Mark Owen’s ‘best year of his life’ thanks to University of Sunderland – despite leg break

Sunderland Futures - Mark Owen
Sunderland Futures - Mark Owen
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A broken leg was no distraction for Mark Owen as he enjoyed the “best year of his life” thanks to University of Sunderland.

The 22-year-old studied business and management on Wearside and that included spending a year in Melbourne in Australia.

But just months before he was due to travel the 14,000 miles, he was injured in an accident.

He was still recovering when it was time to leave but looking back, he said: “It was one of the best experiences, spending a year in one of the nicest countries I have ever lived in. The weather is different, the people are different and you get the experience of being an international student.

“It is really valuable to your cultural awareness.”

Just as importantly, Mark returned to Wearside to make full use of the university’s Sunderland Futures scheme in his third year.

It is really valuable to your cultural awareness

Mark Owen, Sunderland University student

It helps students develop their prospects by linking them to placements, to internships, volunteer opportunities and other chances to enhance their skills.

Mark used it to fine tune his CV and interviews. he said: “They tune everything to what jobs you are looking at.

He is now helping as a graduate intern by mentoring students.

“Different people have different aptitudes and those aptitudes have made me more diverse,” said Mark.

Mark is now a passionate supporter of the Sunderland Echo-backed Future Starts Here project.

The Sunderland Echo has teamed up with University of Sunderland to launch The Futures Starts Here campaign.

We want to hear from businesses and community groups which want to get involved in Sunderland Futures by offering paid placements, internships and mentoring. In return, they may be helping to develop the skills of a future employee.

We also want to hear from community groups which need students to come on board for volunteer projects.

Let’s make Wearside the best place in the country for student-business link-ups.

To find out more, email