How To Get The Most Out Of Going To University

How To Get The Most Out Of Going To University

What's new?

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.

Nature vs Nurture: Are gifts and talents down to a child’s natural ability or can they be nurtured?

Nature vs Nurture: Are gifts and talents down to a child’s natural ability or can they be nurtured?

What's new?

Young people discover their gifts and passions as they grow. As they discover their abilities, should parents take an active role to nurture these abilities, or should it just be left to nature?

In this context, nature is defined as the innate disposition of someone or the inherent attributes of a person – simply put, it is what makes up the person. Nurture, on the other hand, means to actively care for or develop someone so that they certain skills or abilities.

Each child has natural abilities that may depend on biology, genetics or the environment they grow up in. Abilities that depend on biology and genetics are usually to do with physical attributes – for example, for a child to excel in basketball, it would be easier if they are tall. It is not impossible if they are short, but it is far easier.

Natural abilities are part of what a child is made of and may play a role in their personal identity. They usually manifest themselves in the early stages of a child’s life. However, these natural abilities are usually just seeds waiting to grow, and as with any other seed, they need to be nurtured and nourished to grow and develop into a plant.

Hence, as your child grows, you can play an active role in nurturing their natural abilities to grow into fully-fledged abilities and talents. You can make sure that they are exposed to the right environment and experiences, that they are receiving enough resources and support from someone that can help them such as a teacher or coach, and that they are guided in the right direction.

You can also help your child to explore and discover their natural abilities by being observant of what they excel in, providing opportunities for them to explore various things from creative to academic, and getting them help from a guidance counsellor or insight workshop if need be.

How you can nurture your child’s gifts and talents
Like anything in life, a gift cannot grow on its own, it requires deliberate and intentionally guided steps to develop it to its maximum potential. However, when nurturing a child’s gifts, it’s important to listen to their needs as well. Here a few helpful points when helping them to discover and develop their natural abilities.

  • Give them time to discover their natural abilities by themselves. Generally, children like to explore, and they do this better without a parent’s preconceived ideas of where they would like their children to go in life. Give them time to do what they are interested in without being directly involved but just being there to observe and guide them
  • Provide them with resources and opportunities that will help not only unlock their gift but further develop it. Resources could include a musical instrument of their interest or identifying opportunities where the child can showcase their gift in front of an audience, even if it is just family members or at school. This can also help to build up their confidence. You can also play an active role in helping them practise their talents, for example, if your child’s talents lie in playing chess, you can buy them a chess board to practice with and you can play with them to develop their skills. If you don’t have the skills, you could also get someone else to play with them which will develop a healthy competitive element in them
  • Be their biggest supporter. They may not always feel inspired to do what they love, especially if they fail to perform at their best, so it is up to you to encourage them. They need to be taught that sometimes it’s okay to fail, it doesn’t mean they are bad, it just means that they learn from their mistakes and improve on that. As a parent, it means the world to your child when they know you support them. Whether you know much about their gift or not, let your child know you are there for them
  • Enlist the help of someone with more knowledge regarding their gift to guide them. Professional help goes a long way especially if your child wants to make a living out of their gift. Finding a coach or teacher to provide specialised support/guidance is important as it helps to identify the child’s strengths and areas that still need improvement so they can perform at their optimum.

In conclusion, one would say that, for a child to fully realise their potential in any area of their interest, both natural abilities and the nurturing of these will play an integral part. It’s only when the gift has been identified that one can help further develop the talent by providing the right environment and ensuring the child gets the necessary support. This support can either be in terms of the supply of resources/tools or emotional support.

GT Scholars offers many opportunities for young people to discover and develop their gifts and talents. 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.

Here’s why young people want to join our programme!

Here’s why young people want to join our programme!

What's new?

We want to make sure that young people have a chance to tell us why they want to join one of our programmes. So, as part of the application process for each term, we ask for all applicants to write a short essay about themselves, their role models and why they want to join GT Scholars.

Here are a few excerpts from some of our favourite essays that we received this term.

I am a very ambitious person; I believe that joining GT Scholars would be the perfect way for me to successfully achieve my academic and career aspirations, of working in the finance or science industry. Also I believe joining GT Scholars would help me to improve my grades in school and in turn enter any top university or apprenticeship of my choice in the future – Abigail, age 15

I would like to join the GT Scholars programme because I would like to go to UCL and study computer science and mechanical engineering. I would like to learn complicated programming so that I could develop software that can help people and companies – Ameer, age 11

I personally would like to join the programme solely due to me wanting to advance in my subjects and to get a good future career. As I have chosen maths as my preferred subject for application I’d like to work on that and improve it to the best of my ability. I wouldn’t say that I’m struggling in maths however I do believe that I could be performing far better than what I currently am – Pedram, age 15

Maths is one of my favorite subjects because of how easy it is for me. English however is not easy due to it not being as literal and straight to the point as math is, I struggle a bit with analyzing texts and when it comes to writing stories, I can think of an idea, but I struggle with getting the words onto a page. I hope the GT Scholars Programme can help me find English a bit easier and to be able to tackle questions with more confidence – Jaylen, age 14

I want to become a psychiatrist when I’m older, therefore I need to achieve the best and develop the skills I have now, since it is a competitive field of a career. Joining the programme is important to me because I think I would really benefit from extra support with my work, and I believe that this programme will give me the help I need to be able to achieve the best I can possibly do – Maria-Stephanie, age 15

I would like to join the GT scholars programme as I believe I could thrive with the support provided. I like that I would have access to a mentor as well as a tutor who can provide me with help and challenges in order to flourish. When I am older, I aspire to be a financial lawyer. I believe with the help of GT scholars it is
possible for me to achieve this goal as both my mentor and my tutor could provide me with the support and advice I need to reach this – Jessica, age 14

I would like to join the GT Scholars programme because I generally don’t have a set career path that I want to pursue and I believe that this will help me to figure out my future career. My main aspiration is to own a business at some point of my life, but at the moment I don’t have access to any workshops or opportunities that will help me decide if it actually is something that I want to pursue – Laura, Age 15

I am very excited to see how this will turn out for me. I have heard that GT Scholars uses a variety of techniques to help me and I want to be able to gain these techniques and use these techniques myself to help me. I am excited to be a part of this opportunity and this new tutoring experience. I want to gain a lot from this programme, and I believe I will – Ahmad, age 15

There are many reasons why young people want to join one of our programmes. Some want to improve their grades at school so they can access their dream career, while others want some help with figuring out their future aspirations.

With the range of programmes we offer, we are able to help young people with whatever they need. 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 – Get digital and creative!

In the Know – Get digital and creative!

In The Know What's new?

This week’s newsletter provides a few ways for your child to learn more about the digital and creative space. These activities will get them excited about discovering new concepts and ideas while also providing a fun and interesting way to learn beyond the classroom. Don’t miss out!

Now Play This!
Now Play This is offering gamers a real treat with their interactive and playful work festival at Somerset House from Saturday 6th April to Sunday 14th April. This festival will be showcasing the best of experimental game design from around the world and is ideal for gamers aged 11+. Tickets are £6.50 for students and £8 for adults. Don’t miss out on the colourful installations and an opportunity to game with the best! Find out more here.

Build Britain in Minecraft!
This weekend, the British Museum will be going digital with their Roman Britain workshop. This free event will have your child taking inspiration from the Roman Britain artefacts around the museum and using it to create their own version in Minecraft! This workshop is an ideal way for 11-14 year olds to combine historical learning with the modern day fun of Minecraft. Find out more here.

Roy’s People Art Fair
This exhibition taking place at the Bargehouse OXO Tower Wharf will be showcasing the work of the very best in emerging art. Open to the whole family, this free event will be offering art lovers the chance to explore the work of 85 emerging artists, alongside an immersive features programme. Don’t miss out on London’s only artist-run art fair. Find out more about bookings and get more information 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.

Is Private Tuition Widening The Gap In Attainment?

Is Private Tuition Widening The Gap In Attainment?

What's new?

Every young person has subjects they thrive in, and other subjects that are not so easy for them to get to understand. We all know that high-quality private tutoring can be of great assistance when trying to improve their grades in these subjects.

With this being known, over the past few years, private tuition has exponentially grown in popularity as a way of improving grades. However, this has also had a negative effect on young people from the lowest income homes as they continue to find themselves attaining grades much lower than to their peers from the highest income homes.

And unfortunately, we also live in a world where private schools thrive with state-of-the-art facilities while state schools continue to struggle with budget cuts, a teacher retention crisis and large classroom sizes, which makes it nearly impossible for young people from lower income homes to compete with their peers from higher-income homes.

The numerous programmes to improve performance
What makes the gap in attainment between state school students and independent schools even wider, is the ease at which a typical student from a wealthier home can access high-quality private tuition and coaching programmes to help boost their grades, build study skills, improve their mindset and prepare for interviews to get into top universities.

All you need to do is a simple search in google for “Oxbridge preparation courses” and you’ll find hundreds of organisations that cater to the needs of wealthier pupils that are gunning for Oxbridge. They have the advantage of providing skilled professionals to support students preparing for Oxbridge & Russell Group universities in the UK.

You don’t have to attend these courses to get into the universities, but from what can be seen by their success rate, it would be safe to say that the courses have an effect on each pupil’s confidence and motivation, ultimately giving these students an advantage over their peers. It is also clear that the students who attend these programmes tend to be wealthier than your average state school student which reveals why the top universities are filled with students from wealthier backgrounds.

What’s available to students from lower income homes?
For your typical student from a lower-income home, these types of services are not locally available, not available in their school or simply not affordable. Moreover, most parents are not even aware of the additional support that these students need.

Having said this, there are still quite a few charitable organisations and top universities that run programmes to encourage children from lower-income homes to apply to their universities. The programmes will support and coach students from lower income homes, but the reality is that these courses are highly competitive and you’ll need to show evidence of having a very low income, going to one of their priority schools and students will need to have achieved very high grades in order to get in.

There is a strong case for affordable high-quality tuition
Tutoring programmes are very important for students who need help with a difficult subject, but also for those that need extra general support and help with exams and study skills. A private tutor can also make the difference between gaining the grades necessary for the future or falling short and missing out on future opportunities.

Private tutoring can benefit any young person, including those:

  • Who are not achieving the grades they expect or have been predicted due to struggles at school or at home
  • Who are not receiving the level of support necessary in school, whether in specific subjects or in general
  • Who, for any reason, have had to take an extended period of time away from their studies
  • Who want to focus further on a specific subject that they may not necessarily be struggling with, but desire to study at university and need to secure high grades to ensure this is possible.

How can we narrow the attainment gap
There are many ways to narrow the attainment gap, but one sure way is to help young people from low-income homes to receive the same support provided to those from wealthier homes.

For your child, there are many new and innovative programmes that are seeking to narrow this gap by providing high-quality tutoring and other educational programmes at an affordable rate.

The GT Scholars Programme one such programme that offers high-quality one-to-one tutoring at an affordable rate. We also offer a number of free places every term. Our programmes provide more than just private tuition – it also includes mentoring sessions, enrichment days, and skill-building workshops to help your child not only with their studies but also with developing life skills and confidence. Contact us if you would like to know more about any of our programmes and courses.

In the Know – Engage your senses!

In the Know – Engage your senses!

In The Know What's new?

Young people are naturally curious and eager to learn about and understand the world around them. Fun educational activities allow young people to understand and explore their environment. This week’s activities will give your child a chance to engage their senses in an educational way that will make learning fun!

Explore outer space!
This virtual reality mission into space will be a truly out-of-this-world experience as your teenagers get an opportunity to experience the thrill of being an astronaut from the perspective of Britain’s first astronaut, Tim Peake. This experience is suitable for 13+ and is taking place at the Science Museum. Tickets are £7 with family discounts available, find out more here

Have some fun in the sun
This event will bring the science of the sun to life as your child gets the opportunity to explore our closest star, the sun. In this exciting exhibition, your child can discover 3000-year-old artefacts, learn about upcoming space missions, nuclear fusion reactors and watch the sunrise around the world. This visual journey at the Science Museum is free for under 16s, find out more here

A day to design
This weekend, the V&A museum is giving young designers an opportunity to express themselves and learn. Young artists will be able to design garments and get design tips from designer Juliana Sissons. This £20 event will give young people aged between 13 and 15 years an opportunity to learn how the garments on display at the museum were made. To book tickets find out more here

GT Scholars is a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity. Our after-school tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programme is designed to help young people aged 11-18 achieve their academic and career aspirations. Visit our website if you’d like to know more about the GT Scholars Programme and how you can make a significant difference in young people’s lives.

7 Things to look into if you are considering obtaining your Degree in the USA

7 Things to look into if you are considering obtaining your Degree in the USA

What's new?

Studying abroad has become a very common option for young people over the years with the USA being the most popular student destination. According to InternationalStudents.com, the USA has the largest international student population with over 1 million international students pursuing educational opportunities each year.

Students are said to choose the USA for a number of reasons including academic excellence, advanced technology and research opportunities, a variety of educational opportunities, cultural education and an efficient support service for its international students.

Before you decide to study in the USA, there a number of things that an interested student should prepare in order to be considered as an international student in the USA and to get accepted into an American educational institution. Here are 7 things you should look into.

Do extensive research on the various educational institutions across the country
The USA has a number of state and private institutions positioned in different states offering similar majors and activities. However, it is important to note that these majors and activities also differ due to each states distinct identity which includes factors such as the climate, culture, and the economy. It is therefore advised that a student should read up on states and its institutions, and choose to study in an environment that compliments their personality, preferences and educational interests.
For instance, Washington offers six state universities and 24 private institutions to choose from, each offering a number of different majors and activities. This state can get up to 500 cm of rain yearly, very cold temperatures in winter and heat waves in summer. Universities in Washington benefit from the local economy which means industries such as computer software development, tourism, biotechnology, agriculture and telecommunications are advanced. Washington also offers professional and club sports such as basketball, football, soccer, ice hockey and baseball for sports fanatics. In addition, it boasts beautiful terrain, lakes and mountains where one can hike, camp, ski and enjoy a horse ride. Therefore, students looking to thrive in such industries, sports and activities, and who can easily adapt to this climate, may consider studying in Washington.

Read up on the university that you want to apply to and make sure you have backup options
After reading up on the different states and institutions, you will need to make a decision on the university you want to attend. This can be influenced by the subjects or the fields of study that the institutions offer, internship opportunities, and the top schools offering your degree of choice. You should also include backup options in case you don’t get into your first choice university.

Complete your application to the university
At this point, you would be ready to apply to your preferred institution. Thorough planning and time management is needed for the success of this process as a lot of documentation and arrangements need to be done correctly. The list below shows what this process includes:

  • Give yourself sufficient time to apply. This means to start the application process as early as possible as this affords you the time to read the application instructions and requirements thoroughly and properly. It gives you time to complete the application form with no errors and to provide necessary documentation as per specifications. It is suggested that a student starts this process 18 months before the academic year begins.
  • Institutions with competitive admissions usually require a significant amount of effort in their applications, including writing personal statements, requesting recommendations from your past teachers or tutors, and signing up for entrance exams such as the SAT, ACT and TOEFL to meet application standards. You should prepare for the above tasks by researching how to do them correctly and when to do them so you will have enough time to complete them.
  • School curriculums differ in each country therefore institutions accepting international students need to verify the authenticity of your documents and the status of the school you attended. This means your school may have to submit your transcripts to a credential evaluator who will examine your transcripts and translate them according to the American curriculum.

Apply for a VISA
One of the most important tasks when considering to study in the USA is applying for your VISA. There are different visas that could be issued to a student, namely the F1 Visa, M1 Visa and J1 Visa.
The F1 Visa is for full-time students enrolled in an academic programme. This visa does allow part-time employment on campus with a maximum of 20 hours per week and it allows for the student to work on optional practical training (OPT) for up to a year after completing their academic programme.
The M1 Visa is issued to a student attending a vocational school and holders of this visa are not permitted to work during their studies. Moreover, M1 students need to prove that they have sufficient funds to pay for their studies and living costs for the duration of the stay.
The J1 Visa is issued to students who need to acquire practical training to complete their academic programme, which is unavailable in their home country. Employment opportunities are the same as those for F1 Visa students.
A student would need one of the above visas to qualify to study in the USA. Furthermore, they would need to prove they can support themselves financially and provide health insurance evidence to cover any medical expenses they may need.

Understand the costs
Financial stability is important for students considering studying abroad. It is important to calculate how much money you will need for the academic programme, books and overall living expenses for the duration of your stay. There are also many international loans, scholarships and bursaries that institutions and organizations offer to international students which you can choose to apply for.

Set up reliable communication methods
To keep in touch with loved ones back home, you should make sure you set up accounts with different communication apps to keep in touch with loved one such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber. These come in very handy when you start feeling homesick.

Plan ahead for your student life
Finally, plan ahead for your life beyond the classroom. For example, you should include extramural activities and travel in your budget. You should look into public transport options around your university and the amenities available such as restaurants and retail places. You should also research the extramural activities that your university offers such as student clubs and societies so that you can enjoy the full experience.

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 – 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.

How volunteer tutors and mentors can make the most out of their volunteer experience

How volunteer tutors and mentors can make the most out of their volunteer experience

Volunteers What's new?

Volunteering can be a unique experience since you are providing services to young people who need it, but you are also benefiting from a wonderful and fulfilling opportunity. Although you do not gain financially from volunteering, the benefits you do get can make a significant impact on your personal life or career.

To ensure that your volunteering experience will be a good one, you should first make sure that you join an organisation that does work you are passionate about, or that matches your skills or interests. After that, you will then be able to make the most out of our volunteering experience.

Below are a few tips on how volunteer tutors and mentors with GT Scholars can make the most of their experience as a volunteer. We will look at some of the benefits of volunteering and tools you can use to avoid being in a volunteering environment that does not allow you to achieve your personal goals.  

Understand the benefits
Your personal development goals are a core part of your volunteering experience, and your ability to meet them could be the deciding factor in whether or not you continue to volunteer. Fortunately, many of the benefits of volunteering tie into helping you achieve your personal goals. For example, volunteering allows you to gain valuable work experience and develop your skills. This improves your employment chances as potential employers will see that you have some practical experience.

Additionally, volunteer work is a great way to expand your professional network, which can also improve your chances of employment and the number of opportunities you have access to. If your personal goal is to become more employable, volunteering can definitely help you achieve it.

Volunteering also gives you a chance to develop your skills. This is because as a volunteer tutor you are able to continuously sharpen your academic and teaching skills and develop your self-confidence through teaching others. This can help you make the most out of your volunteering experience as you receive the direct benefit of improving your skills, and you also feel good about yourself because you helped someone else to learn in the process.

Know what you want
You should understand the reasons behind your decision to become a volunteer tutor or mentor. Questions you should consider include: What you want to get out of your experience, what are you willing to sacrifice to be a good tutor, are you able to meet the commitments of volunteering etc.

It is important to know why you are becoming a volunteer as having a purpose or a specific passion will help you to stick to your volunteering commitment in the long term. So asking yourself these questions is important as it can help you decide if being a volunteer tutor or mentor is something you really want to do.

Make good use of your time
If you ensure that you make good use of your time as a volunteer tutor or mentor, it will be easier for you to achieve your personal development goals. As previously mentioned, being a volunteer has many benefits, but in order to make the most out of your volunteering experience, it is important for you to use these benefits to help you achieve your personal goals.

For example, if your personal goal is to get a full-time job, then throughout your time as a volunteer tutor or mentor you should be measuring any improvements you make that would be relevant to the job you want. This is so that when you apply for the job, you are able to demonstrate the improvements you made. So to make the most of your time as a volunteer, it is important to always consider your personal goals and how you can use your time to achieve them.

Make the commitment
An important consideration for volunteering is understanding the commitment it takes. Your time is valuable and volunteering can be a significant commitment. So in order to make the most of your volunteering experience, it is important to make sure that you are able to make the commitment. This will make your experience more enjoyable, and if the tutoring or mentoring sessions are enjoyable, it will make your experience more beneficial.

Showing up and always doing your best to assist the scholars will help them to feel more confident in your abilities and then their own abilities as a result. It will also help create a good reputation for you, which is important when you need references for new career opportunities. People notice hard workers and those who put in their best effort. So sticking to your volunteering commitment and maximising the time you spend is key in making the most of your volunteer experience.

Communicate and enjoy yourself!
It is important to understand what is expected of you as a tutor, and that GT Scholars knows what you expect of them. This comes down to maintaining good communication between you and GT Scholars. If you have questions or experience problems, do not be afraid to communicate this to the team so that they can help you. Understanding that you are always supported will make volunteering easier and more enjoyable.

Enjoying yourself is one of the most important factors in making the most of your volunteer tutor experience. This is why it is so important to engage in volunteer work that is in line with your passion, interests, and personal goals. This will make your whole experience very beneficial in the long run.

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 – Discover and be inspired!

In the Know – Discover and be inspired!

In The Know What's new?

Creativity can help young people in all areas of their development. Activities that encourage and inspire creativity can improve their learning abilities by allowing them to engage all of their senses. This week’s three activities are ideal to give your child a taste of the arts and identify creative career paths they may want to explore.

Explore at the V&A Museum
There is so much to explore and discover at the Victoria & Albert Museum this month! You can choose from a variety of activities but a particular treat for young people are the museum Trails. On The Undiscovered Museum paper trail, they can explore the arts and go on a visual treasure hunt. This informative free event will run daily until Sunday 31st March. Find out more here.

Make it happen at RIBA
Architecture is a wonderful example of how art and creativity can lead to an exciting and fulfilling career. The Royal Institute of British Architects’ Making It Happen exhibition is an immersive event that celebrates the coming together of communities and architects to craft and create spaces that work for all. This free exhibition includes several workshops for young people, and it is taking place throughout this month at the Architecture Gallery in London. Find out more here.

Snap a photo at Burgh House
Burgh House is hosting a photography workshop for young people between the ages of 14 and 18. They will get a chance to work with professional photographer, Gemma Pardo, to develop their technical skills and produce their own inspiring portfolio. The workshop is taking place on Sunday 3rd March from 2pm to 4pm. Tickets are £8 with free places also available. 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.