Pavlov's Couch

A Psychology Student's Mental Experience

Archive for the tag “student ambassador”

Head Start Week 2012

Brunel University Entrance photoThat time of year is here again when a lucky group of new students gets to take part in Head Start Week – a week of lectures, seminars, fun events, and generally learning about the university. The week is designed to get students who have been out of education for a bit used to university life, both in terms of the academic side and the practical side. The lectures and seminars cover everything from time-management to statistics, essay writing to critical thinking. Through the week each group also prepares a presentation which they deliver at the end of the week.

I took part in Head Start Week when I started university, and by the end of the week I found that I was a hell of a lot more prepared for university study, not to mention familiar with the campus and university itself. Last year I had the pleasure of being on the other side of things and worked as a student ambassador for the week, introducing new things as is my style, a Facebook group to promote the social side of things and a pdf booklet that captured all the questions and answers and other useful stuff from the week. This year, starting Monday this coming week, I will be returning to that role and my additions from last year will be re-appearing also.

I love Head Start Week, both as a concept and as something to get involved with. As well as being an extremely valuable week to prepare new students it is also incredibly social, and the friends new students make in this week will most likely be friends for life. It is such an experience to be involved in that and to give these new students the confidence to start their course on a strong footing. I honestly can’t wait for Monday and to meet the new group – in fact I have even met a couple already at open days and other events!

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Being an Ambassador

I have been a Student Ambassador for Widening Participation pretty much since my first week at Brunel. I was introduced to the scheme by the ambassadors that facilitated Head Start Week that I attended in my first year (a week before freshers week where certain students have the opportunity to come in, experience various lectures and seminars, and get to explore the campus and services). As a ambassador for widening participation I get to talk to younger students from under represented backgrounds about the benefits and experience of higher education. I give short talks on my experience as a student, take groups on tours of the campus, and try to fill young students with an interest and enthusiasm for higher education that they might not otherwise have.

And there are days like today, where I am at a higher education fayre at a college. I am here to talk to students and parents and there are a lot more practical questions to answer (most groups on campus are primary or middle school so much more general interest).

I love this work, I love having the opportunity to encourage people from a more difficult background (like myself) to aim higher, to believe in themselves and aspire to be better than the opportunities given to them. And as a student I have to admit that, being paid work, the money is certainly welcome!

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