Top 5 tips for returning to university as a mature student

Hi everyone, Paige here.

Some of you may have graduated from your undergraduate degree a few years ago, so may have some reservations about returning back to student life. I worked for four years before heading back to education and it was a bit of a shock to my system. Have no fear though! Returning to education is an incredibly rewarding experience. I had a think about my own personal experiences, and wanted to share them with you.

Here are a few of my main thoughts about how to succeed through this transition:

1) Stay on top of the readings week to week

I know it may be tempting to catch up later but the workload is steady. I have tried to treat my more flexible schedule just like a regular job, giving myself a schedule with allotted times for different classes, readings, work and meetings.

2) Take advantage of the connections

In the workplace, I found who you know makes a big difference. Networking opens up opportunities, now is the chance to use your connections!

3) Go to the extra seminars and talks

Much like the above statement, seminars and talks around London are a great way to develop your interests, network and meet like-minded professionals. Being a student at King’s gives you access to lots of exclusive events that the general public cannot attend.

4) Explore your interests

Academia allows you to personalise your schedule and study specific areas of interest, unlike work schedules. Take advantage of this time to find out what you like and develop a base of knowledge that can help propel you into the workforce after graduation.

 5) Enjoy this time!

It can be hard to settle back into a student life if you are accustomed to a different lifestyle but it goes by so quickly. Take advantage of the flexibility and opportunities presented while they’re still there!

The thought of returning to university as an adult can be nerve-racking, but the life skills you have gathered in the time since you last graduated will go a long way in helping you make the most out of your experience at King’s.

Best Wishes,

Paige- MA Bioethics & Society

Paige Fitzsimmons

 

Finding Accommodation in London, by Tina

Hello everyone, Tina here!

In order to get you started with your accommodation preparations, my blog is about different ways to approach searching for accommodation in London.

If you’re an international student it can be difficult sometimes to get an accurate impression of what to expect with your accommodation, therefore it is advisable to arrive in London a few weeks before the official beginning of your programme so you can take the time to attend viewings. After all, you want to find an apartment or flat share which really suits you and meet your potential flat mates before making the decision to live with them. I moved to London before the start of my programme, and I spent the first month at a friend’s place before I found a nice and affordable room in a flat share in North London through Spareroom. Personally, I have had very positive experiences with this website and can also recommend Zoopla, Gumtree and a few Facebook groups (for example, Looking for a room in London or KCL Masters & PhD Flat/House Share Group Finder, specifically for King’s students) to support your search. Students usually pay between £500 and £1200 a month in rent; the price varies depending on factors such as the travel zone, room size, number of flat mates, etc. It is also common for landlords to charge a non-refundable administration fee which normally ranges between £50 and £500.

If you have not yet been to London or do not know the city very well, you may want to have a look at this neighbourhood guide compiled by Airbnb which introduces the different areas, richly illustrated with pictures.

Moving into a King’s residence is also very popular with students as it saves you from finding private accommodation. King’s currently offers accommodation in central London (zones 1 and 2), many of them are within walking distance from King’s campuses. The accommodation webpage is a really useful source of information as it includes pictures of all residences, information on prices and the application procedure. Also, the King’s ResiLife blog gives insight into various activities taking place at the different residences.

I hope this information helps when it comes to researching accommodation options!

Best Wishes,

Tina, MSc International Marketing

Tina SchmechelT

Perfect places to enjoy the sunshine near campus!

Hi Everyone, Hannah here!

This is a little photo blog with some ideas for lovely places to sit in the sun within 5 minutes of Strand campus. This week’s weather was great inspiration, roll on summer!

1) Somerset House Courtyard. Take a seat here with an iced coffee from Fernandez & Wells!

Places in the Sun- Somerset House

2) The Victoria Embankment with a lovely view of the Thames and the London Eye.

Places in the Sun- Victoria Embankment

3) Fountain Court Chambers.  A tranquil spot hidden away seconds from the Strand!

Places in the Sun- Fountain Court Chambers

4)The terrace, at the King’s building with great views of the city!

Place in the Sun- King's Terrace

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Best  Wishes,

Hannah, MSc Climate Change

Hannah

4 Tips on networking as a postgraduate student at King’s

Hi, Hannah here.

As a continuation of my interview with Fiona Richardson (SSPP careers consultant), I asked how to make the most of networking whilst being a postgraduate student. Networking is a fantastic way to improve your career prospects, Fiona gave me these four great tips to share with everyone…

1. Use the King’s networks

Your department will hold many events throughout the year, attending these is a great way to make new contacts. King’s Careers and Employability also run a lot of events which are great for networking- these are particularly good for meeting potential employers. Finally, don’t be afraid to speak to people in your academic community, be that your personal tutor, lecturers or other students. They could have really valuable connections that they would be more than happy to share with you.

2.  Use Online Networks

LinkedIn is great for finding the kind of people you would like to network with. You could find alumni that are working in a sector you’re interested in, and ask them about their career progression, or stay connected with students and staff on your course, they may have backgrounds relevant to your work interests.

The careers service can offer you support with setting up your LinkedIn account and helping to make sure you are getting the most out of your profile.

3. Pitching your Approach

Most people you meet when networking will be willing to help you in some way. However you must be mindful of what you expect from them and pitch your approach appropriately.

It’s likely that someone may offer you advice about the industry they work in and how they got to be in their current position. You should not walk up to someone at a networking event and ask them for an internship.

4. Do your Research!

This point is vitally important if you want to gain valuable information from networking and not embarrass yourself. Read about who is going to be at the event by looking them up online, and make sure you know who they work for. The last thing you want to do is ask them a question that you could easily find the answer to online- this is a waste of your time and theirs.

Blog - Hannah March

Best Wishes,

Hannah

5 Ways King’s Careers & Employability can support you

I spoke to Fiona Richardson, the careers consultant for Social Science and Public Policy (SSPP). She gave me these 5 tips on how postgraduate students can make the most of the careers service at King’s…

  1. Tailored Careers Events

Your faculty and department will hold tailored careers events based around the kind of jobs, internships and volunteering opportunities students in your area of study are likely to be interested in. These events include sector insights, talks from professionals, employability skills, job hunting workshops and more.

  1. One to One Guidance

Each faculty has its own specialist consultant (like Fiona for SSPP). It is great to arrange a meeting with a consultant to discuss your career progression and get personalised help. You can get an idea of the current King’s Careers consulting team here!

  1. Accessing Internships

Careers can help with making you aware of the internships available, what may be suitable for you and help with applications. There are 3 main internship pathways available at King’s. You can find out more through the links below:

  1. Application & Interview Support

The careers service offer meetings with application advisors to support you personally with any applications you are undertaking. They also offer mock interviews to put you through your paces and make sure you’re prepared for the real thing!

  1. Alumni Mentoring

Alumni are invited to King’s through faculty and department programmes so that current students can meet them. They even hold alumni speed meet events to help you broaden your network.

Through King’s Connect the careers service runs a scheme that allows you to be matched to a suitable alumni. They then mentor you to help with your career progression.

5 ways Careers & Employability can help you- PG