Student story: Working as a Widening Participation Student Ambassador on the Medicine and Dentistry Summer School

Amrish Rajdev has just completed a degree in Dental Materials and has been offered a place to study Dentistry at Bristol from September.

Image 2Over the last 2 years, I have been fortunate to be a Widening Participation (WP) Student Ambassador. This has given me a number of opportunities to work with students, ranging from primary to secondary school age and my own skills have developed as a result. I have just completed my final year of studying Dental Materials. Within my role as a WP ambassador I was given the chance this year to enhance my presentation skills by delivering a session in schools about my own experience of studying an Alternative to Dentistry degree course. It was really fulfilling helping students considering their options and encouraging them to thoroughly do their research.

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Student story: I’ve sorted my summer

SharikaHi, I’m Sharika and I am a second-year English student. Alongside my studies, I work as a Student Ambassador for the Widening Participation team at Queen Mary. The aim of Widening Participation is to encourage students from disadvantaged social backgrounds to consider pursing higher education. Not only is this an incredibly rewarding job which gives me the opportunity to make a positive impact on the local community, but being a Widening Participation Ambassador has also allowed me to gain a plethora of transferable skills through working in a diverse range of environments.

This summer, for instance, I am involved with a number of exciting projects. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I worked at the Experience University Week: Creating a Language. In this summer school, a group of Year 10 students learned all about linguistics, and then they constructed their own languages. Through this event, I gained experience working with young people, and at the same time, I was able to learn about linguistics myself! Next week I will be giving a speech to 60 Year 7-9 students at a celebration event (every one of the students has read more than 25 books in the past eight months!). I will be talking to them about reading, English degrees, and about my university experience. Later this month, another Student Ambassador and myself will be delivering a joint-lecture to Sixth Form students. Both of these opportunities will hone my public speaking skills. Moreover, I am currently in the middle of preparing for both of these events and already it has taught me a great deal about how to adapt my communication style to effectively interact with people from different age groups. Furthermore, in July, at the Verbatim Summer School, I will be working with young care experienced students thinking about coming to university.

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Student Ambassador Summer Schools

Ambassador Photo (002)For two weeks across June and July, the Widening Participation (WP) team ran two highly successful Medicine and Dentistry Summer Schools with 48 students from WP backgrounds. The students who took part had so much fun they bought gifts and cards for each individual student ambassador they worked with!

We asked the Student Ambassadors who work for the WP team to describe their experience:

 Working for the WP team as a Student Ambassador is special because …

“You are part of a great team with great aims to help students at primary and secondary school. You are appreciated for the work you do”

“You get the chance to share your personal experiences”

 Being a Student Ambassador has enhanced my experience at QMUL because…

“It has made me feel more a part of QMUL. It has shown me the importance of WP, and giving equal opportunities to students. It has helped fund my social life. It has made me feel like I have the chance to inspire younger students”

“I have met other student ambassadors from different years and studying different subjects and heard about their experiences”

What would you say to a student considering applying to become a WP Student Ambassador?

“Go for it, it is the best, most flexible, most varied, fun part time job you will get in London”

“Do it if you love engaging with young people. It is an immensely satisfying and rewarding role”

To find out more about the work of the WP team check out their webpages: www.qmul.ac.uk/wp

To apply to become a WP student ambassador go to: www.qmul.ac.uk/studentambassadors

Michelle McAvoy, Widening Participation Coordinator

Become a Student Ambassador – applications now open!

The Queen Mary Student Ambassador scheme is an opportunity for current students to further their involvement in College life by representing Queen Mary to the public. We hear from Qudsia below, who studied Chemistry and was a Student Ambassador for 2 years:

“Being a Student Ambassador was a great opportunity which really enriched my uni experience. One of my responsibilities was to lead campus tours, and I had the privilege of representing the university, often to an international audience. This gave me the chance to be able to share my experience of being a student at Queen Mary with a large number of visitors to open day events.

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This helped me to improve my communication skills, as I had to be able to understand and respond to the queries and concerns of parents as well as the eager students looking forward to starting this exciting chapter of their lives. On school visits both on and off campus, I had the experience of working alongside colleagues from different degree programmes, running days where we gave students of various ages an insight into university life. This was a really enjoyable experience.

Summers were the best part about being a Student Ambassador. With various events

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