Thursday, 1 May 2014

A Student’s Perspective: Added extras make all the difference

Throughout my university journey I have taken advantage of many opportunities presented to me to not only enhance my degree and experience at the University of Chester, but to develop skills and attributes to take on with me once I graduate.

Real World Work Experience

In my first year I gained a place on the ‘UniJob’ scheme, a recruitment service run by the Careers and Employability department which involved a rigorous application and interview stage.  This process familiarised me with the formal employment procedure which I will experience in the ‘real world’ after I finish university.  It has been an invaluable service, allowing access to roles which I may never have had the chance to undertake had it not been for the scheme. I’ve organised an annual departmental conference, persuaded local employers to host work shadowing visits and developed an online environment for new students to engage with future lecturers before they start university.


Transferable skills

Alongside employment, I have taken part in various volunteering roles to feed my passion for helping others while building on my communication and time management skills.  My Student Ambassador position enabled me to build my confidence through giving guided tours of the University to large diverse groups of prospective students; whereas my School Mentoring role improved my interpersonal skills by working one-on-one with secondary school students to help and advise them on academic and personal issues.  


Study Abroad

For my second year of university, I made the huge decision to study abroad in America through an affordable exchange programme which the University of Chester participate in.  This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity removed me from my comfort zone as I had to adjust to a new culture, location, educational system and community, all while still studying for my degree!  However it was the best decision I ever made and I developed a global perspective on my degree subjects and made unforgettable memories with new lifelong friends.


Fuelling Your Ambitions

By partaking in the added extras during my three years at University, it has enabled me to outshine graduates in job interviews and graduate assessment days, not only from the experience but from the confidence they have instilled in me to fuel my ambitions.  I utilise my involvements to enlighten others as I have so much more to talk about, and ultimately by being interested, I have become interesting.

Natasha Collins
Final Year
Marketing & PR with Journalism Student

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