How my UK accounting degree led me to become a stunt performer
Hannah, from China, did her bachelor’s in accountancy at the University of Ulster, which inspired her to make an exciting - and unusual - career change. Beyond making new friends and having new experiences, studying in the UK helped her to think about her future in brand new ways.
‘I don’t know how many qualified accountants have jumped through windows as part of their career’
I don’t know how many qualified accountants have jumped through windows as part of their career, but it’s something I’m really happy to be doing.
I grew up in China and had always wanted to live and study abroad. Although I appreciated the stability and security of the formality of life back home, and I wanted a good education - I also wanted something different.
When I arrived in the UK, and in the first few months of my course, I felt an immediate sense of freedom. Everything was so different, which was a bit scary, but it was also fun.
‘I joined the university’s taekwondo club to throw myself into the experience’
I was determined to be involved in this new environment, and as part of that, I joined the university’s own taekwondo club - among other societies - to throw myself fully into the experience. I had always enjoyed sports, but at the taekwondo club, I realised how much I love being active. It’s also where I first started thinking about completely changing my career. It was not an easy decision to make and I had to really think it through.
‘After I graduated and moved to London, I felt inspired to do something new’
After I graduated, I moved from Northern Ireland to London. I worked as a professional accountant and really enjoyed my life outside of work, including my taekwondo club. I met so many great people from all over the world who were doing interesting jobs and I felt inspired to do something new as well.
‘I am now training to be a stunt performer for film, theatre and television’
At my taekwondo club in London, I met people who had trained and qualified as stuntmen and women. I knew that was what I wanted to do too. I am now training to be a fully qualified stunt performer for film, theatre and television. I’ve worked on some short films and have been part of a Netflix series. The process is both enjoyable and fulfilling.
‘In the UK, my own choices really count and expressing my own opinions is encouraged’
I was nearly 30 when I changed my career. My university education and my life experiences so far have given me a good understanding of taking calculated risks and being considerate and strategic in fulfilling my dreams.
That’s something I love about the UK. I know that my own choices really count and expressing my own opinions is highly encouraged. If I wasn’t in the UK, I don’t know if I’d have been inspired to make such a big change.
‘So much is possible here. Being in the UK has led me to something I really, really love.’
Not everyone will want to be a stunt performer, but I think it’s important for international students to know that so much is possible here. I know a lot of people will wonder if they can live the life they really want, just like I did. It takes courage and even time - but I know that being in the UK has led me to something I really, really love.
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