Textbooks – A Business School Guide.

Textbooks are essential if you’re a business student. More often than not, they are the key to completing your assignments due to the content being what the essay, or other assessment, is modelled around. Each module has a reading list with a plentiful array of books, some will be essential reading, some recommended reading. My blog this week is going to discuss my approach to acquiring textbooks as a Business School student at Edge Hill.

First and foremost, you will find your module reading lists on Blackboard. In these lists, by clicking on a book, it will tell you where that book is in the library, and if it is in stock. This tool is essential for being savvy about what you loan out or possibly buy yourself.

Snapshot of one of my reading lists for a module I completed in first year.

When presented with a new reading list for a new module, I would ALWAYS check Amazon for the essential book, then check the price of used or new copies. If the book isn’t expensive, I would always buy it. I am the type of learner who prefers to own all their materials rather than loan them out, so I can put tons of sticky notes in the book. If a book was not cheap enough to buy, some I saw racked up to almost £50 on Amazon, then I would loan the book out the library or look at an ebook option with my kindle.

My strategy for loaning books was always to get one out at the start of a module, then loan it out again when I was writing an assignment for those important references. Doing this system for a few modules saved me money, so I certainly recommend it.

My messy bookshelf from my room on campus. These were all the books I owned, which were either purchased or acquire when the library was getting rid of old stock for FREE.

Of course, an assignment can’t contain only one book in the references. So, to get around this, I would write some of the assignment in the library and grab a couple of books from the reading list that were in stock according to the Blackboard app. I would never loan these out, only using them while I was in the library at that time. This was a great way to build up my references and knowledge of the subject in a short period to complete the assignment.

This method and approach served me well in first-year and hopefully will do so again in second-year. Buying all your books might not be possible on other courses due to the amount needed to be read each semester, so bear that in mind and remember that my approach is tailored to the Business School reading list system. I hope this blog helps you either change your ways for the better or give you a snapshot of what it will be like when you start Edge Hill.

Alice.

Why I’m Excited To Go Back To Uni.

I’m enjoying my summer away from my studies. For the past few months, other than a few small bits and pieces left to tie up for a PPD module due at the end of August, I’ve been enjoying doing effectively nothing. I’m still reading books and trying to learn photo editing software as mentioned in my other blogs, but beyond that.. It’s just been a lot of nothing. However, that amount of nothing has certainly made me excited to go back to university in a few months. Therefore, today’s blog is going to into a few of the reasons I’m excited to start second-year.

First and most importantly, I am so excited to see the friends I had during first-year again. We’ve kept in touch since we all left uni, and I think collectively we’re all pretty excited to catch up over lunch. It’ll be fun to fall back into the routines we had, where we’d see each other pretty much every day either in someone’s flat, the catalyst, or going for something to eat in Ormskirk (Usually McDonald’s or Starbucks).

On the more academic side of things, I’m looking forward to beginning my new modules. I’m excited for all the ones I picked personally, but also the ones the Business School have made mandatory, as they all sound very interesting. The PPD module I mentioned earlier is very basic, so I don’t count doing any of that currently as part of my core studies, therefore by the time I get back to uni I’ll have had a five-ish month break. In other words, I’ll be raring to go.

The modules I will be studying in second-year.

Finally, I’m just looking forward to being on campus again. I’m going to living in on-campus accommodation again, so I have the joy of trying to remember where I live during the first week or so of being there. It’s going to be fun to use all the facilities again such as the Red Bar, or getting my coffee from whichever coffee place on campus I may choose.

Founders West, where I shall be living in second-year.

After a nice break, the excitement I have to go back to Edge Hill is immense.

Alice.

University Exams – A First-Year Reflection.

Exams are stressful, I think most people can agree with that. The build-up to them, the sleepless nights of revising, and then when you realise you’ve technically paid to sit your first university exam, there’s a whole layer of pressure. I sat my first exam at Edge Hill in January 2020, and today my blog is going to recount how I prepared for it. As always, your exam experience, timing, and so on, will be different as the schedule for exams changes each year, do not use what I am going to discuss as an exact rundown of what you may experience during your time at Edge Hill.

I began revising for my exam around three weeks before the date of it, in reflection, I could have done with starting maybe four or five weeks before. I luckily only had one exam in the January exam period so I could put all my time and energy into that one exam. As a business student, a lot of my degree is based upon theories and such, so to prepare I went through a revision list my friends and I had prepared, then made a google document with all the essential information relating to each topic. In total, I have a twenty-nine-page document that I’d completely retyped, no copy and pasting. I found retyping the information, the printing the whole thing off, reaffirmed what I already knew from studying the module earlier in the year. I will certainly use this method again.

A screenshot of the google document I prepared as my revision.

Moving onto the actual day, I woke up around six, and went about my normal routine of showering, putting makeup on, I made sure I looked good for my exam. When doing this, I had the mindset if I look good, I’ll be able to do good, a confidence kind of thing I suppose. The exam took place on January 6th, the first day of exams, at nine, so I didn’t have time to overthink anything and just got stuck in there. The exam went quick, at least I found it did, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re nervous about it dragging on or anything related to that. I left before the end as I finished my paper and read it over several times, I was pretty confident in doing so, but you should make sure you are too before you consider hopping up out that seat.

University exams on the surface are stressful, but when you get down to taking them, I found they aren’t. The most stressful thing was awaiting my results as they had to be moderated, but considering I got a 2:1, I was happy to wait. My parting advice would be to revise as much as you can, and ensure you are proud of what you have written when you leave that exam hall.

Alice.

Business School Freshers Week 2019

I’ve spoken a fair bit about Freshers week in my blogs, but never intensely on the activities my department (The Business School) put on for my cohort. If you’re a new student reading this blog, beware everyone’s Freshers is different, and the next cohort’s Freshers week activities for the Business School may be very different. Disclaimers out the way, time to get into my first week at Edge Hill.

Day one of the week was arguably the most jam-packed. The entire Business School cohort converged on the Wilson lecture theatre for an introduction to the school, key members of the department, and other important things tied to being a Business School student at Edge Hill. From the introduction lecture, I had a smaller lecture focused on my specific degree in one of the rooms of the Business School. The smaller lecture had activities for people to mix and begin to create friendships. Yes there were icebreakers but they were enjoyable ones, well, as enjoyable as an icebreaker can be.

Introductions over with, the whole cohort came together again for the delivery of the week’s task. The entire cohort was split up into groups. Each team had the same task, create a new business for the Ormskirk area. Groups could talk, throw ideas around, get a basis on everything, before heading home for the night. It was a good way to meet new people, and I know several people who formed lasting friendships through the task.

Tuesday to Thursday was centred around working on our businesses, my group came up with an escape room. On the Thursday we presented the ideas to a panel of judges, this took place in the Business School foyer for about an hour, followed by a lunch break and big awards ceremony in the Wilson building one last time as a whole cohort. My team did not win any awards, but several of my friends I made prior to starting university did, so there were celebrations to be had following the ceremony.

The poster for my team’s business.

Finally, a big barbecue outside the Business School to commemorate the end of Freshers Week!

Like I said at the start of this blog, your activities may be different come Freshers week 2020, or beyond if you’re reading this much further down the line. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have as much fun as I did!

Alice.

Course Insight: Marketing Year One

As per my profile on the website, I study Marketing here at Edge Hill. Marketing has always been part of my life, from high school to college, and now University, so naturally I was always going to write a blog about the course. Right off the bat, a disclaimer that your experiences will differ from mine, timetables, module choices, and assignments change very often.

My degree is spaced over three years, though I plan to take a year out to do a sandwich placement, making it technically four. A sandwich placement is fancy phrasing for a year working in industry. This year I have studied six modules, as per the standard in the Business School in order to achieve your required credits.

These are modules I have studied:

A lot of people will be wondering how the lectures work, I know I wondered the same thing. The modules I’ve had last only one semester occurred in classroom settings with a seminar consolidating the contents of the lecture right after, this often sounds like it’d last a long time, but you often get a coffee or toilet break that sections it up nicely. My Digital Marketing and Business Start-Up lectures lasted an hour in a lecture hall, then seminars took place in a separate room, classroom style. Overall I really enjoyed this method of learning as it broke up information intake really nicely, it suits me a lot more than High School or College style. My timetable was spanned over three days, giving me Tuesdays and Fridays free!

An academic tip would be to sleep in on your days off, and then use them to do reading or pre-lecture prep’, it’s a good method of keeping on top of your studies without things feeling over baring.

My modules have all been a mix of different assignments, two having exams. Exams aren’t as stressful as any prior ones you’ll have sat, the seating arrangement is a lot more relaxed, you can leave when you’re done granted you’re in a specific timing and overall it felt like a much more comfortable process.

Overall, I really enjoy how my course’s first year has been structured. Of course, this layout will not apply for all and every degree offered by Edge Hill, but I consider this a useful resource for applicants worried about how things will be after their Fresher’s Week.

Alice

My First Deadline Experience.

You’ve settled into university, had a few lectures for each of your modules, done a bit of reading or at least attempted to, and now… The lecturers begin to mention assignments or coursework.

This was mostly my scenario. Although we’d been informed in our introduction session how the module is assessed it doesn’t dawn on you that work is real and its approaching until its more candidly mentioned in lectures. My first deadline was mid-November, leaving me a good two months to settle into university, though that won’t be the case for every degree.

I remember stressing quite a lot leading up to beginning to work on it, I’m a perfectionist but I also wasn’t sure how it’d be marked. In addition, I’d never referenced before or had to write academically, so there were a lot of factors revolving around this one piece of work. However, eventually, one October afternoon I just sat down and wrote it. Actually, writing the piece, exploring not using contractions, referencing myself up to the hilt; it was a very relaxing experience. Reading texts I’d not read before to gather information to back up what I was saying was very enriching to my understanding of the concept I was discussing.

Moving forward, I tackled all my deadlines the same. If I could I’d give myself ample time to write out my essays, or piece together my presentations. While not everyone will do this and will be able to refer to their memories as being a lot more stressful, this way of working had ensured my university life thus far has been quite relaxed. My uncle once said a degree is a marathon, right now I’m very much jogging, though I’m not sure when I’ll need to sprint.

Getting my work done ahead of time has also ensured grades I can be happy with. My first piece of work bagged me a high 2:1, pieces done in a similar method have also gained those grades.

I’m sure at some point I’ll write a follow up to this blog discussing my panicked deadline where I was writing up against the clock. Though, for now I can simply say the first dreaded deadline doesn’t have to be so dreaded.

Alice

Fastrack: My experience (part 1 – applying)

In my last post I talked about Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education and what it is. Now I’ll talk about my experience of applying for this course.

During the beginning of 2017 I was contemplating a career change and started off by trying to find out what jobs I would like to do and what qualifications would be needed. After deciding I would like to be involved in advertising I set upon looking about for courses and came across Edge Hill Universities BSc (Hons) Marketing with advertising course. Perfect…..well nearly. I hadn’t taken any A-levels or any form of education since leaving school in 2001.

Worried that I may be too old and it could now be another couple of years and cost quite a bit of money to achieve the qualifications necessary to just get on my desired course, I e-mailed Edge Hill to find out just exactly what the entry requirements were.

I received this e-mail in response. Unfortunately I held none of these qualifications. The thought of the Fastrack course really appealed to me though, especially as it meant I would be able to start my actual degree course in September that year, something I really didn’t think possible!

At the beginning of March I completed my Fastrack application form online. Not really sure what to expect, but with doubts over my suitability for the course. I had resigned myself that to getting an e-mail back about not being suitable or maybe being told to ‘try next year’…why would they want someone in their 30’s, with no qualifications, who has been out of school for over a decade on this course?!

During the middle of March this e-mail arrived inviting me to attend an interview and complete a test. I was a bit shocked, in my mind I wasn’t a desirable student and was just waiting to be told this but here I was being invited in for an interview and test…maybe it must be easier for them to tell me face to face I’m not student material.

How wrong could I have been, from the moment I arrived for the interview I felt welcome straight away. Helped by the fact I was joined by around another 10 Fastrack applicants, from all walks of life and from all parts of the country…Manchester, Lake District and London to name a few. This put me at ease straight away, knowing it wasn’t just me here. We had a mini tour of the campus, talked about our hopes and expectations from University as-well as what was expected from ourselves. After a short written test, we were told that we would be told over e-mail if we had been accepted onto the course.

The very next day I was greeted with this e-mail in my inbox. Edge Hill did want someone who was over 30, with no qualifications and that had been out of school for over a decade on their course!

Up until the course starts, the communication from Edge Hill in superb as you are guided through enrolment onto Fastrack and the pre-course web page is a great help for any questions or queries you may have. Now that we’ve applied for and been accepted onto Fastrack, my next post will be on the course itself.

Again, if anyone has anything they would like to know or would like a bit more information then feel free to get in touch.

Study Tips, Exams Made Easier ✓

Hola! So exams are now over and I am back into the full swing of things this semester. This semester I am studying Business Economics, Marketing for Business, Business Start Up and Spanish and so if anyone is interested in getting some insights to any of these modules feel free to message me. These last two weeks have been a case of studying for exams and if you happen to struggle with revision (like I have done in the past) I have provided some of my study tips in which I have learned and hopefully they will come in helpful for you and your next exam.

There are a number of different types of exams in which people sit. This could be multiple choice, essay questions or practical exams and it just so happened mine was three essay questions in two hours on Operations Management concepts and theories. Okay, when reading this it can sound a little daunting, I mean it took me three months to write my essay for the assignment so how am I going to write three in the space of two hours? If you’re reading this while you’re in school or college it can come across even more intimidating but I can assure you it isn’t as bad as it sounds.

To prepare for an exam like this I would suggest reading a wide selection of books and journal articles to ensure you have that background as to what your exam will be about. From this you can then start making notes which can be in more depth from your lectures and seminars. The way in which I do this would be spider diagrams. I find this extremely helpful when you just need to see all the information spread across the one page. Use a number of coloured pencils and pens to stimulate your brain and enable it to jog your memory when it comes to the exam. On a positive it makes your notes look that bit better.

When you begin to feel more comfortable that you have written down enough information, the next task would be to break these notes down smaller and smaller until it’s just a sentence that holds enough information about the subject you are revising. These sentences can then be put onto flash cards and you can practice memorising them. When it comes down to the exam you will have this bank of sentences which contain wider information and the essay will just flow. You will feel confident and prepared for your exam and with the right amount of effort put in you will get that first everyone wants.

I can understand that this revision technique comes across tedious however it does work significantly well for myself to the point where I feel confident in my exams. It all comes down to confidence and if you are confident in your exam you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Hope this information will help you with your revision.

Have a great week.

J. x

Receiving your offer

The UCAS deadline is approaching and I think it was around this time last year I had received my offer from Edge Hill to study Law. I remember being incredibly excited! I actually got all five of my university offers but Edge Hill was the one I really wanted, as soon as the offer came through I wanted to make it my firm choice straight away. I had attended an open day prior to receiving my offer and it really helped me make my decision.

I think personally visiting the campus is the best way to make a decision about whether or not you would like to study here. It really helps you to get a feel for the place. I remember walking into the law/business school and instantly thinking ‘I want to study here’. I didn’t get that feeling at any other university I visited so I knew Edge Hill was the one. The campus speaks for itself, it’s absolutely beautiful and everything is really close together too so you don’t have to walk miles to go to your lectures.

After receiving my offer I was invited to attend an applicant day. When I first received the email about this I felt apprehensive, suddenly everything seemed real and I still felt like I wasn’t old enough to be going to university. Nevertheless I attended and I am so glad I did. The whole day was really well organised and very informative. I had the opportunity to attend a lesson to get a feel for what it would be like to study here. I really enjoyed it and as soon as I got home that evening I made Edge Hill my firm choice.

My advice would be to make the most of the open days and applicant days that are on offer to you, even if you think you saw everything you wanted to see at an open day, I would still recommend going to an applicant day because it is more tailored to your course. Applicant days are also a great way to meet people who could be on your course.

Goodbye

Well guys, this is my final blog! I thought I would just dedicate my last blog to reflect on my time at Edge Hill.

I came to Edge Hill in my first year as an 18-year-old young girl, who wouldn’t even think of even staying away from home for more than a week! But then, I spent months at a time away from home, at first admittedly missing my family (especially my dog!) and then by the time I was able to sit and think, it was Christmas and I had my first exam to prepare for, when I came back! My first exam at uni and I gained a 1st! Then I decided I was applying to go to America for 3 months to work in an office, with Camp Leaders. The most unforgettable experience of my life.

Then came along second year, then 19, and more life wise. Not quite as much partying as first year I have to say! Living in a house is very different to halls, this was the year I learned about bills, cleaning, and true friendships, both good and bad. Second year was extremely tough for me, a close family member was suffering from cancer, and during my exams in May it became clear that her time was coming to an end. Getting through my exams were extremely difficult, but knowing I had the support of my friends and family really got me through. I was lucky enough to have a two-week placement straight after my exams in a law firm, where that also became a challenge as during my time there, she passed away.

My third year, as a 20-year-old strong-headed woman was by far the most challenging. For me, I knew that Child and Family law was the area that I wished to specialise in. I’ve never worked so hard for my degree as I did in my final year.

I am extremely proud of my self to say that I have Graduated with a 2:1 in Law from the University of the Year, Edge Hill. I have achieved so much, and to say that I have made my family proud is one of the best feelings I have ever felt.

Good luck to all you potential Edge Hill students, do your best and make your time at Edge Hill the best it could possibly be, it will all be so worth it.

Family :)
Family 🙂