcast, and has kindly provided her details if anyone, especially final year students, want to share their stories. She is also working on a ‘Commencement Speech’ style episode, so if you have a message or piece of advice you’d like to share with the Class of 2020, send a voice note of your mini-speech to the below:

Class of 2020 podcast: Email or send an Instagram DM to @classof2020podcast

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