Posted in Written by Kim

Representative Committees and My Experience Being Part of One

Hey everybody! Kim here. Today’s post will be all about Representative Committees and my experience.

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I was the Marketing and Publicity Officer of the International Students’ Committee (ISC) for 2016/17. To be honest, I didn’t know that the ISC was one of the Representative Committees in the Students’ Union when I first joined them. I just thought that it was just another society and I was wrong because Representative Committees serve a bigger purpose for members of the Students’ Union.

Representative Committees exist to promote the views and interests of, and organise activities for, specific sections of the Full Members of the Students’ Union. There are in total, 7 elected representative committees at Sheffield’s Students’ Union: Black & Minority Ethnic Students’ Committee, Disabled and Dyslexic Students’ Committee, International Students’ Committee, LGBT+ Students’ Committee, Mature Students’ Committee, Postgraduate Students’ Committee and Womens’ Committee. These committees are run by students who wants to represent and receive specialist staff support.

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I was elected on October 2016, which is quarter way through the role term. Any student who fits the requirements of the roles in Representative Committees can try to run for it. I was basically in charge of the ISC’s social media platforms and marketing strategies of all the events and campaigns. I also had personal goals to achieve as the officer, which was to implement more sustainable marketing practices for the ISC. The ISC had all kinds of events and campaigns, such as World Week, World Food Festival, International Cultural Evening, Refugees Week, TV Marathon for Climate Change 2017, and Women in Leadership and Entrepreneurship. While I did not totally eliminate flyering as a promotional tool, I reduced the amount of waste by only buying the necessary amount needed. Besides that, we increased the amount of online paid promotions.

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The 2016/17 ISC Executive Committee Farewell Dinner

I have already officially retired from the role. I believe the future committee will achieve much more than the committee of my year. Majority of the ISC members are passionate about their roles and making a positive impact. If you would like to get involved (I would recommend!), follow the ISC’s Facebook page and sign up to be part of the subcommittees. We have a subcommittee for events, welfare, publicity and media. By being part of the subcommittee, you get perks, like free entry to our events and campaigns. And who knows, you might even take up an official committee role in the future.

 

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Posted in Intern advice, Written by Jenny

Finding that motivation

Motivation in these final weeks or months of your degree can be tricky. It’s hard enough finding the motivation during it but seeing the sun outside and thinking about a heavy workload isn’t exactly helpful! Here are five light-hearted nuggets of advice to help motivate yourself for the final push. (They might sound stupid but give them a go).

  • This is going to sound odd but work out how much you have roughly spent on this degree so far. Even first years will be set back ~£13,000 on loans alone! Do you really want to waste all of that money by messing it up now? I didn’t think so! Whatever your situation you can still make a difference.

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  • Write down your goals on post it notes and note how your degree helps you get there! Put them all around your room! Regardless of whether it is ‘make my mum proud’, ‘get a PhD’ or ‘earn a lot of money’, a good degree is a step in the right direction.

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  • Do a big picture timeline. Think about where you are now, how you got there and where you want to be. It helped me realize that whilst knowing how a particular protein channel opened may not help in the long run, it is what is needed now to keep moving forward.

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  • Make a plan for once this semester/ your degree is over! Whether it is booking a holiday on a tropical island, organizing an end of semester night out or scheduling nothing for a whole week so you can binge on TV, it might help motivate you!

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  • Get competitive. As a twin I’ve always had a fierce competitive streak, if you are similar then use it to your advantage! Do an extra hour of revision to beat your course-mate, ask them what they’ve done so you can beat it, use their grades as motivation for the future. Get crazy with it!

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Good luck with the rest of your degree, now go forth and conquer! 

Posted in Uncategorized

Why attend a 1:1 meeting

Did you know you can book 1:1 meetings with our tutors here at 301? If not, you definitely know now! But what exactly are the 1:1 meetings offered by 301 and how might they help you?

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During a 1:1 meeting you have the chance to sit down with one of our tutors and ask them for support according to the issues you have been facing in your studies. There is just the two of you discussing and the tutor can focus on your questions regarding academic matters such as not being sure how to deal with exam revisions, or how to reference and essay properly or even how to perform in a seminar and take notes properly so you get the most of your degree. They will be there to support you through all.

But if this information is not enough to get you to have a look at what I’m talking about, here is a list of why I think you should make use of this service:

  1. The support you receive is personal

 

And I am aware you can get that from your department as well, given that you have a personal tutor and you can also go to the office hours of any of your lecturers. The 1:1 meetings at 301 do not come to replace that, but to add an extra layer of support. The matters you will be discussing with the tutor are not directly related to your subject of study, but more to the way your study and any questions you might have about academic support.

  1. They are flexible

We are aware that some student have classes all day long and are only free later in the day, while others have less contact hours so they might be more available during the day. With that in mind you can book a 1:1 appointment from as early as 10:00 or as late as 16:00. There are different times available during the week so you don’t have to worry you won’t be able to fit one into your schedule.

  1. It’s time efficient

While the workshops are great if you want to gain more knowledge about a certain subject, the 1:1 meetings are amazing if you are in a hurry, or just want to squeeze one between two lectures. In 30 minutes you have the chance to discuss specifically the issues that interest you and focus on finding a solution!

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  1. You get access to additional resources

On top of the personal advice you get during the meeting, the tutors can also recommend specific resources you can look at if you would like to gain more insight into certain matters, or if you are really concerned about a problem and would like to really make sure you have it covered!

  1. You can be open

The meetings are organised in such a way that the only two people in the room are you and the tutors. The information you share with them is treated with utmost confidentiality so you do not have to worry about anything. The more open and honest you are, the more they will be able to help you!

And here you have it! A brief overview as well as some of my top reasons why you should definitely make use of the 1:1 meetings at 301. If you are definitely interested you can check it out here and make a booking: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301/services/studyskills

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Posted in Intern advice, Written by Amber

Applying for a Masters

Whether you’re applying because you love your subject or because you aren’t quite ready to give up being a student, here is a short guide to applying to a masters programme!

Choosing your course

Picking the right subject is really important as you don’t want to end up stuck doing a course you don’t enjoy! For many people, a masters may be progression into the same subject as your undergraduate degree, or a branch of the subject. Or perhaps you have found a new interest which you would like to pursue. Regardless, do your research and make sure you will enjoy it.

Research or taught? If the subject is new to you, a taught course may be more appropriate. If you want to go into research or are considering a PhD, a research course may prepare you better and give you a taste of whether a research career is for you.

Once you have decided, do lots of research online and talk to current students, if you know any. The university should have lots of information on everything from modules to course fees (but don’t let these put you off)!

If you are keen on a partiuclar course, it may help to visit the university on one of their open days. This also allows you to ask any questions, and as masters courses are usually much smaller than undergrads, it may give you the opportunity to get to know the staff – which can be useful if you need to contact them with any future queries.

Applying

As with your undergrad, keep a close eye on application deadlines! If your chosen course does not have a deadline, then don’t be tempted to leave it too late, as often places are given on a first come, first served basis and popular courses may fill up early!

Your application may require you to submit a CV, which should be tailored to the course you are submitting to. With help writing a CV, the Careers Service have lots of helpful resources and you could also book a 1:1 session with an advisor to improve your CV.

As with CV writing, the Careers Service offer lots of helpful resources as well as 1:1 sessions to help guide you with writing your personal statement. Your personal statement should show your passion and enthusiasm for the subject and is likely to include areas such as ‘Why are you applying?’ and ‘What makes you a good candidate?’. Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet, but don’t be tempted to lie as you may be asked questions relating to the content of your personal statement during an interview!

You may be required to submit a number of documents with your application. For help with these, you can visit SSID who have access to your student records and can print documents such as your transcripts (although these may incur a small cost!).

You are likely to require at least one reference for your masters application. Choose the member of staff wisely, you should aim to pick academics who know you well and are familiar with your work – dissertation supervisors and tutors are ideal. Make sure that you ask your referee before submitting their details!

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Student finance

Make sure you have some idea of how you will fund your masters degree. Dont be put off by course fees as there may be bursaries and scholarships available, and if you are a UK undergraduate you are likely to be eligible for the new Student Finance England postgraduate loan which is up to £10k. Unlike undergraduate student finance, postgraduate student finance opens much later in the year so keep an eye on the website and don’t be afraid to ring them with any queries (they are very friendly!).

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Waiting!

Once your application is complete and your references have been sent, there can be a long wait for an offer. If, like me, you have been waiting for what feels like a lifetime, then a follow up email may help. If you have made contacts with any staff at an open day then dropping them an email shows you are enthusiastic and may speed the process up a little.

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Good luck!

For more in depth information visit:

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/masters-degrees/applying-for-a-masters-degree

https://www.ucas.com/ucas/postgraduate/postgraduate-study/why-study-postgraduate/faqs-about-postgraduate-study#

https://www.topuniversities.com/blog/how-apply-masters-degree-uk

Posted in Intern advice, Written by Ellie

Why Staying Calm During Exam Period Is Important, And The Best Ways To Do It!

It has finally arrived… the dreaded exam period! Although on the bright side, the fact it’s here now means that it will be over so soon!!

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So here are my tips for making these next three weeks super productive:

  • The most important thing, I would argue, is to keep healthy. Although these are obviously very important exams, they are not worth forfeiting your health for. You need to take time in the day to cook, to eat and to do some exercise – a healthy body means a healthy mind and will stand you in good stead of being capable of dealing with the stresses of the season! 

I would maybe recommend some light exercise such as yoga, or walking, just to make sure your body is active after long periods of sitting down to study. It is not wise to stay locked in your room during exam period!

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Don’t lock yourself in your room. Make sure you talk to people and socialize – they could help take your mind off your exam for a while – which is not a bad thing. The world still turns; you cannot let the pressure of exams make you retract into yourself and forget everything else. If you are worried, then a friend may be able to help. 

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If you feel that you need additional help, the Uni provides many great services that can help with exam pressure:

Things not going right service:  https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/sos

Counselling Service: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/counselling

All of the general information you need from the exams service: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/exams         

 

  • You have to work at a pace that is right for you. It is not worth piling on the workload until the night before an exam; make sure you are ready for it in advance so you feel calm as each one draws nearer. The night before an exam should be a time of calm contemplation, not absolute panic!

The reality is, you can do this, you have done exams in the past and survived. As long as you keep some perspective and stay calm – and also follow my advice – you will do great!

Good luck!