How To Get The Most Out Of Going To University

How To Get The Most Out Of Going To University

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University education opens the doors to a bigger, better and opportunity-filled world for its graduates. According to the UN, not only are university graduates better paid in the workplace but compared to high school graduates, they have longer life spans, better access to health care, better dietary and health practices and increased economic stability and security.

Most of us have expectations of what university is like based on what we see in movies and TV shows. But actually, the incredible thing about university is that it can be anything you want it to be!

It can be a creative outlet for artistic expression or a hub for intellectual debate. It can a place for you to discover your strengths and abilities or to discover something completely new about yourself. It can be a place to meet new people from all around the world, and a place to have plenty of fun while also studying something you are actually passionate about.

With this being said, there is also no doubt that transitioning from a high school graduate to a university student can be a little daunting, especially if you are uncertain of what to expect. To help you make a smoother transition from school to university and to help you get the most of your university experience, we have listed 8 useful tips below.

Choose your university courses carefully
Consider your interests as well as which courses would be best for your career choice. Avoid choosing courses because they appear to be an easy option as you may not like or be able to engage with the content. Moreover, avoid choosing courses just because a friend is doing it – you will definitely meet new people and make new friends in every course you do. Take your time doing your research about various courses and ask for advice from academic counsellors to make well-informed choices.

Be the master of your fate and the captain of your ship
Your first few weeks at university will be a little daunting as you juggle various assignments and keep up with numerous classes. One way to overcome this is to view university as a great big ocean with endless wonderful possibilities. You have the chance to try different academic programmes, learn from experts and the best minds in your field, and explore your academic passions. Think of yourself as the captain of a ship navigating through these waters. This means you need to be in charge and take control of this journey or else you run the risk of being swept away by heavy storms. You can do this by keeping track of your deadlines, attending classes and tutorials regularly, and taking a proactive role in your studies. This will make university a calm sea to navigate.

Immerse yourself in student life
University is usually one of the only times in your life where you will have the chance to move out of your comfort zone, try new things, be exposed to new opportunities, and connect with people of diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. Don’t be afraid to push your comfort zone and be open to the many social and networking opportunities that are available for you to get involved in. If you are not sure how to get involved in campus life, get in touch with your university’s student council. Student councils often lead various student associations, societies, and initiatives like sporting clubs, cultural societies, debate teams etc.

Always prioritise your studies
Whilst it may be easy to get distracted by the social and fun aspects of university life, it is very important to remember why you are there. At the end of your undergraduate career, you will need to graduate with a degree, and with good grades as well. It is therefore important to maintain a balance between having fun and studying. Do not risk an assignment deadline or studying for an exam to attend a party or a social event. The wonderful thing about university life is that there are always social events throughout the year, so study first and have fun later.

Attend extracurricular lectures and seminars
Most universities invite guest speakers and lecturers who are subject-matter experts and leaders in their respective fields. These guest lectures are usually freely available and are unique opportunities to learn something new in your field or in a completely different field and to meet some really interesting and innovative people who will be a great source of inspiration. These events will also be a great opportunity for networking.

Make use of university resources
Universities offer their students various resources to help them excel in their studies including well-equipped libraries, study rooms, free internet access, state-of-the-art sporting facilities and so much more.  Find out what your university has to offer and instead of spending your own money on expensive services outside the university, you can utilise the excellent free resources your university provides for you.

Be open to new opportunities
Most universities offer opportunities for students to apply for bursaries, university exchange programmes or to earn money whilst studying.  Find out about these opportunities and don’t be afraid to apply to be a part of them. These opportunities are great for preparing you for the working world and exposing you to new cultures and ways of thinking.

Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Universities offer a plethora of health and wellness resources on campus to help students who feel overwhelmed, homesick, stressed or who are just simply in need of a friendly ear. Your mental and emotional health is as important as your physical wellbeing, so reach out to people you trust or your university’s student health services for guidance.

As a final word of advice, don’t forget to enjoy your journey through university.  The movies and TV shows got one thing right about university- they are usually some of the best years of your life!

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

The Differences between Internships, Learnerships and Work Experience

The Differences between Internships, Learnerships and Work Experience

What's new?

Before delving into what makes internships, learnerships and work experience different, it is good to know that all three do provide a platform for you to learn and gain some exposure in whatever field you choose to pursue.

Like all things, however, there are aspects to each of these that makes them different and it is always beneficial to know what route to take when pursuing either an internship, learnership or work experience.

Internships
One of the key points to note regarding internships is that every internship has a set period in which an organization will allocate to the fulfilment of that it. Some internships will run from a period of 1 month, sometimes 3-6 months or even a year. An internship can be paid or unpaid, with some internships also providing the option of a full- or part-time internship.

An unpaid internship often has some students questioning the fact that they will not be receiving any form of pay or minimum wage for the hours they put in. This issue is all dependent on the type of organization or company you are working for and the type of internship you are doing. To find out more about the applicability of minimum wage and who qualifies for this, you can go to the Government website and read up on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wages.

Most internships are taken up by students and graduates in the hopes of attaining a level of experience and skill-building. Internships provide a structured working experience and exposure that is aligned with your particular field of study. The main focus of an internship is to give you a feel of a full-time working environment and what a particular role is like, while simultaneously facilitating the enhancement of both your personal and career development.

If you are looking to find some internships and do not know where to start, the government graduate talent pool is quite useful. GT Scholars is also a good starting point if you are feeling a little lost and not sure what career path you would want to take and need some guidance and assistance with gaining confidence in your skills and personal development.

Learnerships
Learnerships are slightly different from internships and they are a popular approach being used by companies in order to develop individual skills and gain real work experience. A learnership is essentially a structured training programme that has both practical and theoretical elements that allow for those undertaking it to obtain a national qualification without having a formal education from a tertiary institution.

This simply means that those doing learnerships are able to gain the exposure of working that an intern would without having the qualification of a graduate. Learnerships tend to target students or individuals who have their GCSE as their highest qualification. The learnership is an avenue that allows them to obtain a national qualification while simultaneously working. Simply put, a learnership is a work-based learning programme and yes, most learnerships are paid.

Unlike an internship which involves an agreement between an employer or company and the intern, a learnership contract involves an employer, you the learner, and a training provider. The practical aspect of a learnership is facilitated by your employer through the provision of training, mentoring and guidance for the time that you will be taking on the learnership. The training provider facilitates the theoretical aspect of a learnership. This is the same as having a typical classroom session in which you are taught specific things in order to apply them to your role in that learnership.

Work Experience
A work experience programme, sometimes known as a work placement, differs from an internship or learnership as this role has less extensive training or requirements than the previous two. It is more of an observatory learning role. Student work experience can be gained in a number of ways with the most common work experience programmes being work placements, volunteer programmes, careers events, and insight days set by certain employers for school-leavers.

Work placements can be arranged by your school or you can take the initiative yourself, and this runs over a short period of a week in a certain organization or location in order to give you a first-hand look of what working at a particular organization can be like.

Careers events are usually organized by either schools or organizations in order to meet employers who will give insight into what their organizations are about and what opportunities they offer to students and school-leavers. Some organizations will have a careers day or an after-school career programme in which students can participate in.

Volunteering is an open-ended field and there are always opportunities to apply yourself to and serve in your community. You can go look at the Volunteer Matters website to get you started and help you with both your career and personal development.

Other working avenues to get yourself involved in are extracurricular activities such as after-school academic, social or entrepreneur programmes or clubs and applying for competitions that focus on the working world. Applying for student leadership roles in school and afterschool clubs are also a good way to develop your working experience and personal skills.

Whether you decide to go for an internship, learnership or work experience, all three provide a platform for you to develop yourself both personally and professionally. Being prepared for them is just as important as applying for them. One of the best ways to prepare for them is to invest in your personal development and these are your skills, confidence and all-round performance in and outside of school.

GT Scholars is one avenue that can definitely help you in preparation for the future roles and career paths you want to explore. GT Scholars offers a variety of strategically designed programmes and workshops that aid in enriching and developing you to be the best version of yourself.

In the Know – Take charge of your career!

In the Know – Take charge of your career!

In The Know What's new?

It’s never too early for young people to start planning for their future! With a wide range of career opportunities available, it is also helpful for them to get some guidance on how to go about choosing a career. This week’s activities aim to do just that with events and programmes that will give you and your child the necessary tools to help them make the best career choices.

GT Scholars Careers Day 2019
Our 4th annual Careers Day is happening on Saturday 16th March 2019 at Goldsmiths, University of London. This highly anticipated free workshop aims to address the questions that arise when young people are considering their career options through a panel of young professionals from a range of careers in Law, Medicine, Engineering, and Technology. To book your ticket, click here.

GT Scholars Parent and Pupil Information Session
On Saturday 23rd March 2019 we will be hosting two information sessions for pupils and parents. The sessions will be an opportunity for you and your child to find out more about the Bright Ambitions and Head Start Programmes. The sessions will also include strategies and techniques on how you can improve your child’s grades. To book your place, click here.

Applications for Bright Ambitions are now Open!
Our Bright Ambitions programme is for ambitious young people aged between 13-16 who want to gain leadership skills, improve their grades, get mentoring support and get into top universities. The programme offers 1-to-1 tutoring and mentoring sessions as well as enrichment workshops throughout the school term. The application deadline is Tuesday 26th March 2019. Find out how to apply here.

LSE CHOICE
The London School of Economics CHOICE programme gives talented young people from London state schools and colleges the tools they need to get into highly selective universities. Students in Year 12 or 13 can apply for a free place in one of 5 subject streams: Economics, Government and politics, History, Mathematics or Sociology. Applications close on Sunday 10th March at 11.59pm! Find out more here.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Explore your career options!

In the Know – Explore your career options!

In The Know What's new?

There are so many new career options emerging every year. However, young people are often not aware of the many pathways they can pursue after they are done with school. It is essential for them to assess their skills and find a career they are passionate about. This week we have three opportunities for young people to gain an insight into different careers.

GT Scholars Career Insight Programme
As part of the launch to the new GT Scholars Career Insight Programme which will begin in August, we will be offering young people a chance to attend a career workshop on Thursday 21st February at the EY offices in Canary Wharf. During this free workshop, young people aged 14-17 will have the chance to hear from professionals in a range of careers and understand the different paths that they took to achieve their career aspirations. To book your ticket, click here

Want a career in Aviation?
The Heathrow Jobs and Careers Fair 2019 will be taking place on Thursday 28th February. This free event will allow young people to meet with over 80 airport-based employers, educational institutions, volunteering organisations and apprenticeship programmes. They will be able to get the latest information about vacancies, placements and training available at the airport. To find out more, click here

Find your Opportunity!
The Festival of Opportunities will be running over the February half term. Suitable for young people aged 12-18, this series of events helps young people explore their potential, develop their skills and find out about great careers. Featured in this year’s festival are visits to Sky Media Studios and University of West London. To find out more, click here

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Create and collaborate!

In the Know – Create and collaborate!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Did you know that LinkedIn has identified creativity and collaboration as two of the most sought-after soft skills by companies? Young people can benefit from learning these skills from a young age, so this week we bring you three activities which are centred around creativity, collaboration and careers!

Get Creative!
The Design Museum runs the Young Creatives programme for young people aged 14-19 years old. They have monthly meetings where young people work together as a team on design-based projects. They will get to take part in 2D and 3D design, join in workshops with designers and members of the museum team, and gain career insights. To find out more about how you can join, click here.

Learn about Careers!
Kidzania’s career fair will be taking place on Wednesday 23rd January and Thursday 24th January. Young people aged between 10 and 14 can participate in a series of workshops which encourage them to work as a team and develop their communication and problem-solving skills. They get to do all this whilst learning about different careers! Find out more here.

Vlog like a pro!
Young people have the chance to participate in MediaTrust’s Vlogging training on Monday 28th January. This free workshop, taking place at Google Academy London, is suitable for young people aged 16 and above. Lessons for the day include video editing, presentation skills and confidence building. Book your tickets here.

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. We run after-school and weekend programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-18. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Upcoming scholarship opportunities!

In the Know – Upcoming scholarship opportunities!

In The Know Parents What's new?

University can be quite expensive, but there are many different ways young people can access funding for tuition, accommodation or books. One such way is through a scholarship programme. Here are three scholarship opportunities that are currently open for young people looking to join an undergraduate engineering programme at a university.

The Kingsbury Scholarship
The Kingsbury Scholarship is a highly prestigious engineering scholarship aimed at bright and dynamic students who intend to study at Imperial College London. With a total value of £20,000 per year for up to 4 years, eligible candidates must also agree to take part in one or more internships or work placements in a UK engineering industry, either before their start at Imperial, as part of their course, or in two or more summer breaks. Online applications must be submitted no later than 5pm on Thursday, 1st June 2018. Find out more here.

Chris Seymour Bursary
The Chris Seymour Bursary aims to support one UK female student in financial need who wants to study electronic or electrical engineering at University College London. The award will be £10,416 per year, based on a three-year programme and is subject to satisfactory academic progress. Applicants must hold an offer of admission to UCL to study a full-time undergraduate degree within the UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences. The deadline for the application is Friday, 6th July 2018 at 5pm. Find out more here.

IGEM Undergraduate Scholarship
The Institute of Gas Engineers & Managers Undergraduate Scholarship is open to students who currently hold a conditional or unconditional offer for an undergraduate Engineering Council accredited course at any university in the UK. Successful students will receive up to £9,000 for full-time study. Renewal of the funding after the first year is conditional on satisfactory progress being made. Applications must be submitted by Saturday, 30th June 2018. Find out more here.

GT Scholars offers after-school programmes that focus on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. Our programmes include tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.

In the Know – Get ready for the working world!

In the Know – Get ready for the working world!

In The Know Parents What's new?

It was International Workers Day on Tuesday, so this week we want to tell you about a few work experience opportunities that your child may be interested in. Nothing prepares your child better for the world of work than a few days of work experience, and we hope the following programmes will provide this valuable insight.

GSK School Work Experience
GlaxoSmithKline is a science-led global healthcare company that researches and develops a broad range of innovative products. They offer work experience programmes for GCSE and A-Level (or equivalent) students at fixed times during the year. During the programme, you will get a real insight into GSK, the site, their various functions and the people who make up their business and you’ll learn about the importance of the work they do. Applications for their GCSE July programme closes on the 16th of May 2018. Find out more here.

PRIME Work Experience
PRIME is an alliance of more than 60 law firms across the UK, committed to improving access to the legal profession through work experience. Each law firm runs a work experience programme that is committed to providing at least 30-35 hours of contact time to young people from Years 9 to 13 who are interested in the legal career field. They also aim to improve access to young people at state schools and on free school meals or the first person in their family to go to university. Find out more here.

Croda Work Experience
Croda is a chemicals company that creates, makes and sells speciality chemicals that deliver real benefits to a range of diverse products including health and beauty, engine lubricants, plastics and many more. They are a global organisation with over 4000 employees, who work across 18 manufacturing sites and in offices in over 30 countries. They are able to offer a limited number of work experience placements to school/college students in the UK. Find out more here.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.

In the Know – Apprenticeships to accelerate your career!

In the Know – Apprenticeships to accelerate your career!

In The Know Parents What's new?

It’s the beginning of the final term of the year, but we know that most young people are already thinking about what to do after school. One option is to join an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship gives young people hands-on experience, a salary and the opportunity to get a degree in a relevant field. Here are three great apprenticeships for young people finishing their GCSEs or A-Levels this year.

IT Degree Apprenticeship
If your child is looking for an alternative, accelerated path into the IT industry, they should consider this 4 ½ year study and work programme from Capgemini. It includes all the opportunities you need to prepare for a successful career in the IT industry, acquiring technical skills in software engineering as well as broader business-related personal development, and you will receive a BSc (Honours) degree in Digital & Technology Solutions. The closing date for applications is the 8th of June 2018 for the intake in September. Find out more here.

PR & Communications Apprenticeship
This programme from the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency provides an exciting apprentice opportunity for someone looking to develop a career and gain a qualification in communications. This role involves supporting the full range of PR activities, from project management and social media to writing news and digital content. GCSE students may also apply and the closing date is the 23rd of April 2018 for the intake in June. Find out more here.

Business Analyst Apprenticeship
Legal & General Investment Management Ltd is looking for someone with a desire to learn and contribute to become an apprentice Information Systems Business Analyst. You will receive full training, support and development throughout the 2-year program and gain formal qualifications alongside additional training in both the technology and the investment management domains. The closing date for applications is the 27th of May 2018 for the intake in September. Find out more here.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.

In the Know – Engineering and tech events this month!

In the Know – Engineering and tech events this month!

In The Know Parents What's new?

Several years ago, most promising graduates from top universities used to flock to rewarding careers in finance. Today, on the other hand, young people are increasingly pursuing jobs in tech and engineering because these careers, dominated by tech companies like Google and Apple, are more innovative in nature, give employees a deeper sense of motivation and offer wider flexibility. Here are three upcoming events for young people interested in these fields.

Coolest Projects UK
Coolest Projects is a world-leading annual showcase that empowers and inspires the next generation of digital creators, innovators, changemakers, and entrepreneurs. At this free event, young people can explore the infinite possibilities of interacting with digital technology, try out amazing software and augmented reality experiences, learn about using programming to help people all over the globe, and much more. The event will run from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 28th April 2018. Find out more here.

The Bright Ideas Challenge
Students aged 11 to 14 can enter The Bright Ideas Challenge by Shell which invites young people to use their creativity, problem-solving, teamwork and STEM skills to devise innovative solutions that could power healthy and clean cities of the future. Students will need to talk to their science teacher about entering the competition and the deadline is on Friday 27th April 2018 at 5pm. There are great prizes available including cash prizes for students and schools, access to workshops, and a funded VIP experience at the Make the Future Live event in London. Find out more on how to enter here.

To Mars and Beyond: Engineering Our Future in Space
Organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering, this event offers students interested in engineering and space exploration to hear from well-established professionals about the growing space industry, the latest technologies including the ExoMars Rover and satellite engineering projects, and future opportunities as space becomes more commercial. The event is free for students and £10 for adults and is taking place on the 23rd of April 2018 from 6pm to 8.30pm. Find out more here.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.

In the Know – Spring STEM activities!

In the Know – Spring STEM activities!

In The Know Parents What's new?

With the season of Spring officially beginning, we are sure that your child is eager to put their winter jackets away and step into the warm sunshine (when it does eventually return). While they wait for the sun to show up, here are some upcoming events and fun activities for them to learn more about the fascinating world of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Imperial Festival 2018
The annual Imperial Festival returns on the 28th-29th April at the South Kensington Campus of Imperial College London. This free event is open to all ages and offers a showcase of technological marvels to celebrate the Year of Engineering, a hands-on zone for families, and talks from world-leading thinkers and innovators. There will also be a chance to go behind-the-scenes and explore the latest research and innovations from Imperial College London through interactive demonstrations, workshops and live experiments. Find out more here.

Young Astronomers Workshop
The Planetarium & Astronomy Centre of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich offers free weekend workshops for young aspiring astronomers. Running from the 1st of April to the 30th of June, these workshops will allow your child to learn about space science and exploration, and also learn more about careers in astronomy from the team of Observatory Explainers. Find out more here.

The Deep Time Walk
The Deep Time Walk is a ground-breaking new project, which enables anyone, anywhere to experience a walking audio history of the living Earth. As you walk across 4.6km of deep time (representing 4.6bn years of Earth’s big history), you witness the formation of our planet and its self-sustaining nature and you experience long geological processes and self-regulating patterns that have produced our current conditions. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices. You can also find out more here.

The GT Scholars Programme is an after-school programme that focuses on social mobility, growth mindset and helping young people to achieve their aspirations. The programme includes tutoring, mentoring and enrichment sessions for young people aged 11-16. If you would like to know more, please contact us here.