Making the most of your time at University

21 August 2019

Creating a study plan, making the most of your personal tutor and finding a balance between social and academic life. In this blog finalist James looks back at his time at the University of Warwick and gives his top tips for those starting in September.

I cannot believe three years have come and gone as fast as they did, but as they say ‘all good things come to an end’. I have enjoyed my time here at the University of Warwick, particularly as a WBS student. I have learnt a lot over the last three years and with my degree almost complete I thought I would look back and list my top ten tips to making the most out of your time at WBS...

  • Create a study plan according to your study style

This does not come as a surprise, but you will be shocked by how much creating a study plan will make your life easier throughout your university years. By creating a study plan, you can organise your day much more effectively. You will be able to balance your social and academic life meticulously and not have any guilt hanging over you because you feel that you haven’t studied enough.

  • Be open to making new connections

When you first arrive at WBS it can be a daunting experience, especially if you are an international student. Getting to grips with a new culture and trying to understand everyone’s accents can be scary at first, but it is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge and build your confidence. I would recommend introducing yourself to someone new every once in a while, as you will come to cherish these conversations, and potentially make lifelong friends as I did.

  • Make use of the resources available to you

WBS has a variety of resources at your disposal that you should definitely take advantage of. The WBS CareersPlus team are a great example of this, the team are always happy to help you become the best version of yourself on paper and in person. The team will help you with interview practice, check your CV and help you to understand more about your future career path. Another valuable resource available at WBS are the Bloomberg terminals available in the IT suite. The market knowledge you will gain from the Bloomberg terminals will give you a great advantage when it comes to pursuing your future career, and you can utilise your knowledge during interviews.

  • Visit your personal tutor

I highly recommend regularly liaising with your personal tutor, and building up a good working relationship. You do not know when you may need them to vouch for you such as when you start applying for jobs and require an academic reference. When you begin your course you will be automatically assigned a tutor, and it is your responsibility to schedule regular meetings with them.

  • Attend lectures and seminars

As painful as those 9:00am starts can be, I recommend you attend all your lectures and seminars. You cannot just rely on lecture recordings as if there is a technical error you will have missed that lecture and potentially valuable information for your studies. The same goes for seminars, these sessions provide you with the perfect opportunity to ask questions, and clarify anything you are unsure of.

  • Take care of your mental health

This goes without saying, your mental health is very important. When it comes to mental health, do not destroy yourself under exam pressure, I would recommend taking regular breaks from studying and taking part in enjoyable activities to help you relax. The mental health and well-being support available at Warwick is really good, and there is always someone to talk to if you are ever feeling down.

  • Apply for ambassador roles

Becoming a WBS ambassador was one of the best decisions I made during my experience at WBS. Not only does my ambassador role allow me to interact with potential students, I’m also able to participate in open days and info sessions where I can provide first-hand advice to students and their parents, whilst being paid for it. My role as an ambassador is also a great experience to add to my CV.

  • Take part in societies

In addition to tip number two, taking part in societies is a great way to meet a wide variety of people with similar interests to you. Once you are part of a society you can also take on leadership roles, giving you more responsibility. During my second year I was president of the East African society, the experience was invaluable and I feel I really developed as a person. Participating in a society is also a great experience to highlight on your CV to demonstrate you are a well-rounded individual with interests outside of your academic studies.

  • Be proactive in job applications

I would highly recommend that you start applying for spring weeks, internships and graduate schemes as soon as you start your academic year, or even just before. Once you begin your studies it can be difficult to dedicate time to complete your applications alongside completing your studies so my advice remains the same, apply early. The WBS CareersPlus team provide great advice if you are not sure which industry you are interested in, or if you need any assistance in completing your applications.

  • Find the right balance between your social and academic life

Finally, I would recommend that you remember that attending university is a once in a lifetime experience so make sure you make the most of every opportunity. A balanced life is a happy life; make time for your friends and when you do have a lot of studying or revision to do consider studying with your friends. You do not always need to be stuck in your room surrounded by books. The campus at Warwick is huge, with lots of green space so you can always find a relaxing spot outside to study.

I hope these tips have been useful, and you feel excited to start an exciting new journey in September at WBS.

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