Ryan Mullings - Student Profile

Ryan studies the Master of Chiropractic course at AECC University College and is about to start his Third Year. He is also the President of the Asian and Afro-Caribbean Society (AACS). Ryan tells us more about what drew him to the course, why improving access and participation for all students is important to him, and his ambitions for the future:

Which courses are you studying and what year are you in?

"I am studying the Master of Chiropractic course and I am about to commence Year Three of studies."

What attracted you to studying this subject?

"When I was looking at what I wanted to do, I knew I wanted a job where I could help people.

Initially I started off thinking I wanted to be a teacher but I wasn't attracted to the administrative side of this profession - I wanted a strong practical element to it as well.

I was researching jobs like this and in doing so randomly came across a video on YouTube of a Chiropractor doing adjustments on people which really grabbed my attention and sparked my interest.

When I was 16 years old and it came to choosing my Work Experience placement when at Sixth Form, I decided to carry this out at a local chiropractor clinic to where I lived and I loved it. I loved how much the profession was able to help people and that this particular place offered a chiropractic clinic and a massage clinic, so patients were able to combine treatments and receive extra support. I enjoyed the insight and exposure this setup gave me whilst on placement and reviewing my options for later study. Ever since then, I knew I wanted to be a Chiropractor."

Why did you choose AECC University College to undertake your studies?

"Location to my family definitely played a part and I also had family that had studied in Bournemouth, so had received good reviews on the area."

What would you say to school/college-leavers who are thinking of studying here?

"The standard of education is great but it’s also such a valuable life experience studying here due to the number of international students that choose to come here too. It creates a very diverse learning environment which you may otherwise not come into contact with. It’s a learning experience, and it helps you to grow as a person and to always consider the bigger picture and respect varying points of view and ideas.

Studying here has also helped to shape me as an all-round healthier person – I started going to the gym and making more healthy lifestyle choices with the things that I eat, all because of studying here at the AECC University College and the obvious attention that is given to good health.

These new-found disciplines have even made me better with money and this is all down to the growth that I have seen in myself. It’s definitely a unique place to grow."

What is the AACS and when do you meet?

"The AACS is the Asian Afro Caribbean Society at AECC University College and is predominantly made up of members from the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) community, although we are very inclusive and everyone is welcome. We advocate and celebrate diversity and multi-cultural backgrounds, raise money for charities, provide a sense of belonging for people, and usually meet once or twice a month to network, socialise and brainstorm ideas that support our mission."

What is your role as President of the AACS?

"The former President and the founder of the AACS was Amin Nouroozi. He came to me with the idea of the Society in 2018 and then went on to create it in 2020. When he stepped down, I took on his role, and that role is essentially to form the link between the Society, the AECC student and local community, and the stakeholders at the Institution, such as having a voice at Access and Participation meetings. I also lead the Society members and work to organise awareness and/or charitable events."

What does the AACS do and what are your future plans?

"We’ve had social events at Laser Quest, bowling, games nights and Society quizzes with cash prizes.

We created a social media Instagram account where we create and share content to help in not only raising awareness of our Society but to aid in bringing people together.

We have commemorated unfortunate events such as the explosion in Yemen and the death of George Floyd, and made a charitable donation to the George Floyd Foundation in his honour.

We have delivered social events that celebrate our mix of cultures, through food, music, etc.

We have 15 members currently but 10 new people are interested in joining fresh from the 2021 intake of First Year students, so we definitely see growth in our future. We also want EVERYONE to feel comfortable about being around each other, whether they are from the BAME community or not – everyone is welcome to celebrate diversity and we don’t want anyone to ever feel isolated whatever their background. We want them to come to AECC University College feeling confident that they’re never alone. We have a community here that will always accept you for you."

How do you recruit new members to the AACS?

"We get the bulk of our sign-up via the Freshers’ Fair each year but also through networking and socialising at campus events."

What do you hope your legacy will be when you leave AECC in the work that you have championed through the society?

"That no one feels they have to suffer in isolation and that students from the BAME community feel they have a Society where they belong, alongside members that they can identify with. There is space for everyone."

What are you ‘Proud to be’ and why?

"I am proud to be Jamaican. Proud of my culture and background. Proud to be black. Proud of my parents. Proud to be the AACS President."

Who within the Heath Sciences BAME community inspires you and why?

"A lady called Dr Sophie McDermott, who actually graduated from the AECC in 2011. She is based in the UK and is a reference point for the BAME community in Chiropractic. She supports a number of people through offering intern opportunities and supporting education. She offers 5-minute chiropractic adjustments so that people are able to fit in treatment before they go to work, etc. and I think this is a really clever concept/service and something I haven’t personally seen done before."

What are your personal ambitions for the future?

"I want the Society to be better structured and to push the boundaries of being even more ‘open’. I of course want my grades to be good and for my studies to grow in level, and I also want to continue growing generally as a person and to always strive for being better.

I would love to work abroad for a number of years before coming back to the UK to eventually settle down and own my own practice."

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If you wish to find out more about the Asian Afro Caribbean Society (AACS) and how to join, please email susocial@aecc.ac.uk. You can also follow the AACS on Instagram here.