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Building Student Content

Posted 24 Mar 2014 by Bryn

 

After being contacted by the KUSA team, the idea of being able to get involved with a project such as a Student Takeover of the prospectus was extremely appealing. A chance to voice my own opinion on what really happens around Kingston!

It started out as a brain storming session on what we should write about, who we were trying to attract to read it and why? All these questions were extremely important so that we hit the right feel straight away and didn't miss anything. Finding out what was important to them about University was interesting. For example, when it comes to my own opinion location has been a key requirement. Yet for others in the group other areas were more important such as course - you'd think that would be an important requirement on my list, but I guess not now looking back.

Anyway, we got onto actually writing the content, which to be honest was a lot of fun. We had complete control over what we could say and where we wanted to take it. Rather than simply following a script. Later we came back together and discussed what we'd written and made constructive remarks to what each other had written, giving each of us the chance to edit what we'd done.

After a little while, and once the final drafts had been handed in, we all got together to see what our section of the prospectus would look like with our photos and faces added to the layout. It was at first really strange to see my face on there - almost comical that I was going to end up in the prospectus - but was extremely excited to be a part of it. 

What was really 'sad' was that I couldn't wait to show my friends and family, they all thought it was hilarious but only because they're my friends and that's what you do - take the 'mickey' out of people accomplishments. Though overall the feedback on what we were doing was extremely positive, and I was so happy with what had been created. Onto the next part!

 

I have come to final three months of my three year undergraduate degree at Kingston University and it is no wonder I am reevaluating every minute spent at university. I know quite a few might be interested in what to expect and what to do when you come to Kingston University and I have already covered these topics. Currently, I am more interested in finding out how things have changed and what I wish I knew before but found out relatively late... I guess! So, if you are interested, read along:

  • 1. Don't settle: Gain as much relevant experience in the field you are interested in, as you can. I know most people need jobs because they need the security money-wise but try to gain as much work experience as possible. Whether that would mean sleepless nights and taking two weeks to do an unpaid internship, trust me, your CV will look much more appetizing with your relevant experience on it. You will also gain some cool conversation-starters and funny stories!
  • 2. Prioritize.. ESPECIALLY in your final year: I believe I have said this before but your final year of your undergraduate degree is likely to be the busiest one. Juggling between studying, working, gaining experience and maintaining some sort of a social profile is not easy and the only thing that will help you avoid all-nighters in the library is planning ahead.
  • 3. Network: Say you had a really good relationship with your boss, your editor, your manager, or whoever at your workplace. In the event that you are leaving the position, or you were on a temporary contract, make sure you keep this contact! You never know what sort of a job opportunity might come up in the future and chances are that if you got along once, you will work well in the future as well.
  • 4. It's better to have 'Oh, wells' than 'What ifs': Well.. take this one as it is. It can be applied to anything and everything you do at university level. I would say, don't miss out on an amazing opportunity just because you are shy, insecure or not sure. You will be surprised in the new interests you develop as you mature. *Very wise of me, I know.*
  • 5. If things are not turning the way you imagined them, then they weren't supposed to be that way: I couldn't make that sentence any longer, really. The idea is that it is not the end of the world, if you find you are facing a brick wall. You will find better opportunities eventually!

Finally, I know quite a few of us-ambassadors say that it is vital you find a way to have fun throughout your time at university but it is true. While the courses at Kingston University are quite demanding, at the end of the day you would like to remember all the crazy times with your friends rather than the endless days when you were hard on yourself. Take it from a third year student! ;)

 

Someone once told me that doing an application was just like doing a mini essay and they were RIGHT! As you may (or may not) know some courses offer you the chance to complete a yearlong industrial placement before your third year, my course being one of those, but before you can actually do the placement (and earn loads of money while doing it) you have to apply, and I hate applications; they're long, tedious but are a crucial part of the working life which is why I've come up with some tips to help me breakdown the whole process that I think will definitely help you guys when the time comes:

  • Start Early- you may think you have loads of time because it's the start of the year right? Wrong! So many applications close within the first semester so it's a case of the early bird gets the placement, you might find you have a million deadline on one day if you leave it too late.
  • Make friends with the staff in the placement office- their job is to help you nab that placement but they won't know whose looking for one if you don't let them know you're interested. They can help you with the CV/Cover letter, the actual application, mock interviews & psychometric tests, but they also act as recruiters and can personally refer you to a company if you fit their requirements but only if you go to them.
  • Set aside adequate time- as I said before applications are long but they are the first point of contact the recruitment team will see, so no pressure but your application has to be good or you'll get chucked in the reject pile; a good application takes time, concentration and the truth (what goes around comes around right?) .
  • Be smart about it- although most applications will vary slightly essentially they are all asking the same thing, they want to know your work history if (any) current/previous education information & grades (this is where the dreaded UCAS points rears its head), and some questions gauging why you want to do a placement with them/ what makes you stand out/ what can you offer them. For the most part you have one set of this information or one reason for applying and it won't change so go back to your old friend copy and paste - it's not cheating because it's all true and it's all yours it just saves you time; although you should obviously read the questions carefully so you answer correctly.
  • Don't put your eggs in one basket- this is never good in most situations, you may think your good enough to get it that top company but nothings guaranteed; similar to when you were applying to university, you'd want to apply to many other companies just so you have a contingency if the worst happens, you may get multiple replies which is better than the alternative of applying to one and get rejected with no plan B, you never know the one that comes through might not be the one you expected.
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