Written by kdanceydowns
It is good to apply yourself to every possible opportunity available to you, including being a student representative for your course. Being a rep is a lot less scary than it sounds. You have to go to a few training sessions initially and then meetings are held every few weeks so that you can update the school you’re in on the positive feedback you have been given and work towards resolving any negative feedback you may have. Being a rep means you speak to everyone on your course and that you become someone they look to for advice which is nice. It also means you develop a close relationship with your course leaders and lecturers. And of course, I’d be a terrible rep if I didn’t advertise the free purple hoodie.
There is usually only one rep per course, so don’t worry if after the class election, it isn’t you. You can volunteer to be deputy rep or alternatively try out to be a student ambassador, which gives you the chance to make prospective students feel at home and give them advice. For a more informal approach, why not try out to be a postgraduate student blogger? I have thoroughly enjoyed my time researching and writing these blogs even though it is something I had never considered doing before.
I would advise all postgraduates to go to as many extra timetabled lectures as possible (even if they don’t seem particularly relevant), because these are the hours where you get more individual time with lecturers and can ask them more in depth questions. Seminars will also be on your timetable but are sometimes advertised as not being mandatory to attend. As a course, we are lucky that our course leader asks guest speakers to occasionally come to these seminars in order for us to improve our networking skills and meet people that work for companies in our field of work that we may one day want to work for. Therefore, my advice would be to go to all timetabled events.
As for feedback on assignments, my main advice would be to not be afraid to ask questions. Lecturers will make time to meet with you if you email to set up a meeting so that you can discuss any uncertainties or queries you may have about a grade you’ve received. From personal experience, it is through these one on one meetings that you better understand where you can improve.
The Careers and Employability Service located next to the library is brilliant. They are on hand to help you with any queries you may have about possible careers and how best to apply yourself or where to look. They also offer a brilliant service of going over your CV which I have personally taken advantage of. You can set up an appointment to see them at a convenient time for you and you simply take a copy of your CV and/or cover letter with you and they will go over it with you, highlighting the good areas and giving you tips on how to improve others. They will also help you draft a CV if you do not yet have one and give you tips on how to adapt your CV depending on the field of work you want to enter.
Get involved in as many extracurricular activities as you can without it interfering with your work. Our course leader has an exciting project called the Shipwrex project where the option is there for us to go along to the ancient technology centre in Cranborne once a week to replicate building a Bronze Age boat using authentic replica tools and techniques that would have been used during the time. It’s a great learning experience and it gave us the chance to get to know one another out of a classroom environment.
Caitlyn and I using chisels and mallets to create mortise and tenon joints.
Lacing two planks of wood together is a technique seen in Bronze Age boat building.
The Bournemouth University Shipwrex team.
Clubs and societies are also a great way to get involved with other students that share a similar interest to you, whether you just attend events or you want to be a part of the committee. I am a member of the archaeology society and enjoy going to lectures and activities that they organise.
BU Archaeology Society logo.
It is entirely up to you how you spend your postgraduate year(s) at BU but just be aware that applying yourself to things pays off and they all mount up to a more impressive CV.
By Lowri Roberts