Plants, Shows, and Skates

Shortly after returning from Boston, I took a trip to Garfield Park Conservatory. The conservatory hosts a number of rooms, each with a different theme – the front room is home to palms, the centre room to ferns, and another to aroids. The show room at the time of my visit was featuring the Spring Flower Show, “Hashtag No Filter”. Next up on the list is the Chicago Botanic Garden, hopefully, I’ll make it up there in time for their orchid show.

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Also towards the end of February, I saw a reading for a play called Eleanor Absolute, which is based on true events and tells the story of a journalist, Lorena Hickok, and her romantic relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt – whilst questioning who gets to decide on a person’s legacy. The play was written by someone I met earlier this year, Hannah Verdon.

In early March, I went to another show, this one with Molly, who drove up for the weekend. This show was called The Infinite Wrench and was by a group called the Neo-Futurists. The show is an hour long and the aim is to perform 30 short plays, with interrupting “wrenches” that add a new dimension or obstruction to the performance. Some plays were silly and short, others were longer and heartfelt, Molly was even chosen to dance in one of the shows. It was worth enduring the cold for as we queue to get in (we arrived far too early).

The following day, Diana and I made it down to Maggie Daley Park on the final day of ice-skating on their rink. Having not skated in years, and never being proficient at it anyway, I think I faired fairly well by simply not falling over. Diana pointed out that it was easier to skate with speed and, although far more nerve-wracking, she was right – we picked up a decent pace as we made a few loops around the ribbon. Our time on the rink was cut short by the Zamboni, but it was a nice day out and the park was nice to walk around.

I mentioned in a previous post about the Student Union elections that I was running for a part-time officer position. Sadly, I did not win the election, but the elected officer has a good team to work with and I’m sure the position is in capable hands. I did, however, win the Sandwich Placement award at Edge Hill University Careers Award Evening! Although I couldn’t make it to the Evening itself, my personal tutor, Paul Ashton, collected the award on my behalf and a video of the announcement was sent to me, very kindly, by the Careers Team.

EHU’s Money Advice Team

Edge Hill University is well known for its student services, being voted 3rd in UK for Student Support in 2017. In my experience, this holds true. The IT support, Careers Advice, and Counselling services at EHU really are great. But today I want to tell you about the Money Advice Team.

I’ve worked for the Money Advice Team in the past, as a Money Buddy, presenting to and answering questions for prospective students on Open Days and other events. The Money Advice Team also informed me of the Student Opportunity Fund, which has helped me to spend my sandwich year in the United States!

The Money Advice Team are open for drop-ins Monday and Friday, 10am-1pm, and Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm-4pm. They offer a range of services for different purposes – if you’re worried about finances, they can help you. All queries from budgeting to funding are supported. A resource that many students might not know about is the Student Support Fund, which can help students who “have serious financial difficulties or whose access to higher education might be inhibited because of financial reasons.” There is an assessment process, but if you are eligible, you won’t have to pay back the money you receive.

The Money Advice Team is currently situated in the Student Information Centre (SIC) and can also put you in touch with Edge Hill Works, who can help you find a part-time job. There are numerous on-campus jobs, but of course, there are more in Ormskirk and the surrounding area. Even Liverpool (particularly Liverpool ONE) has some part-time jobs that are available for Edge Hill Students.

Also of use is the Money Matters website, which has information relating to the above, as well as tuition fees, bursaries, scholarships, etc. So if you’re unsure of the difference between the maintenance loan and your tuition fee loan, check it out! A particularly useful tool is the Scholarship Calculator, which can inform you, after five short questions, if you are eligible for a scholarship.

 

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.

 

Job Hunting

Whilst coursework deadlines are looming for me, one of my next tasks as so to speak  when the final piece of coursework has been handed in, is to start to look for my first full time job which will mark my entrance into the big wide world (unlike some people on my course I’m saving post-grad study until later in life).

I have already had a bit of experience in looking for jobs (this blog writing role is the one that came good when I was looking for a part-time one), but I’m still going to require some help and advance and before I start scouring the internet for vacancies I’m going to go and see the careers service people and make an appointment with them so they can make sure my CV and ‘Linked-In’ profile are as good as they can be and I can get their advice on looking for jobs.

The careers service are based in the student information centre and have a very detailed section of the edge hill website (see link below).

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/careers/

They also run careers fares through the year and advertise vacancies through an internal database and will help you look for a job for up to three years after you graduate (I am rather hoping I get a job within 6 months of leaving uni though).

In the meantime however, I do still have coursework to crack on with, but it is good to know Edge Hill have a dedicated team of individuals to help me with job hunting for when the time comes to look for a job 🙂