Always thinking about the next step…

One of the strange quirks of the academic year, especially the university system, is that by February of one year you are already planning for the start of the next.

This Wednesday I’m going to a lecture on picking my third year modules, which seems absurdly early and yet we are less than two week away from the Easter holidays!

I’m only just half way through my degree but already I’m receiving emails from UEA’s careers centre to remind that I need to get thinking about what comes next. Hopefully it’ll be postgraduate study which is quite a comforting thought – there’s a clear structure and a series of targets that have to be met, but if I didn’t go down the postgrad route… well everything seems to drop away into a bit of an abyss. It’s hard to imagine finding a job I love and being able to afford straight away to live somewhere that wasn’t back with my parents. So you know, fingers crossed the MA plan works out.

Currently I’m focusing on which modules I want to be taking next year, whether I want to run to be on the Drama Society committee again, and helping plan a short theatre festival tour with some of my housemates (more updates on that as it develops).

Most of the time I don’t spend studying is currently being taken up with organising the Drama Society’s short plays festival ‘Spotlight’, which is a great opportunity to give as many students as possible the chance to get involved in theatre making. I’m also beginning to realise that I might prefer helping people put on plays than actually doing them myself – information which may prove useful next time I take myself down to a career development meeting…

I love studying and learning about literature, I mean I’m even considering staying an extra year in education I like it so much, but I think that what I’ll be remembering most from uni is the amazing extra-curricular things I’ve done – such as all my work with the Drama Society.

Well, that and Biddy’s Tea Rooms, which is still my favourite place in the whole of Norwich!

biddys

Next weekend I’ll either be dropping by Norwich castle or Cromer, so hopefully I’ll have plenty of things to show and tell you about.

Students & Money: Never the twain shall meet?

Students and money, two things famous for rarely keeping company.

When you’re at uni money is something you will often find haemorrhaging out of your pockets, whether it be on an ill-advised night out or because you forgot to make a shopping list and so end up throwing whatever takes your fancy into the basket.

However, there are ways of saving your bank account from the dreaded £0.00.

I’ve spent the last few Saturdays working as a Student Guide on Applicant Days (Note: this is how I’m currently avoiding the dreaded overdraft) and questions about employment opportunities at uni come up very frequently, so today I’m going to try and cover all of the main options you have and include some thoughts from students about their jobs.

  1. Working for the University

Working for your uni is often one of the easiest and most student-friendly ways of earning some cash during term time.

There are quite a few options available (at least at UEA) which include working at the university run food outlets, giving guided tours to visitors, and helping raise money for the university by ringing alumni. UEA pays the new Living Wage (although I disagree with this government’s definition of the Living Wage, but that’s by-the-by) so it’s often a good way of getting a job that doesn’t require many hours and is flexible to fit around your studies.

  1. Working for the Student Union

Personally I have never done this so I shall have to defer to the opinion of my housemate Richard who currently works in the SU shop.

“I found the experience an interesting one as I get to meet new people and learn some new things along the lines of management and communication. It’s great to feel part of a community.”

The SU offers a range of jobs from baristas in their café to working as a crew member for LCR gigs (apparently you sometimes get to see big name bands for free…).

I know a lot of students who work with the SU and by all accounts it’s a great gig – if you can get it that is. There are a lot of students and only a limited number of jobs so there is a fair amount of competition.

  1. And lastly – Finding a job in Norwich

As most of my friends are drama students very few of them work in town as it can be hard to find places that are flexible enough to work around rehearsals. However, if you’re willing to set aside a certain amount of hours in your week on a regular basis then there are always places hiring.

This can also be the riskiest option as unlike the previous two employers, businesses in town are rarely geared or designed to work around student employees. But in the end it really depends on what work you can find.

Hopefully this post was helpful for anyone starting uni next year. I’m going to try and write my next few posts also around the questions that applicants frequently ask me on Open Days.

As always, feel free to ask questions in the comments section or email me.