Laure Sylvie Loutala M’polo 2009

Course studied:
Adult Nursing

Advanced Practioner Nurse

When's she's not in the hospital working as a full-time nurse, Laure runs AFROShow which showcases African and African-inspired fashion and design, and supports up-and-coming designers in building sustainable businesses.

 

What made you choose Brookes as a place to study?

I chose Brookes because of the balance between academics and family life. Been a single mum at the time I needed to study somewhere which was close to home to give my daughter a stable upbringing. I had heard so much positive feedback from other single mums who themselves had a great learning environment which did not affect their family lives. This was very important for me and my daughter, I was young, newly divorced and need to be close to the few true friends I had at the time.

What is your best memory of your time at Oxford Brookes?

When I was at Oxford Brookes I was a single mum, I remember when my dad passed away in 2008, I had amazing support from the lecturers and the admin team, who made sure that I was looked after. That made my experience of being a single, newly divorced student with no immediate family a lot better. One particular lecturer would often call to check on me and to make sure that my daughter and I were fine. That was the best memory of my time at Brookes.

After graduating from Brookes what were the next steps for your career?

I was fortunate enough to find a job straight after graduating. During my years of study, I had many placements in different settings in hospitals and the community. I was offered a place where I wanted to work, got shortlisted and did well in the interview and got the job.

What was your inspiration to move into your current profession?

Before embarking in the nursing world and studying to become a nurse, I had been working as a carer for a private company for 6 years and I enjoyed it very much. I had always been encouraged by the service users that I cared for and their families to train for nursing because they could see the nurse in me, which I did not for so many years.

What success stories/achievements have you had in your role?

I have been working in the Oxford Sexual Health Service which is an integrated service with Family Planning since 2014, started as a Band 5 and made my way up after training to Band 6 in July 2017. Then through hard work and providing excellent and compassionate service, within 16 months I went up to a Band 7 role. Remember SKY Is the LIMIT!! On November 6th 2019 I was named Best Nurse of the year 2019. Things CAN only get better, it has not been easy at times but when you love what you do and work hard it pays off.

While I have been running a very busy nurse’s life, I have also set up a fashion platform. I work with emerging and established designers and stylists as well as emerging and established fashion models while celebrating the African Culture with the Oxford Community. I call myself a self-made entrepreneur and I have been mentoring many people though both aspects of my life.

What is the best advice someone has given you?

Nothing is impossible to those who believe. (The Bible).
You can achieve anything if you really want to. The sky's the limit. (Les Brown, motivational speaker)

What advice would you give to others?

I would give the same advice to anyone who is thinking of doing more studying and to those who want to pursue their dreams. Nothing is impossible to those who believe, listen to the voice in your heart and don't let your current situation dictate your future. You can achieve anything if you really want to. I was a single mom and started university at age 30. Many would say that's too old to study while having a 6-year-old child, this is impossible!! But I did it, so remember “The sky's the limit”.