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.

People Skills

My final term as a volunteer is nearing the end as I have to move out from Ormskirk and back home soon, and while it has been extremely helpful to work in the Poverty Alleviation arena, I can’t help but realise that my people skills aren’t exactly where I would like them to be… I don’t think it’s because of the occasional slow work days where not a lot happens, but more because the people around me just seem to have more confidence than me when discussing, well, anything really.

This post details my thoughts on People Skills (being approachable and treating others as approachable) and how I am to improve my own by the end of the year as that’s when my application for postgraduate study will go through.

Myself (2nd from the right) and my colleagues from my other job. We’re required to communicate with visitors most of the time, hence I use a friendly and strait to the point approach to my work.

My time at volunteering has opened my eyes to the various ways of communicating to others, from the teaching staff, the social workers and the clients. I have noticed the every one has their own style, and usually I can summarise the individual styles in one word such as “cheeky”, “energetic”, “subtle” etc. While I appreciate the styles have their advantages, I observe to see what the effects of those styles are within the different contexts and environments, and see which ones I want to apply to my own practice should my postgraduate study land me a job in Education (teaching is acting).

I already have an idea of what style to maybe use should I end up working in Higher Education, but in terms of general adult education (which is my target area to work in), I draw inspiration from an approach that one of my supervisors at the firm I volunteer at uses, which is energetic and positive which really helps everyone in the classroom including me. I wouldn’t say my potential style is “energetic”, but rather “dramatic”, as I want to convey positivity but seriousness as well because my target area is within the niche of poverty alleviation.

So now that I have my style to be an umbrella approach for whatever I do in the field, now comes the barrier of confidence. I can talk to people and do presentations etc., but what I want to improve on now is how open I am as right now I can get as far as saying facts comfortably (“yes”, “no”, “hello”, “thank you”), but I would like to go further to communicating light opinions (not hard critiques) more comfortably (“it’s due to”, “I think”, “I can relate to that because”), since I find that it’s a great way to build mutual trust more effectively.

I know it sounds like I’m making a big deal out of a small thing, but I really want my people skills to be the best they can be and my volunteering job and my other job (as a promotions assistant) are great platforms to practice talking to strangers. I want to remain competitive in the work world, as there is no such thing as job security. Hopefully I can be more people ready in time for my postgraduate studies…

Creative Edge!

 

 

 

I’d like to take a moment to talk about my place of work at Edge Hill University
I, of course, study Digital Animation SFX and that study takes place in the
newly created Creative Edge building.

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The building opened for use last September (2013) just as my first year began.
Not only is it the new home for Animation students, it is also the home of other
Media courses in the department, which includes Film Studies, advertising and computing. It is designed to provide for us state of the art suites of industry standard facilities.

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Available to us at the Creative Edge building is a beautiful set of  TV studios with the ability to broadcast and and full production capabilities for news, drama, documentary and experimental work. We have fully working recording studios with sound-editing suites (something that comes in handy from time to time in animation), animation studios (very, VERY handy for Animation students, obviously), a photography studio, a multimedia laboratory, as well as networking, forensics  and computer laboratories.

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The Creative Edge Building also provides a dedicated space on campus for many businesses who wish to recruit students for internships and forge links with academic staff through research and consultancy projects. Because of this we have many visitors around, watching us work and often in turn teaching us some of their own knowledge.
It is an invaluable place for us and is certainly preparing us for work later on after university

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Come over and see for yourself

— Thought of the Day —

“The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.” – George Carlin

A Hard Days Work

This year I’ve been very lucky in that I haven’t needed to work, but next year, as I will be living in Liverpool, I’ll need to get a job to support myself.

Getting a job is really difficult; there’s so many people looking and so few places hiring that the whole process can seem quite demoralising. When I dropped out of my first university it took me three months of handing out CVs and applying for jobs online before my persistence paid off, and there were quite a few times when I thought that I’d never get a job. In the end I received a phone call from a place that I’d handed my CV in to a month earlier, and after the interview that they offered me went really well they offered me full time work.

I soon found out that all my co-workers were mad.
I soon found out that all my co-workers were mad.

I think that one of the most important things to consider when applying for jobs is the strength of your CV. With so few jobs and so many applicants it’s key to ensure that if you’re CV is stacked with lots of others it stands out, and in a good way; it’s all too easy for a potential employer to start by discarding CVs with messy layouts and typos.

While I’m applying for jobs I’m being really careful to save money and have been finding ways to earn a little extra on the side. Today I helped out in my mum’s office. It was nice to be working and earning a little, but eight hours of typing up addresses and stuffing envelopes made me miss the stack of coursework that I have waiting at home.

My 'shiny clothes budget' is suffering the most. MUST. STAY. STRONG.
My ‘shiny clothes budget’ is suffering the most. MUST. STAY. STRONG.

 

Presentations

Last week I had to do two presentations. If I’d told my year 13 self that I’d have probably cried. I loathe presentations to their very core. Standing up in front of people, trying to convince them that I know what I’m talking about, having everyone’s attention on me; it just sounds like my worst nightmare.

Unfortunately for us presentation haters, it’s almost inevitable that at some point throughout our university studies  we’re going to have to do a presentation. I find them extremely daunting, I remember last year worrying about one for weeks beforehand. That said, I feel that since I’ve come to university they have become slightly less scary. I’ve become a bit more confident in myself, but I think I also approach them with a different attitude than I used to. Rather than focusing on how scared I am, I tend to just try and get them over with as quickly as possible, whilst working to the best of my ability. I’ve accepted that presentations are not my strong point, but as long as I try that’s all I can expect of myself.

If any of you are worried about giving presentations, I think you should remember that whilst they may not be the assessment you will do best in, there are people on your course who feel the same kind of fear about exams, or writing long essays. Everyone has their different strengths, and just because you are scared to talk in front of a class does not mean that you are not skilled in your chosen subject.

In the end, I don’t think my presentations went too badly. I even improvised a long segment of one of them completely off the top of my head because a point came to me whilst I was presenting that I thought really enriched what I was saying. That is something I would absolutely never have done before, but I think it really paid off. If you’re comfortable enough with it, university really is the time where you can better yourself and take risks. If they don’t pay off then at least you know you tried and you’re one step closer to knowing what works best for you.

Money Money Work

So, If my memory recalls, it is around this time that those who are waiting to go to university should be slowly coming to the conclusion of which university to pick, which in turn means your going to need to arrange to start paying for it.

Obviously, if you are like me and the many thousands of other students, you’ll be applying through student finance. It is crucial to get this done asap, because funding from student finance will make your life so much easier while your at university, and leaving it too late will mean delays in actually getting any money.

Of course there are other methods while at university to get money, if you ever feel  like you are running low. There are many places you can get a small part time job. Within this year, I have seen jobs at The Student Union Bar, McColls and even the job I have now as a Student Blogger. There are also many unpaid jobs too, which you can do such as VIBE Media or volunteering around campus or Ormskirk.

Or, if you already have a job back home with a large corporate organisation (Say, Morrisons), you can simply transfer up here.

Suffice to say there is no shortage for jobs around the university and the local town, but you must always remember one thing. If you do take on jobs outside of your time at the university, you must make sure it does not interfere with your work at the university.
It can be hard to juggle uni work and a Job, I know this from experience. So be careful when deciding on this vital matter.

— — —

In other news, the student elections are coming to a close. Today will be learning who our new student union president is, and who our various Vice Presidents are.
It is an exciting time and I cannot wait to find out who it will be

— Thursday thoughts —
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

— Friday thoughts —

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity”

How to be organised IMO…

I have about five deadlines for Uni coursework on the same week in a couple of months, which means I have to organise my study time so that everything is completed to a high degree and submitted about a week before the deadline (I have worries that if I submit too near the final deadline then the upload system may crash for obvious reasons). Being organised is super important not only in Academia but in the real world, as both usually require you to juggle multiple projects – this is how I do it.

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My diary – I would be LOST without it!

– Plan Ahead

The obvious thing to do is have a diary and a weekly (if possible) timetable where everything can be tightly planned, especially when you are doing projects inside and outside Uni work. I printed my Semester timetable and filled in all the boxed around the ones already filled in with Lecture times in pencil – as you can imagine, this way of scheduling requires quite a lot of discipline because times are set, and honestly I don’t always stick to it but I really try to.

– Work out what works for you

This part refers to how you go about completing high quality work within a set amount of time. I never recommend leaving an essay or presentation until the week before the deadline of course, but it is up to you how much time you give yourself. The standard, I would say, is four full weeks to complete an assessment. Sometimes people prefer to leave work later so that the pressure causes them to work well, and sometimes people need as much time as possible. What should not be required is someone giving you a ‘kick’ to do your work – There should be more independent ways of motivating yourself!

– The “Emergency Mode” Technique

This is a technique that I use personally in order to get work done. I pretend that everything has to be done by tomorrow or the world will end, and it is very effective because it means I have to rush (creating a lot of fake pressure) to get everything done as soon as possible. I have managed to get lots of work done simply by using this technique, and I find that when I rush I don’t hesitate to move. That’s my secret to being organised! Although this does not mean do everything at once – I prioritise some work over others of course.

I’m not saying that organisation is the key to high quality work – Sometimes the work I spend lots of time on does not get me high marks, and sometimes the work I spend less time on does not get me low marks etc.. This post is here to help others make sure they get their jobs done without busy timetables forcing any dips in quality!

Faye’s Blogs – The Holiday’s are Over

So even though I don’t have lectures start until something like the 21st January I have 3 essays that need to be in on Monday.

I am stressing out over them so much! Even though I feel as if I have been working on them for months!!

I cannot wait to get them over and done with. I think that this last semester is going to be less stressful. HOPEFULLY!! I don’t think that I have as many assignments to do. I need to check though.

But I am going to start the new assignments straight away!! Maybe in my final semester ever of university I will stick to this?

Also this week I have applied for 2 part time jobs because I really want a car so the money will be helpful and I really want to move out when I leave uni!! So I’m wanting to try and build up my savings!

Faye’s Blog – Home

Yesterday I travelled back to Blackpool from Ormskirk so that I can see my family etc. I went to go and visit my nanna and her new puppy! It’s a Chihuahua crossed with a Yorkie, she’s called Sally and is so cute s although she is a bit of a bully to other dogs! Here’s a picture!

Tonight I am going to watch my little brother’s band play a support slot, so tonight should be really good. I haven’t watched them in while either so I’m excited.

Whilst being back I am still trying to keep up with some work at I have to do. For my Text to Screen module we have to read a novel a week. Since starting back I’ve read Call of Cthulu and Flowers for Algernon (I loved Flowers for Algernon, I cried my eyes out!) and this week I have been reading Big Fish which I have really been enjoying so far. So I’m trying to keep on top of that so I have read it in time for my lecture. It’s been a big shock to everyone how much the workload has increased for our third year. But I’m managing it so far I think.

Also in relation to my last post, about the PGCE, I’ve found out a little more information about how I apply, which is through the college and not through UCAS as I originally thought. I will also have to do 150 hours in a work placement (I knew about the placement just wasn’t sure about how much I had to do) as well as the course will be on Fridays from September. So I’m really excited about it now. There’s an open evening on the 7th November. Luckily that is in my reading week/independent study week, so I should be able to go to it.

I’m finally happy that I am starting to organise my future a lot more!!

Faye’s Blog – Life Plans.

The question that everyone student constantly gets asked by other students  family and friends is:

“So, what do you want to do after university?”

And from personal experience and from talking to my friends we have all agreed that it is extremely irritating as for most of the part we don’t know exactly what we want to do. I know that this doesn’t apply to 100% of people as some are well organised and know what they want to do and that is why they’re at university.

However, a lot of students are like myself and have been really undecided throughout our time here.

Throughout college I really wanted to be a Media Production teacher. But when I came to university I wasn’t so sure. Now that I am in my third year I think that it is really time to just think about life and what I want to do.

So recently I went back to my old college back at home (The Blackpool Sixth Form College) and spoke to my old tutor teacher and met the current students that are studying BTEC Media Production. Just being back there and observing the students do their work it brought back lots and lots of amazing memories and I really remembered how much I loved college and loved the course. The college has also done a fantastic job at expanding the BTEC Media Production course too so there is a lot more that the students can do. It was all really really exiting. So I asked my teacher what she thought about me becoming a teacher and she said she thought that I would be an asset and that she would love for me to work at the college.

That got me thinking about becoming a teacher again and I have started looking into it. And if there is a decent well paid job at the end of it I think that is it something to aim too. I’m pretty excited to graduate now and then hopefully go on to do my PGCE! Need to work harder than ever now.

I am also going to attend one of Edge Hill’s many career fairs next week in order to try and see what else is out there and if I can see if there is any more information that I don’t already have about the PGCE.