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Feature: Get Set for Success, Zoe’s Story

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Feature: Get Set for Success, Zoe’s Story

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New undergraduate students at St Mary’s University, Twickenham have been able to get a head start to university thanks to its successful Get Set for Success programme, which ran for the third time this year. Launched in 2012 by St Mary’s Centre for Workplace Learning and UK Recruitment teams, Get Set for Success is designed as a way to offer additional support and information to those attending university for the first time. Zoe Thomas, one of the first students to take part in the programme, spoke about her experience. “I have been involved with the Get Set for Success programme since its first year in 2012 where I was an attendee. I then went on to become a student ambassador and work at the event in 2013”, begins Zoe. [caption id="attachment_9450" align="alignnone" width="234"]zoe-thomas-01 Zoe Thomas[/caption] Starting university, while a liberating experience, can also be quite daunting for students, which is one of the issues the Get Set for Success scheme aims to tackle. “When I attended the programme in 2012 I was very nervous and apprehensive about the upcoming weeks of moving into halls, starting university and making new friends”, says Zoe. “The programme gave me an opportunity to get these worries out of the way before the start of term and changed the worry into excitement. The talks and activities that were offered by the programme gave me very useful information and answered all of the last minute questions I had.” The programme is also a great opportunity for students to get to know their surroundings and meet key members of staff, as well as other students. Zoe says, “The most valuable thing I got out of the programme was the chance to get to know other students and staff. This comforted me a lot in my first week or two, knowing I already had friends and other students I could go to if I had any problems or just wanted to go to the Freshers’ Fair in the SU. “I settled into university life very quickly and easily and found that I was giving other people advice from the information I had been given at Get Set for Success.” Having been a member of Get Set for Success in 2012, Zoe went a step further and opted to work on the scheme in 2013 as a Student Ambassador to help the next cohort of students settle into university life. She explains, “I was very pleased when I received the opportunity to work on the event in 2013 as I had experienced it the year before and knew how to relate to the new students coming in. “In the year I attended everyone had been very shy and quiet in the first introduction talk, so with this in mind I was able to go around and try to get the students talking to me and the other Ambassadors and subsequently to each other a lot quicker. Furthermore, having been at the programme in 2012, I felt that I knew what kind of questions the students would want answering and so I prepared myself with answers. Overall, then, was the programme worthwhile? Zoe concluded, “Get Set for Success is very worthwhile and my experience as both an attendee and an ambassador has given me a great insight into the planning, delivering and success of the programme.”
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