Sometimes all it takes is a conversation to influence or persuade us to make a decision we had never originally anticipated. Speaking to our current students, many say that when they initially started looking at universities they hadn’t heard of Pearson College London, let alone considered applying here. So what made their heads turn to us, and convinced them to look in our direction? Beyond the internet and social media, often it is direct outreach into schools, and sixth form classrooms that has the most impact.
Throughout the school year, the student recruitment team at Pearson College London, engages in various outreach events. We travel out to schools in London and beyond to deliver a variety of presentation and interactive workshops aimed for students from Year 11 to Year 13 (Upper Sixth). The talks we deliver cover a range of topics, from ‘Applying to University’ and ‘Understanding Student Finance’, to more subject specific talks such as Business Management or Creative Industries. We also offer interactive workshops which look beyond HE, and towards the greater picture of employability and networking skills. For more information, take a look at the comprehensive list of workshops we offer.
In today’s age the post-18 options available to students completing A Levels/BTEC/Level 3 qualifications are numerous. Traditional university degrees are no longer the only option for those who are interested in continuing their education, and for a 16-18 year old, the choice of what to do next can be very daunting. Through the various talks we offer, we aim to help students understand what options are available to them, and how they can start to make an informed choice as to which path to follow.
For those students who have decided that gaining a degree is their next educational goal, we help explain what the application process looks like, and for example, what they should include in their personal statement. This type of outreach aims not only to inform prospective students, but also to put them at ease, and prevent unnecessary worry and stress about a process which will have changed since their parents generation. Through making the students familiar with UCAS, and the realistic expectations institutions hold, the application process becomes less daunting. This is particularly crucial for those students who may be the first in their family to apply for higher education institutions, and thus rely mainly on their school’s guidance.
My favourite presentation to deliver is the Employability Skills workshop which takes an interactive approach to making students aware of the skills they gain outside of the classroom which will be crucial to impress future employers. The Employability Skills workshops challenges the students, in small groups, to complete an activity booklet in a limited time. The activities which need to be completed vary, some require creativity, others communication, another initiative. To make the challenge harder, certain activities have to be handed in within strict time windows to avoid penalty points.
On finishing the challenge, students are always surprised to find that what when expected to prioritise and time manage the activities no longer seem so simple. This workshop is applicable to all students, those who are looking to Higher Education and those who are looking to get straight into their careers. It also nicely links to the skills and characteristics we aim to develop in our students at Pearson College London. Through the structure and opportunities on our degree courses, our academics ensure that the students leave with a deck of employability skills, making them stand out to employers.
So why are school visits important, particularly in an age where all the information can be found on the internet? Nothing can replace human interaction. Allowing students to hear from another individual who works within a HE institution, and has experience of the application process, opens up the field to questions which otherwise may not be asked. Furthermore, some students will not bother to reach for the internet as they do not know where to start with research or how to make sense of the process. It’s all about sparking that initial interest which can be done as simply as through a memorable interactive presentation or activity which helped a student make sense of it all.
If you are interested in getting in contact with the Student Recruitment team to find out more about our presentations, and availability for HE/Careers Fairs, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Marysia Suchcitz
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