Your guide to being a SAM

It's simply the best!
Being a Student Ambassador was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things I did whilst studying at Nottingham Trent and I would highly recommend applying to anyone. The best thing about the role is the amount of flexibility that it offers. If you are too busy one month to do any events then this does not matter, there is no minimum amount of hours that you have to subscribe to and as a student this is what matters. During my final year at university I did not do a single event for about six months due to the heavy work load of my studies but once they were finished I was able to come back and subscribe to as many events as I could.

It's a great way to spend your summer
The best time to be a Student Ambassador is during the summer, if you are able to stay in Nottingham after the year is finished then I would recommend doing so. During the two summers after my second and third year I worked the busiest block for the School, College and Community Outreach Team. Different schools around Nottingham came to visit the university every day for a month. The highlight of the visit block, however, is always the summer residential's at the end of the month. Student Ambassadors support these events by sharing with students their own experiences of what higher education is about. However, being paid to sleep, eat dominoes, go bowling and take part in quizzes certainly is an added bonus.

Variety is the spice of life!

There are a vast amount of different events that Student Ambassadors support throughout the year, from going into schools and colleges leading a variety of activities, to supporting with university Open Days and UCAS Clearing. There are events available to suit any type of person as Student Ambassadors support events aimed at all year groups from Years 5 to 13.

The people!
The one thing you can guarantee as a Student Ambassador is that you will get to work with some of the greatest people. During my time as a Student Ambassador the people I have worked with have become my closest friends, friends I will stay in contact with long into the future. As well as the other Student Ambassadors, the Outreach officers who lead the events are outgoing and easy to get along with making the events extremely enjoyable. The camaraderie between the entire team is second to none and is unlike any other job I have had.

It looks great on my CV
Being a Student Ambassador is suitable for students studying all types of degrees. I studied for a Law Degree and the skills that I have developed will no doubt help me in becoming a successful lawyer. However, I have not gone straight into my chosen career path. Being a Student Ambassador left such a lasting impression that I am now working within a college as a Mentor, imparting the knowledge that I have gained and helping many students achieve their goals. There is no doubting that I would not have got this job without being a Student Ambassador and I am glad that I now have the skills to go down a variety of career paths. 

Answer these few simple questions...
Do you want to meet some great people who will become lifelong friends? Do you want to earn money whilst studying but want flexibility? Do you want to have a job where no two days are the same? If yes is your answer to any of these questions then apply to be a Student Ambassador and you will not regret it; I never did!

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Author: Jamie Watkinson
Edited by: Siba Munsanje

My Experience on Work Experience

My name is Zahra Mahmood and I am 15 years old. I am a British Pakistani and attend Bluecoat Academy. I am in year 10 going into year 11.  The GCSE’s I am studying are English Language, English Literature, Double Science (Core and Additional), Maths, Religious Studies, Geography, German and Information Technology. I am a very active person, I am always playing sports or taking part in activities at school. I play for a cricket team called Notts and Arnold Cricket Club and once played for the Under 13’s Nottinghamshire County Girls Cricket Team! 

NTU Arkwright Building
I was quite nervous on the first day of work experience at Nottingham Trent University.This was a new experience for me, I had never had a job before this. I was to work in the Schools, Colleges and Community Outreach department. My supervisors were Laura Hope and Siba Munsanje,  they gave me a timetable for the 3 days and vaguely described what I was going to do. Most of my time was spent with Siba, she showed me around the university and helped me complete my tasks. 

My first job was to attended a Pathways to Law workshop. It showcased the different types of jobs students could expect to do with a degree in law. It was quite interesting and new to me.  I learnt that particular areas in law are in decline, which was surprising as I assumed more students would be interested in those particular areas. After the workshop, I took my lunch break and met up with my friends. They were on work experience too so it was nice to compare notes. 

Just after lunch, Siba took me on a campus tour around the university, I had the opportunity to see what it offered to students. Siba then explained what her job was, she mentioned the department was looking for someone to replace her for next year because she was going back to studying at university for her final year. She showed me how to manage the different social media platforms used by the department. LinkedIn and Pinterest, in particular, were new to me. Perhaps I'll use them more often when I attend university in the future.

Year 9 campus visit
I wasn't nervous on the second day of work experience because I knew who I was working with and what I was doing. Siba taught me about SWOT analysis, which is analysing a business by knowing its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is used a lot when studying business at university, which is interesting to me because I may decide to take business when I get to university. We used SWOT to analyse the department's Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages in order to see how we could improve them. 

Later in the day, I helped out with a year 9 campus visit. I was in charge of the department's Instagram and Twitter pages.  My responsibilities included tweeting the school that was visiting and taking photos of the activities they were doing. I escorted them on the campus tour, afterwards each group did a presentation about their SAM’s (Student Ambassador Mentors). The year 9’s were interesting to help because I was older than them and they listened to me. At the end of the visit, I  went back to the office and edited a blog about budgeting. I did not know much about budgeting so I did some research on it. As editor, I made it easier to read by structuring it better, added a few pictures and made it more engaging.

On day three of my work experience, I learnt about an online learning space called NOW for current NTU students. Almost everything at university is online and if you miss a lecture from your module, you can access it from that website. Lecturers tend to put resources on there. This is completely different to how work is at school, everything is on paper and the only time you work on a computer is during IT or Computing lessons. 

I helped out on a year 12 campus visit. My responsibilities were to take pictures of the students and post them on Twitter and Instagram, to respond to online comments from the students and monitor the entries to our online competition. The year 12’s did different workshops compared to the year 9’s, they learnt how to write CV’s and did mock interviews. I noticed the year 12’s were more serious about Higher Education compared to the year 9’s, they worked independently during the activities. 

I then went back to the office to start working on this post!  I felt like this work experience was a good experience for me and was something that I might think about doing in the future as my job. It taught me useful things that could be of use while I'm still at school. I'm more confident with meeting new people and I got a chance to put my knowledge of social media into practise. Naturally, my generation grew up with social media around us so it was great to use this for my job.  I plan to complete my A-levels and get a job in my free time to gain experience of being in work environment. My goal is to go to university and see where it takes me from there! 

Please note: The work experience was from 24/06/2014 to 26/06/2014.

Author: Zahra Mahmood 
Editor: Siba Munsanje

Make your Summer AMAZING

It's very easy to spend your free time during summer watching back to back series of your favourite show, but there's a lot more fulfilling stuff to do...

You can leave behind the doom and gloom of the English weather and swap it with some fun in the sun! Rev up your search engine and look for  some far away exotic country like Barcelona or Rome. There's a lot of cheap holiday deals to be found if you spend a little time surfing the internet! 

Work experience and Volunteering
Yes it can be tedious but can also be fun, a lot of smaller companies will expect you to work for free, but it can still be a rewarding experience. This may also be a chance to brush up on your tea making skills. NTU offer a ton of opportunities to volunteer, so start looking!

Start a blog...or Vlog
Starting a blog is very easy, the most popular blog sites are Wordpress and Blogger. It is a great your way to document your fun experiences, it looks good on your CV and its great for reflection. If not you're not the type to blog, you could try your hand at Vlogging (video blogging). It's easy and convenient, all you need is a camera-you could even use your phone. Video blogging has become very popular, you never know, you could be the next internet sensation!

summer festivals tend to sell out early, so grab your ticket while you can! if you missed the early bird rush, then search out local festivals to go to. Sometimes, upcoming performers start their careers at small festivals, you never know, you might discover something new. Plus, the atmosphere is always great

Bucket list 
Why not draw up a bucket list of all the things you want to do before you have to go back to sitting through lectures (or lessons) in the autumn. You might decide to go skydiving, or learn to play chess, heck you can even decide to attend summer schools if you miss school that much.

Whatever you decide to do, make this summer, your best summer!

Author: Siba Munsanje

Our Family Supper 2015 (#FamSup15)

...Continued from part one.

How do I Pay?
SAM's from NTU and UoN
Any loan – tuition and / or maintenance – that the student has taken out will have to be paid back after the student has graduated and is earning above a specific wage, currently this is £21,000 per year before tax. The repayments are taken straight out of a student’s wage at the same time as tax and national insurance as the loan is linked to the individuals national insurance number. As this is a loan there interest applied to it. All outstanding monies will be written off after 30 years.

How does the uni spend my money?
So where does the £9,000 go? The tuition fee from each student goes into the running of the university they attend. This may be partially into wages, services such as catering and the estate itself with the repair and refurbishment of buildings and facilities. 

Pathways to Law 2015/16

Are you interested in studying a law degree and following a career in law?
If your answer is YES! and you are starting your AS levels in September then Pathways to Law could be for you.

This exciting 2-year programme will give you access to:

Law-related taster sessions, master classes and lectures
An undergraduate law e-mentor
A work placement within a legal setting