Blog series: Stephen, Graduate Intern V2

You’ve been asking for it (well we certainly have!) and here it is – Stephen’s second post about his time in the Outreach team and even a game to test your knowledge of our societies! 

Presentations: apparently some people are more scared of them than they are of death. Yikes!

February has been as varied as January. While I have still been helping out with the same initiatives I helped out with in January, I’ve been given more responsibility and have had some new events and tasks to add to my list.

One of the tasks has been compiling a handbook for our Student Ambassadors, to help them when they’re out on events. There is such a range of qualifications in England and each has a slightly nuanced route into Higher Education. For example, ‘back in my day’ it was all about that elusive A* at GCSE; now it’s all about the evasive 9, which can’t quite be equated to the old system, and, on top of that, sources don’t agree with where it stands anyway! A pertinent issue for the future.

Another event required me to explore the ancient depths of Western Bank Library. This was to help some 6th formers with their Extended Project, on what is helpfully titled an ‘EPQ’ day. It’s a day in which they have to use our STAR plus system to research their topic of choice, and then find the tangible sources in the library. It’s a great way for them to experience a day in the life of a student and get a feel for the environment at university, as well as the independence required when studying here.

Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of the month has been the opportunity to present my personal experiences of university, and the availability of extracurricular opportunities here, to Year 7-10 students. Here, I also crafted a true or false game featuring the most wacky society names I could find, along with some rather indulgent fakes (the Matthew McConaughey Appreciation society being my favourite, albeit tragically non-existent) to demonstrate how varied the societal opportunities are here at the University. The students had to try to discern my cunning fakes from the real opportunities available, to varying degrees of success. I suppose it didn’t help that I played some mind games and created fabricated backstories and fictitious events for the fake societies, which rendered hands going up and down like yo-yos! It was a lot of fun in the end and was really engaging for the students, so I felt proud to have gotten such a positive reaction at the end of it. Without looking them up, can you spot the other cheeky fakes?

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My Graduate intern development programme also rendered a good session and not just because of the tasty free lunch! This time we had a really useful opportunity to speak to some Project managers across the university and ask for their advice on any aspects of Project Management we felt we needed to practise. It was an insightful session and I found I could relate a lot of what was discussed to tasks I had taken part in, or had to manage myself.

Overall then, presentations aren’t as bad as people think and SURELY not as bad as some people in the studies might suggest! See you again in April!




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