Jenny, our new student blogger writes about getting experience for your personal statement

Friday, July 22, 2016 12:00 AM

Hi all!

So recently at my school we have been learning about UCAS (which stands for University and Colleges Admissions Services for those who don’t know) and how to stand out from the crowd in our personal statements. Now, if you’re anything like me, you may have been putting off thinking about University, instead opting to live in an antisocial bubble – quite happily, needless to say. However, for most of you it could be only a year away, and it’s never too early to start gaining valuable experience and work in the area you’d like to study. With summer nearing and the unwelcome knowledge that we will most likely be bored for half of it, there has never been a more perfect opportunity… but what can we do?

Well, there’s always the most common – and most valued – way of gaining experience, and that’s work experience. It sounds horrifying, I know, but having done a few stints myself I can honestly say it’s not half as bad as it sounds! There are different ways of finding these opportunities, for example online or even just via mouth, but there’s one thing I will say – be independent. Once you’ve found a place that you feel would be a good starting kick for your future, don’t ask your parents or siblings to ring them up for you. It looks so much better if you have the confidence to do so yourself – and you may actually find this independence to be quite liberating. If you don’t think this is for you, work shadowing (basically watching someone do their job) may also be a constructive use of your time.

Next, there’s the popular option of volunteering. Wherever it is, whether it’s at your local library or even just around school, the idea that you’re doing something completely out of your own free will and kindness will put you well above others who haven’t bothered to go out and do this over the years. Most places welcome volunteers with open arms, and doing things such as mentoring younger or less academic students shows you have a selfless attitude.

The most important thing to say is probably to be original. Think outside the box – what could you do that most other students couldn’t? What is that amazing opportunity that would set you apart from everyone else? With a personal statement full of these, you’ll be getting offers in no time!

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