The Student Room Group

Opportunities in college/sixth form

Hello,
I was wondering if during y12/y13 of sixth forms/colleges if getting opportunities to visit universities and work places is normal. The college I currently go to (which I absolutely hate) has not even once provided us with any support or opportunities like visiting campuses or inviting guest speakers to our college. However, my friends that attend other sixth forms and colleges have been given so many opportunities, which had honestly made me jealous, since I had been working to the bone to scour the Internet for opportunities myself. My college seems to lack the funds or the will to find these opportunities, which I found extremely annoying.
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Original post by Jokoala
Hello,
I was wondering if during y12/y13 of sixth forms/colleges if getting opportunities to visit universities and work places is normal. The college I currently go to (which I absolutely hate) has not even once provided us with any support or opportunities like visiting campuses or inviting guest speakers to our college. However, my friends that attend other sixth forms and colleges have been given so many opportunities, which had honestly made me jealous, since I had been working to the bone to scour the Internet for opportunities myself. My college seems to lack the funds or the will to find these opportunities, which I found extremely annoying.

I'm a current Year 12 student at a sixth form college and I would say that it really depends on the school. If I had opted for a more local secondary school sixth form with lower rankings in my area, I probably wouldn't have had many career opportunities, due to a lack of resources and budget cuts. I wouldn't say it's 'normal' to have a lot of opportunities if we're using a nationwide scale, however, it probably isn't normal to have no opportunities or support whatsoever. If you haven't already, I would speak to your school to ask if they have any opportunities to help you and if not, what they plan to do in order to give your year group the best chance at succeeding after completing your qualifications. If I had opted to stay at my secondary school's sixth form, which was ranked 4th in the borough, I would have probably had a lot of opportunities, but I don't think any of them would have compared to the ones I have been presented with in my current sixth form college. I think what tends to happen is that when a school only focuses on particular year groups (so sixth form colleges and colleges), they have more pressure to deliver and give their students as much support as possible when it comes to higher education and progression. I've attended multiple talks and been presented with lots of career opportunities at my college, however I've also been on the other side of the spectrum; because there are so many students, staff can't always help you with the bare minimum. I think you will probably need to look into more opportunities on your own if you feel that your school isn't supporting you well. It's unfortunate, but some schools are severely understaffed and underfunded, so doing your own research may be the best solution to this problem. If you want to go into a healthcare career for example, but you aren't sure what you want to study, you could contact GPs, pharmacies, care homes and hospitals to find out whether they have any work experience or volunteering opportunities available (I gained work experience in general surgery through emailing hospitals). If you are interested in a different sector, such as the commercial sector, you could look into opportunities for disadvantaged students, paid work experience and virtual internships available at different firms, banks and businesses. Unless you plan on studying medicine or dentistry (and this is not even for every university), you won't need to put work experience or opportunities down on your personal statement, so if you are worried that it will negatively impact your university applications, you could do other things, such as wider-reading and engaging in more extra-curriculars to make yourself stand out.

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