In this blog, undergraduate student James looks back at when he attended an Open Day at the University of Warwick and shares his top tips to make sure you can make the most out of the day.
First and foremost, welcome to WBS, one of the best business schools in Europe, you are on the right path. Looking back to my first time visiting the University of Warwick and Warwick Business School, three years ago in 2016 seems almost like a blur to me. However, this is an imminent reality for some of you and I can assure you that you are going to enjoy it, and I am here to tell you the best ways to maximise your experience. As a WBS student ambassador, I have had the privilege to interact with students and parents visiting WBS for the first time and I have been able to share my insights with them to ensure that they have any of their questions answered and get an idea of what University life is like.
- Prepare some questions before you arrive
I would recommend coming to the Open Day with a few questions that you were unable to find answers for online or would like more clarification about. These questions could be more personal rather than objective, such as the best place to have a picnic on campus or which accommodation halls throw the best parties. Furthermore, I would take time to ask as many questions about the teaching styles at WBS, as you will be surprised how different it is compared to classroom study in sixth form or college. There are a variety of core and elective modules for each course and their assessment styles vary, so having this in mind will help you to decide if the course is suited to your style of learning. During your Open Day I would recommend exploring the WBS building as it is a lot bigger than it looks. There are many areas to the building with dedicated study spaces tucked away for students to complete their studies or group work, so take your time to take it all in. I would also recommend asking to visit the Undergraduate Learning Space on the ground floor, which you will find very useful when you need a quiet space to study. They also have a kitchen in there for Undergraduates to use!
- Take time to explore the campus
There are many great locations to explore on campus. Inside the Warwick’s Student Union (the SU), you can socialise with friends and play a game of pool at the Terrace Bar. There are a variety of restaurants, cafes and bars across campus offering lots of delicious food. I would definitely recommend the Dirty Duck for some tasty pub grub if you are here for an Open Day. When you are a student here you can look forward to a lively karaoke night that they host on Wednesdays, and every Thursday you can test your knowledge with the Cleverducks Quiz. The Varsity, located near to WBS, also serves amazing fast food. Warwick Arts Centre is located at the heart of campus, which not only has pianos available for students to play, but also various size theatres, which host movies, comedy shows and plays alike. During your Open Day, I would recommend that you find out the schedule of events at Warwick Arts Centre for the year so that when you join WBS, you can make sure you book any upcoming shows you want to see. Students also get discounts for the Warwick Arts Centre, which is great! It is also a good idea to ask about the huge variety of societies, sports and social activities available to new students, as that is a great way to make new friends when you first arrive at University.
The University of Warwick campus has lots of green space which creates the perfect picturesque setting to relax and unwind after your studies. If you are passionate about photography, the Warwick Lake is a beautiful place to take some great photos, and the geese in the background add an element of awe in your pictures. If you have time during your Open Day it is a great idea to explore the campus yourself and discover all the great facilities available to you if you were to live on campus.
- Ask questions within the course information sessions
If you know which degree you want to apply for and attend the relevant information session on the Open Day, don’t be nervous to ask questions as the rest of the room are most likely thinking the same thing as you. Within the information sessions, you have not only the course director or course academic in front of you but usually also a student ambassador who is currently completing the course. Although if asking questions in front of a group is not your ideal situation, you can always find the course director or academic after the session and ask them then. Don’t forget there are also career sessions running where you can find out about the career services available to you as a WBS student and hear about where students are now after graduating.
- Student Ambassadors = genuine student insight
As well as getting the opportunity to talk to the academics at WBS you also have a range of student ambassadors around both WBS and the campus on an Open Day ready to answer any questions you may have. As mentioned earlier, they can give you an insight into student life based on their own experience, such as best accommodation spots, shortcuts around campus, how best to explore the local area. So whist you can learn about the course by attending a course information session, you also have the chance to learn about student life from the student themselves.
Looking back to when I attended my Open Day at WBS, I would have asked more questions about the location of different buildings on campus which would have saved me getting lost during my first few weeks. The campus is quite big and therefore it is important to make sure you know where you’re going. I would have also taken more of an interest in learning about the societies and clubs available at the University, as there are so many to choose from. From the Shakespeare society to the Star Wars society, it’s really difficult to pick the best ones! I would recommended prospective students to ask about the most popular clubs and societies to join to ease yourself into the social scene on campus.
All in all, an Open Day is nothing to feel pressured or worried about. There are always lots of friendly staff and student ambassadors available throughout the Open Day to give you advice and guidance, and make your visit to WBS as informative as possible. It is your first look into university life so have fun!
Before you attend our Open Day, why not download our Undergraduate brochure?