Importance Of Attending An Open Day

I’ve blogged before about open days and briefly mentioned how it cemented my decision to come and study at Edge Hill University. Now that open days are coming around again, with the first one of the year occurring on June 16th, I thought it time to delve into that a little bit more.

Before I even thought about attending open days, I first had to narrow my choice of university down from All Of Them to just Some Of Them. So, when I was first looking at universities, my process was to start at the top of the university league tables for my course, biology, at thecompleteuniversityguide (other league tables are available) and work my way down, pulling out the universities that were high on the list yet had entry requirements within my predicted range. Next, I looked at the courses in my field offered by these universities and selected the universities that had courses with modules that interested me. This narrowed down my pool of options down from A Lot to A Few – Edge Hill being on that list.

Edge Hill was already fairly high on my list, ranking definitely in the top five based on module options, general location, and rankings alone. What really pushed me to commit to choosing Edge Hill University as my firm choice was attending an open day. If you’re capable of visiting Edge Hill for an open day (or an applicant day if you’re already committed to applying to Edge Hill), then I’d highly recommend it.

Visiting Edge Hill University for an open day allowed me to interact with the department and students first-hand, both of which filled me with hope about the university. The department talk about the course and facilities really showed that they cared about the subject and the people working and studying in their school.

What also comforted me about Edge Hill was Ormskirk, it felt familiar to me despite being a new town far from home. With a direct line to Liverpool, just 30 minutes away, Ormskirk is situated so that it’s its own microcosm but still has access to the wider world via public transport – something that resonated with me upon visiting.

Applicant Visit Days Ahoy!

With the beginning of February comes the Applicant Visit Days, typically held between now and March/April, non-interviewing applicants will soon receive notice of these wonderful days – maybe you already have! Although I personally did not attend an applicant visit day for Biology, I have worked for the Biology Department as an Applicant Visit Day Helper, therefore I know a little something about what goes down on one of these visit days.

The Edge Hill University Biology Department is home to many sub-disciplines, from ecology to human biology – despite this, students from different courses will certainly overlap both in the common first year and in shared modules. In account of this, the Applicant Visit Day has an introductory talk given to the cohort as a whole, as well as area specific activities with a focus on either ecology, human biology, or genetics, for example. When I worked the Applicant Visit Day last year, I supervised the ecology taster session – and introduction to invertebrate ecology and identification, using keys and microscopes. Also part of the Biology section on Applicant Visit Days is the building tour, where you get a better look at the labs and equipment available to use once you begin studying with us. With the opening of the Tech Hub and the top floor lab, there’s even more space and equipment to use!

Facilities
The Biosciences building for Biology at Edge Hill

I have also worked for the Money Advice Team on applicant visit days, as a Money Buddy, positioned in The Hub. The Money Advice Team hold presentations on student finance, as well as budgeting – particularly from a student’s point of view (hence the Money Buddies). My role was to speak to potential future students about financial help offered by EHU as well as budgeting advice.

The Tech Hub

One of the pros of attending an Applicant Visit day (other than getting a better feel for your course and department) is getting to meet other students. If you’re worried about meeting new people at university, your course is the best place to start, and Applicant Visit days give you a head start. I hope you’re able to attend one and take advantage of this opportunity!

Improving Your CV at EHU

As I’m sure you’ve been told many times before, your CV is an important document, and making sure it is well fleshed out is part of what makes a good CV. Any volunteering or part time work will show commitment, as well as any skills you’ve picked up along the way. These could be specialised (relating to your job, like for instance, waiting tables) or generalised (things such as teamwork and responsibility). In any case, you should have numerous opportunities to further bolster your CV throughout your time at Edge Hill University.

The Careers Centre on campus, currently located in the Student Information Centre (SIC), can provide assistance in acquiring a part-time job in the surrounding areas whilst at university, through the use of lists of availabilities; insight into the best places and websites to check for openings; and interview tips. Additionally, they can also help with finding volunteer work. For example, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust have a centre called the Martin Mere Wetland Centre that accepts volunteers to assist with various aspects of their conservation work, from helping in the visitor centre to maintaining the grounds.

To make sure you get some basic help with CVs and future prospects, someone from the Careers Centre comes into a lecture once or twice a year, to provide that vital information. Then you can, of course, book an appointment with a Careers Advisers for a one to one, more personal, conversation about where your future is headed.

Accompanying the campus Careers Centre, there is the careers centre website. The website has many features, from “ask a question” where you can get feedback on your CV, amongst other things, to the lists of resources and opportunities – some of which are at Edge Hill themselves.

There are numerous opportunities at Edge Hill for part time work, I myself have worked for both the Money Advice Team and the Student Recruitment Team, as well as being part of the Student Casual Bank. Then there is also the chance to work on open days, applicant visit days, and giving campus tours to prospective students throughout the year.

In short, Edge Hill provides many ways to better yourself and have that show on your CV, whilst providing you with the tools to make sure your career is heading in the direction that you want it to.

 

Applicant Visit Day Advice!

Today I’m going to be discussing applicant visit days as they can be very daunting sometimes, however, with this post I hope to show that they’re not as scary as they may seem by giving you some quick tips that might come in handy on the day!


Take notes: There’s no harm in getting out a notepad or your phone and jotting down some significant points you’ve heard over the day, actually it’s encouraged! From details of your chosen course to information on accommodation and finance, there’s a lot of information to soak up, so make sure to get it all down so you don’t forget anything important.


Be independent: University is all about learning and developing not only in what you study but who you are as a person. So don’t be scared to venture around the university alone, or leave your parents in the foyer in your taster talks, it’s all part of the experience. I personally went to some of my perspective universities alone, and it really helped me figure out if I liked the campus personally or not.


Make your own choice: The best advice I received in regards to this is when I asked my dad if he liked the university or not and he replied “It doesn’t matter what I say Charley, you’re the one who is going to be studying here for the next 3 years, it’s your choice to make.” And I think that says it all really. Make sure you pick the university you want to study at!


Talk to people: Which I know is easier said than done, but honestly it helps, as everyone is in the same boat as you. No one is there to judge you, and they might end up one day in the same class as you!


Don’t be afraid to ask questions: That’s what you’re there for after all, to find out if you like the course and campus, so if a question pops into your mind: ask it.
You’ll be glad you did when you get home and don’t have to stress out later thinking about how you should have asked it.


Explore the campus: Take a look around, see if you like how it looks and if a campus-based university is for you!


And most importantly: Enjoy yourself! Applicant visits days are a big step in picking the university you want to attend but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun at the same time!
Thank you for reading this post, and I hope you found it useful.
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: 13 Reasons Why (2017)

Biological Applicant Day

From February to April 1st, applicant days are occurring here at EHU and you may be wondering what it’s like and how it will benefit you. Since Edge Hill University is so far away from my hometown, I could only make it to an Open Day, and not the applicant day (plus, I was already certain Edge Hill was to be my firm choice). However, I had the opportunity to work on the recent Applicant Day, both for the Money Advice Team, and the Biology Department.

First up in the day was a talk by the Money Advice Team. This covered specifically the loans, grants, and budgeting involved with university. Personally, I spoke in the presentation about budgeting at university from a student perspective, but more information was given by another team member on the intricacies of the loan system and also how the university delivers its scholarships.

After the morning finance talk, we moved onto the biological section of the day. This portion was for prospective students only (bar the department tours) and took place in the biosciences building. It started with Paul Ashton, the department head, giving an introductory talk about the biology department, its research, and staff. Whilst prospective students go off to this section of the day, parents and caregivers can attend a talk aimed specifically at them, providing more details on finance, UCAS, and accommodation.

After this, the students were split into three, based on the type of degree they have applied for. The university currently offers five undergraduate biological science degrees: BSc Biology, BSc Ecology & Conservation, BSc Human Biology, BSc Genetics, BSc Biotechnology. Those who chose either Genetics or Biotechnology did a genetics based practical, those who chose Ecology & Conservation an ecological practical, and those who chose Human Biology a human based practical. For anyone who chose straight Biology, they could pick which they preferred.

Despite my degree being in Genetics, I also have an ecological focus, so assisted another current student in supervising the prospective ecologists along with Anne Oxbrough, Reader in Ecology. After a presentation detailing the degree a bit more, and what modules and trips were available, the practical began. The ecological practical was centred around invertebrate identification, using microscopes and keys to identify specimens down to the class, if not the order.

Once the practical was over, building tours were given to anyone interested in viewing the department’s facilities, including a demonstration of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and insectary. Also, the new Tech Hub’s top floor was available to be toured, showing the new labs that might be used primarily for biotechnology in the coming years.


On a separate note, current students may have noticed the flags up in the Hub – this is because it is Edge Hill’s first ever Pride week! Events still to come are: pride social tonight; a trans-exclusive sexual health workshop on Thursday; and a pride march around the campus on Friday, along with the showing of Rent in the Arts Centre for Free Film (and food) Friday.

nice one edge hill 👌 #prideweek

A photo posted by james 🌙 (@clokkerfoot) on Feb 6, 2017 at 1:32pm PST

Opening the Door

Hi everyone!

This week I’m going to be talking a little bit about open days and applicant visit days. They are a really great way of learning more about the university and your course.

Prospectuses are great, but first-hand experiences will be pretty important in making your decision. Even if you feel like you have all the information you need, if you haven’t visited the university you want to come to in September I would really recommend it!

Visiting the campus will give you a new insight, maybe clarify anything you weren’t quite sure of and give you a peace of mind.

For those people who haven’t applied to University yet Open Days are great to give you a sense of the options available to you.

If you visit and Edge Hill Open Day then you will be able to chat to staff in the department you are interested in studying in, get more information about student finance and funding and get a good look around the accommodation and the campus in general.

It might feel like a bombardment of information, but it will help you make an important decision, and all the staff and students who work Open Days are so friendly you will always be pointed in the right direction.

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But even if you’ve already applied, or are even holding an offer from Edge Hill you are more than welcome to come visit us!

When you find yourself asking questions about university life, whether that’s how you’re going to pay for rent, where you can buy food or how often you’re going to be in class the Open Days are a great place to find the answers. And everyone really supports you up until you arrive as a first year.

Applicant Visit days are another great way to learn more about the university. Some courses that have interview/audition processes will give you the chance to see the campus and ask other questions. For subjects that don’t have interviews the Visit Days are priceless.

They are designed specifically for offer holders to Edge Hill, and are course specific. So you’ll get to meet some of your possible future tutors, classmates and get a real sense of what studying at Edge Hill is all about.

For more information on Open days click here.
For more information on Applicant Visit Days click here.

I really hope you do all come visit the university- it is an exceptional place to be. And it really opens doors for you in ways you might not have even thought of.

Quote for the day: “Look on every exit as being an entrance to somewhere else.” Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Tom Stoppard.

Hope you all have a great week, until next time! 🙂

Having Doubts…

Something that sticks in my mind about the university application process is all the doubts that were constantly running through my mind. I was worrying about everything; ranging from whether or not I was ready to move out to whether I would make any friends. A lot of those doubts played on my mind right up until I moved into halls and started uni, which I think is absolutely fine because going to uni is a massive step and can be kind of daunting. However, on the day I started at Edge Hill there were two things that I definitely didn’t have doubts about: whether or not I’d chosen the right university and whether or not I’d like my course. I was absolutely positive I would love Edge Hill and its English Literature programme, and I would say that is mostly down to the fact that I attended both an open day and an applicant visit day.

Visiting universities is a really important part of the application process because it helps you to get a feel for the place that you’re going to be spending the next three or so years of your life. There are some universities that I visited that I thought looked perfect down on paper but when I went to visit they just didn’t feel right. When I first visited Edge Hill for an open day I immediately took a liking to it,  but I had a few doubts because there was another university I liked too and Edge Hill was just so far away from home. So when I received an invitation to attend an applicant visit day I leapt at the chance to go back and make a final decision. Applicant visit days allow you to visit the campus, and also have a taster session of your course. This is definitely extremely useful if you’re not 100% sure about your choice of subject. For me, this only made me more excited to get started on my degree. And by the end of the day, I couldn’t have been more positive that Edge Hill was the place I belonged.

I’ve written two other blogs about my experiences at my applicant visit day: one that describes my day in general, and another that focuses specifically on the English Literature taster session.

If you have any doubts at all about your chosen university or course I cannot recommend attending an applicant visit day enough. It really helped me to make a final decision and I definitely don’t have any regrets.

Good luck!

Need a Little Help?

As we can all be aware, University is a rollercoster of an experience. There are so many exciting things to do that sometimes you can be unaware of the additional help and guidance you can be given.

Well worry not! Whatever your problem is, be it an accommodation issue or a something to do with your finances, there are many people at hand who can be there to help you out.

Edge Hill University thankfully has the latest technology to help you out too.
Situated in the central part of the campus sits a library with wide and extensive features,  quoting a fabulous IT and study support facilities, 15,000 e-journals, over 150 online databases, 70,000 e-books and 230,000 books and DVDs. A brilliant amount for any Library to have. Included in the library are multiple silent study areas, just in case you want a place to sit in peace and quiet to finish your work.

There’s 24 hour PC access in the LINC building (situated right behind the library), completely free wireless internet across campus (which is currently being used to write this Blog) and teams to support students with a range of skills.

Since there is an increasingly competitive jobs market, there is a Careers Centre  on hand to lend you assistance in guidance towards your chosen career path, or in your current job. Along with that, the Student Services team provide advice and support and can help with anything from accommodation support and advice to finance and welfare advice. The aptly named Inclusive team are also on hand to support those with disabilities or learning difficulties.

 

No matter what your need is, there is a vast and extensive team of people and services ready at hand to be there for you and give you a hand.
Your not alone in your University experience and you can always have the chance to turn to someone.

Meeting Prospective Students

On Saturday I assisted Billy, my scriptwriting lecturer, with an applicant visit day. He was running a taster session for people who have been accepted to study Creative Writing at Edge Hill University, and he wanted a current student of the course to speak to the applicants.

Initially I was nervous; the idea of a room full of people all staring at me wasn’t one that I was particularly comfortable with, but Billy assured me that the session would remain informal and that the group was relatively small.

I remember my Applicant Visit Day and how the taster session really heavily influenced my decision to accept my place at Edge Hill, so I knew that it was important to ensure that the applicants all got a good feel of what the course would be like and whether it was for them.

Once the session began I quickly realised that I’d been silly to feel nervous and I actually really enjoyed myself. Billy set writing exercises for the students that I remember doing in my early weeks at uni. I really loved how each individual person approached every exercise from a completely different perspective. I walked around the room checking on people to see how they were getting on and all the applicants were confident and spoke passionately about their writing.

The applicants were being shown around by two other Creative Writing Students, and at the end of the session they were given the chance to ask us questions regarding the course and the university experience. The topic that came up most was the experience of moving away from home- something that I haven’t done to attend Edge Hill, but have done in the past- and it reminded me how big a step all these people were about to take. Living at home I often forget that for majority of students university isn’t just about embarking on a new academic journey, it’s also about gaining independence and freedom.

Meeting students who may be starting at Edge Hill is September was great and I’ll look forward to seeing their familiar faces around campus. I can only hope that they enjoyed the taster session as much as I did!

Choosing a University

Last weekend I took a trip to visit my friend Hannah who studies at the University of Lincoln. Lincoln was actually one of the universities that I was considering attending myself at one point, and being back there really reminded me of how difficult choosing a university can be.

If you’re struggling to make a decision about where to study, I would highly recommend attending an open day if you haven’t already. Open days are excellent opportunities to look round campuses and to get some more information about your chosen course. To book a place on an open day at Edge Hill, please click here.

If you can’t make it to an open day, a lot of universities conduct regular campus tours, which are a great alternative. Edge Hill runs monthly tours which you can learn more about here. The tour even includes a presentation on finance and accommodation, as well as a chance to chat to current students.

Applicant visit days are definitely really useful too. They allow you to experience what studying your chosen course would be like. I’ve written two blogs about the applicant visit day that I attended which you can read here and here.

If you’ve done the above but are still not sure, I found that reading reviews from students who attended the universities I was interested in really helpful. WhatUni is a website that I used a lot. It has reviews from students that focus on a range of different areas to do with life at the university, as well as lots of other useful information.

Another website that was recommended to me was Push . Push is an independent guide to UK universities. It provides a lot of helpful and interesting information (even the average price of a pint…) but I think it’s important to remember that the opinions expressed won’t be representative of everyone. It can also be a little bit outdated because universities are constantly changing and expanding.

I hope that some of you find the links above helpful in making a decision. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.