In this blog post I’ll be talking about my university application. Going through step by step; my selection process, finding the right course, visiting the universities and writing my personal statement.
First of all, let me introduce myself, my name is Tim; I study Marketing at Nottingham Trent University. My A-levels were; Business Studies, ICT, History and Philosophy & Ethics (AS). I first gained an interest in marketing having studied the basics in my Business Studies A-level and I spoke to my teacher about studying it at university.
My next step was to start some early research into courses around marketing. I decided that I wanted my course to include a work placement and the opportunity to take a sandwich year out in industry. With this in mind and my predicted grades I jumped on UCAS to search for the course I could apply to. Due to my criteria there were a limited number of courses available but once I had created a longlist I started to research the universities.
Location was an important factor for me when deciding my university. I didn’t want to be too close to home where my parents could spring a ‘surprise visit’. I wanted to be somewhere I could start afresh in a completely new place, meet new people but also be a reasonable train journey away for when it came to popping home for the odd occasion. I was also conscious to know the reputation of the universities, looking at league tables is one thing but listening and reading to people who go to the university and study your course of interest is so much more helpful. Luckily, I had friends or friends of my brother who were studying at the majority of my choices but there are lots of sites out there with student reviews.
The feel for the campus and city was also a key deciding factor, that’s where open days came into play. As I wrote in my last blog about open days, looking at universities’ websites and reading their prospectuses cover to cover can only tell you so much so get yourself along to an open day and explore the university.
Once you’ve been to your open days and got your shortlist it’s now application time. Give yourself plenty of time to complete it, remembering you can always save your application and come back to it. Work through each step entering your details and so on. You should also be drafting out your personal statement. Now this can seem like a daunting task; 4000 characters to talk about yourself. I have to be honest, I found it quite difficult to write about myself. It can feel almost awkward talking about my ‘skills’ and ‘knowledge’ as it felt like I was being arrogant and big headed but in reality these are the sort of things that the admissions team are looking out for. For more advice have a read of what Laura from NTU’s Admissions Team has to say about how to write a personal statement.
Once you’re happy with the contents get someone you trust you read it over. This could be your teacher or a parent, let them proof read your statement to make sure you haven’t made any embarrassing mistakes. Reading it out loud will help to highlight any hiccups, such as missed out words or a missing ‘s’ on the end of words. Also, don’t be tempted to copy your mate’s statement if they’ve finished early. UCAS have a dedicated plagiarism team who verify every personal statement, so don’t be lazy, be original.
Good luck in your applications! I hope you found this helpful, I’m more than happy to answer any questions you might have
Tim - NTU TSR Rep
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