A Business Student’s Guide To The Catalyst.

The Catalyst will be the second or third most important building on campus for yourself most likely. The toss-up between the two comes down to how much you love your bed or not, or perhaps how much time you spend at the Student Union bar. Those two locations are blogs for another time. Today, this blog will be about the Catalyst building and how I used it as a student of the Business School. Each course will use the building differently, for example, I didn’t have to use the computer systems as I have a laptop, and did not need bespoke software.

The Catalyst.

Aside from the coffee shop, I used the group workspace areas downstairs in the Catalyst the most out of the whole building within my first year. Some modules in my course were comprised of a lot of group tasks, assignments, activities that had to be done in a group to succeed. Using our accommodation, which would’ve been more homely, was not an option most of the time, so often my groups and I found ourselves in a pod or at a table in the Catalyst. It can be a loud environment so if you’re getting on with some work down there, I recommend earphones. I think every new student reading my blog should consider using the Catalyst to write one assignment in its entirety once over your time at Edge Hill, it’s usually open all hours as long as you have your student card.

Moving on from workspaces, the Catalyst will be where you need to get books from if you are not purchasing them yourself. Whenever you go to take a book out ensure you have your student card handy, or else you won’t be able to take it back to your accommodation or home that day. Blackboard will allow you to check the code and floor of the book you’re looking for which makes locating texts infinitely easier. For example, a lot of my books, for my course, live on the second floor.

An example of Blackboard’s book location capabilities, taken from one of my module reading lists.

Many different students are going to have many different uses for the Catalyst, but the two I have discussed are the two most prominent for myself as a Business School student, but also myself in terms of what resources are on offer. An important thing to add about the Catalyst is that you can loan out laptops, allowing you to work anywhere. I hope if you are a new student, attending this coming October, this blog has excited you about the Catalyst building and what it may offer yourself as a student at Edge Hill University.


Computing at Edge Hill – Turning Education into Cash

education to cash

First year at university is great. You get to meet new people, do new things and have a real sense of freedom. But what if I told you, and brace yourself for this, that your education can make you some extra cash even if you’re only in first year. In this blog I will focus on my own course, computing. So here are 3 ways you can turn your 1st year at EHU into cold hard cash.

Website Design

In your first year of EHU computing you will be exposed to several modules. Everything from Networking to Security. But a module that you can take and turn into real world cash with little to no previous experience is Web Design. Everyone needs a website. If you have the ambition and drive you can very easily start designing websites for local companies and enterprises for cash. Not only will this make you richer but it will build on your knowledge. It’s like getting paid to study.

Server hosting

Servers run the internet and much more beside it that we use every day. In your first year of university you will learn how they are used and networked to provide services like file storage, websites and even game hosting. It may seem daunting but to get started you can use any computer and install some basic software. If you want to host a website check out Apache. If you want to try a file server google “FTP Server”. Before long you could be hosting servers for websites across the globe.

Admin and office work

Office work can be a pain but small businesses are always looking out for someone with a keen eye for detail and style. In my first year at university I have worked with many small companies who cannot find anyone to draft and create documents like invoices and receipts and even type out emails. It might be boring work but it usually pays well and anybody can do it. So get out there and do it.

That’s all for this weeks blog. If you want to find out more about EHU computing and more information on different courses you can check out here!

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Juggling your time whilst at university

With the second semester now underway I’ve decided to turn my attention to my time management. Time management is incredibly important, especially whilst at uni. There is just so much that we all want to fit into our days that without planning it is easy to find yourself with an increasing workload.

But this doesn’t have to be the case! By having a few simple time management tricks you can free up so much time for going out with friends or simply an extra lazy afternoon. Here’s some top tips that I use to manage my time.

1. Use a diary for important dates and for planning your week

Without my diary I would be completely lost! I have a paper diary that I carry in my bag as I find this the most helpful way of being able to see clearly what I need to do and when. However, whatever type of diary works for you would work just as well. By spending a few minutes at the start of my week working out what I want to achieve by the end of it I can ensure that I leave enough time for the things that are important to me, like going to the gym and spending time with my family.

2. Don’t be afraid to say no

Sometimes we all need time to ourselves to relax and just have some time being lazy or to take a nap. It is important to remember that this is completely okay. Saying no to friends, family or extra commitments occasionally can help to improve your health and will let your body rest and recharge, meaning you’ll feel much better about your week ahead. 

3. Try to get your work schedule in advance

If you’re working a part-time job whilst studying try to get your work schedule as far in advance as you can. Whilst this isn’t always possible, fitting your work hours in during the quieter times of your semester can help you to free up valuable time around submission deadlines.

Comment below with any top tips that you have, it’s great to share. 

What to do with your time off

For many of us we are now in our Easter break and at university this can be anything from 2 weeks to 4 weeks, and for some term may have already ended for the year leaving you with a new chunk of free time to occupy.

One of the first things I’d suggest to do is take some time to focus on your well being. This can be anything from just lighting a candle, spending a day looking after yourself or watching your film. Whilst at university you can often forget to indulge in the things that make you feel good. When you have time off its okay to be a little selfish and take time out just for yourself. Whilst its good to see friends and family, try not to fill your schedule completely. It can be easy to organise a host of activities going here, there and everywhere and before you know it the break is over.  Take time to rest and relax.

Don’t feel pressure to go home either, for some people staying at University can be more beneficial as they feel that they can work better or just enjoy spending some time alone. This can often be difficult for parents to understand so try to explain your reasons and hopefully they will understand. As well as this for some people who suffer from homesickness it can be easier to stay rather going backwards and forwards.

If you plan to do university work over your Easter break try and organise times to fit this in. There’s nothing worse than sitting everyday saying you’re going to start something and just sitting, waiting, procrastinating and putting it off and wasting a day that could have been spent doing something else. Make sure if you are taking books home from the library you reserve them to avoid getting fines whilst you’re away from university. As well as university work some people may choose to go home to a job. This is a great opportunity to earn money ready for the summer or for the next term of university.

As well as working, the Easter break is also a great time to travel. At University the longer break puts you at an advantage as you can book flights or breaks out of the ‘school holidays’ and benefit from cheaper travel especially if you’re booking in advance. Depending on what you are studying you may be given a yearly overview during your first week, with dates of holidays included, this can help you organise an appropriate time to travel and book as early as possible to make the most of deals.

Basically you need to take the time to do whatever it is that you want to do, whether that be staying at university working or going home and doing nothing, it is your break and you should make the most of it however you choose to spend it.

Jobs whilst you’re at uni

So summer is coming, what are you going to do!? Chill hopefully, and enjoy a summer with no work! However if you are like the many students that scrimp and save money you may be thinking about getting a summer job or a part-time job for when you get to uni!

You may feel like you’ll be the only one out of your friends to have a job, but don’t worry that will definitely not be the case! Plus, it’s totally worth it when you get your wage at the end of the month, that money you get will be your bread and butter….. Literally!

Plus the social side of working is brilliant to meet people of all ages from all aspects of life.

So if you’re wanting to get a job in Ormskirk I’d highly recommend you’re ready with your CV before you come so you can drop them off in shops/pubs, as they tend to advertise vacancies in their shop windows or you can submit them online. At the beginning of the year there seem to be lots of vacancies so you will hopefully be spoilt for choice!

The whole concept of having a job throughout uni will also look great to prospective employers as it shows you can successfully juggle your responsibilities and studies… Therefore your time management skills will definitely be up to scratch!

Anyway, good luck!!