Case Study - Caleb Azumah Nelson

“You should always pursue your dream career, no matter how ambitious it may seem.” says celebrated writer and Coventry University alumni Caleb Azumah Nelson.

With a highly acclaimed debut novel under his belt, Caleb has most certainly taken his own advice. But how did the Sports and Exercise Science graduate turn his passion for creative writing into a career? We spoke to Caleb about his time studying with us and his career today.

You studied Sports and Exercise Science with us – what made you choose this course and did you have a career path in mind?

I chose the course due to my love and passion for sport – particularly basketball. I always wanted to balance my commitment to sport with my writing. They are my two main passions.

Although you’ve taken a slightly different route, how did your time at Coventry University prepare you for the world of work?

At Coventry University, they encourage a balance between your academic studies and extracurricular hobbies, which enabled me to pursue my passion for creative writing alongside my degree. I joined the Creative Writing society and spent a lot of my time in libraries and bookshops around the city, which helped hone my writing skills.

When did you first decide you wanted to write a book?

I’ve had a book in my hand since I was a young boy – I was always intrigued by reading and storytelling. During my time at university, I was surrounded by supportive people, who encouraged me and reassured me that becoming a published author was a possibility. The support I received from lecturers, fellow students, and close friends I met through the Creative Writing society and playing basketball gave me the confidence I needed. It was great being amongst like-minded people with a similar passion and mindset.

I also won a Creative Writing award during my time at Coventry University, which was the first time my writing was recognised.

Describe your time at Coventry University in three words.

Friendship, community, family.

What is the most important lesson you learned during your time at Coventry University?

Having good people around me who believed in me helped me believe in myself. My time at university taught me that you should always pursue your dream career, no matter how ambitious it may seem.

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Coventry University No.1 Modern University No.1 Modern University in the Midlands
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2020
Coventry City of Culture 2021