I have done and still do a lot of part-time work at Imperial. It is financially rewarding and it feels that I am contributing to the Imperial community in some way. Last time, I spoke about working as a student caller and fundraiser with the regular giving team. This time, I am going to tell you about what the President’s Ambassador (PA) scheme is and what it is like to be a PA.
The Application Process
Hiring usually opens a few weeks into the first term of the academic year. You are required to fill a standard application form to provide your contact details, the reasons behind applying, and any previous experiences you have.
After the daunting week of exams after a relaxing Christmas break, you can heave a big sigh of relief that exams are over. Or can you?
If you’re like me, as soon as you leave that hall you’re already second guessing all your answers and thinking about what mark you might get. Just because the exam is done doesn’t mean that the stress has gone away, you’re just stressed about receiving your mark now instead of the task of actually completing the exam. All the while you have to carry on with the rest of your lectures and in-course assessments. The stresses of work can seem never-ending, but its important to remember that even though university is for extending your learning, it’s also about having fun with everything else there is to offer.
There are some weeks when life overwhelms you and you can only just keep your head above the water. Even after you’ve recovered, it somehow takes monumentally higher courage to get back into the water.
Today, I jumped in. And it was fun.
After living in halls for four months with the world’s most zealous kayaking enthusiast, I finally bit the bullet and came along to a session. After back to back lectures, a lunch time committee meeting, labs and a Horizons French lesson, the thought of trying kayaking vs work was a no brainer.
Now that I’m a chunk into term 2, I finally understand enough of term 1 to talk about it. This is due to my own stupidity and laziness, not the difficulty of the course, so don’t be put off much. Here’s an overview of what happens in the first bit of 1st year Physics. I’ll include the not-particularly-physicsy bits and everything to do with the year in Europe and Theoretical courses too. If you are reading this because you want to study this stuff, do remember that you may have different lecturers and some of the aspects may change.
The first term contains five lecture course, none of which span the term, though I believe mechanics comes close.
Before I got here, I was stressing about money considerably more than I’m stressing about it now, which is worrying in itself. So for anyone in the same situation, I’m going to break down how I survive.
Background: I receive a student finance loan, as a home student. I also happen to recieve the minimum student loan there is and no grants or bursaries. At the same time, the financial situation at home is such that I wouldn’t nag for money unless I need it, although of course they take care of me and are prepared to be a safety net, so I never end up selling my own kidney.
We have been getting results back from our formative exams/tasks over the past couple of weeks and I recently received this question:
“Dear Mala, I heard that every first year medic fails January exams at Imperial. Is this true because I don’t want to fail. Do first year medics even do any work?”
In short…the pass rate was around 58% in our year. For those of you that don’t know, formatives are basically “mock” tests that we have to gauge how well we are doing so far. They are supposed to give everyone a metaphorical ‘kick up the aorta’ and thus work harder.