5 Things My Friends Didn’t Know They Could Do at University

No, this is not clickbait or a joke. And yes, there are such activities, options and advantages which you may be already quite familiar with, but a few which my friends had never even heard or thought of. In this article I’m going to share with you 5 ‘unknown privileges’ every University of Nottingham student is entitled to.

1.The Ambassador Scheme

Being part of the Events Ambassadors’ team is a great chance not only to boost your CV, acquire valuable experience and promote your favourite university, but also earn some extra cash. If you are quite communicative by nature, have a lot to say about your university experience and are too busy to get a proper part-time job, then you might perfectly fit the position. Although the applications for this academic year are closed, keep the scheme in mind for your next year, no matter if you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate.

2.Register with CeDEx

An alternative to the Ambassador Scheme if you want to increase your pocket money is CeDEx (the Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics). While my Economics friends had never even heard of it, it was one of my best accidental ‘discoveries’ in my first year. CeDEx is a world-class research group, based in the School of Economics at UoN which gives you the opportunity to become a paid volunteer and take part in decision-making experiments. You don’t need any special skills in order to register or participate as long as you are a registered student at the UoN. The only requirement is that you must attend the session you have signed up for which usually lasts an hour or so, and from my experience, the reward usually varies from £2 - £18 per session.

3.Take a gap year and do an internship

While for some people this is an obvious option, some of my friends never even thought about it and now see it as a missed chance. Because of that, for those who are not doing the so-called ‘sandwich course’, taking a gap year after first or second year is a great way to complete an internship programme, define your interests and provide insight into your career goals. Normally, the best time to do that is after your first or second year at university since most internship programmes are only available to current students. If you choose to take a year off and spend it wisely (and don’t use it as an excuse to watch Netflix all day), not only would you be able to explore potential career paths and increase your employability but you could also take a break from the academic pressure and gain relevant real-life experience. It is true that it might not be the best idea for everyone, but taking some time off also doesn’t mean that you’d be behind your peers – Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and J.K. Rowling did it as students and it led them to fame and fortune!  

4.Nottingham Advantage Award

The Nottingham Advantage Award (NAA) is a service that many students are not aware of. It is part of the Careers and Employability Service at UoN and a great opportunity to make your CV stand out, do some useful extracurricular activities outside your degree and get recognition for that for free. The Award offers over 200 modules (marks do not count towards your overall degree result) which focus on career skills, mentoring, cultural awareness, entrepreneurship and volunteering. Students have to complete 30 credits to gain the Award as each module is 10 or 20 credits. It gets included on your degree transcript and employers love it!

5. UoN Engage and Gym Classes

I know some of you are thinking ‘Omg, are you serious?’ but yes, I am. It was not a long time ago when one of my friends who has had a sports membership for 3 years told me that he doesn’t even know what engage sessions are or that there are fitness classes such as HIIT, Yoga, Zumba and others. So, to anyone who still doesn’t have a clue but has a sports membership or simply likes keeping fit, the Engage programme might be perfect for you as it aims at widening the sporting opportunities to UoN students. It offers weekly sessions available in more than 25 different sports, regardless of your level of skill. Any activity such as badminton, boxing, trampolining, hockey, synchronised swimming, pilates and many others, is free for members.