How has Lancaster University prepared me for my future?
by Emma Swindlehurst
For the first year of Uni, I never really had my career aspirations at the front of my mind. I was having too much fun figuring out the ins and outs of Uni life. When it got to my third year, I knew I had to start thinking about my future.
Writing for the Tab
At the start of the year, I was really interested by the idea of journalism, as I love to write. I joined The Lancaster Tab. The Tab is a news media site targeted at students. The Lancaster Tab publishes articles about anything related to Lancaster Uni and its students. By joining The Tab, I gained some really good experience of what it would be like to write articles for a magazine or newspaper. You have the opportunity to write news articles, interview people, or write articles that are more fun and carefree. For example, a title of one of my articles was ‘This is what it’s like living with Lancs boys during a pandemic’ and it was so enjoyable to write. By joining and writing articles, it gave me a glimpse into a career that I may consider in the future.
Presentations and team work
As I do a sociology degree, I feel like this has given me lots of diverse skills that I could take and use in many different career paths. In relation to journalism, my degree has helped me significantly with my writing and grammar skills, due to the plethora of essays that I have had to write over the past three years.
I have also gained skills in public speaking and working as part of a team. My degree consisted of lots of group projects and so it prepares you well for working in a team environment, which I am sure most jobs require at some point. Presentations have also been a vital part of my degree and this has been helpful for me. Before Uni, I hated speaking in front of lots of people. Due to having to speak in front of groups a great deal for my degree, I have slowly got much better and much more confident at it.
Within the sociology department there are always guest speakers from different organisations and companies coming in to inform you about different opportunities that are available during your time at Uni and after you have graduated. We also have lots of guest lecturers who inform us of their careers and of what it’s like to continue studying to PhD level. These talks can be particularly useful as they bring to light things that you may have not even thought about doing. For example, I find it really interesting when lecturers talk about their own research, as it really inspires me to want to possibly look into a career in the research field.
Working as an ambassador
There are lots of opportunities within Lancaster Uni and Lancaster itself to gain work experience. For me, I became a digital content ambassador, which consists of writing blogs like this for anyone curious about what it’s like to study at Lancaster. Being a content ambassador has enabled me to develop my writing skills and to work in line with a brief. Both skills will be useful to me in my future career.
My role in a student society
It is not only my degree that has given me skills for the future, being part of a society has, too. In my second year, I became the social secretary for Pendle college netball team. This role required me to organise and plan socials for the team every week. The role developed my leadership, organisation, time-management, and creative skills immensely. I had to take a leading role to ensure that every social went smoothly. For example, for each social, I had to book out venues and plan games we would play. I’d often have to buy drinks and decorations, therefore I needed to ensure I stayed in budget. I decorated the venue and arranged for everyone to arrive on time. Being social secretary allowed me to be creative because I was responsible for planning the themes and costumes for each social. I really enjoyed this as it allowed me to show my creative side and allows me a different kind of creative expression to academic writing.
I've found that Lancaster University has many opportunities to gain experience and skills. Whether this is through my degree, through a job, or by being part of a society or club, all the skills I need for my future career can be gained here.
Emma is a third year undergraduate at Lancaster University and is studying Sociology.
Lancaster University employs students to create authentic content from a student perspective. All views expressed in this article are those of the students, and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Lancaster University.
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