Zara McLaughlin, who recently graduated with a BA Hons in Ceramics, Jewellery and Silversmithing from Ulster University was able to realise her artistic ambitions thanks to being awarded The Brundle Award in her final year.

This award is supported by Ulster University’s Director of Research and Impact, Tim Brundle and aims to reward ambition, supporting a final year student to realise their vision. The award was conceived after having identified how the quality of final year student’s work may be compromised due to their lack of personal resources.

This scholarship was so important in helping me achieve my first class honours. It was a real vote of confidence and has played an important role in helping me get to where I am today; establishing my own business – ‘zara ceramics’.

Zara also won the prize to design and produce a bespoke trophy for the AIB Distinguished Graduate Award winner, Dr Tara Shine.

Since her graduation Zara has been working on her brand and now has 25K followers on her Instagram Business Page @zaraceramics.

Although still in its infancy, I have grown a significant online following and have been overwhelmed by the support I have had locally, nationally, and indeed internationally over the last number of months.

Zara continues,

Mr Brundle’s investment in supporting me at that stage of my degree is now paying dividends, giving me the confidence to experiment in my medium and work on new and exciting projects and collaborations.

Thank you to donors like Tim who make a real difference to our students’ academic experience and ultimately their graduate outcomes.

To view Zara's work go to: Zara Ceramics on Facebook or @zaraceramics on Instagram.