Planning ahead: Maximise your time at university

Extra-curricular activities are something you probably already do a lot of. As you know, for your personal statement and dental school interviews, it’s important to show off your life outside of study, your communication skills and your time management; things which are exemplified through volunteering, part-time work and social commitments.

When we talk to prospective students, one thing they are sometimes concerned about is the workload, and not having enough time to do the things they enjoy, but that really isn’t the case. King’s offers hundreds of opportunities to socialise and earn, making London a little bit more affordable and a lot more fun.

Part-time work

Part-time work is something a lot of students do at university; it’s a great way to meet new people and earn some money, and often leads to other opportunities. All of our campuses are centrally-located, making it easy to get casual work in shops and cafes. Many students choose to use their academic skills to tutor, either in person or online, helping GCSE and A-level students achieve their best. Some students choose to work for the University, either as part of the Student’s Union and their venues or talking about their experiences to potential students. Working for the University is so flexible, making it easy to pick up shifts around your studies, allowing you to work when it suits you, even in later years. With the Science Gallery set to open this Autumn, job opportunities right on Guy’s campus are plentiful, so check out the King’s website when you arrive to apply for jobs that suit you.

Research and intercalated programmes

Work isn’t the only way to boost your career. King’s is a research-intensive university, meaning it has a big focus on not only making cutting-edge scientific discoveries, but transferring them to real-life, clinical use. We’re lucky here in Guy’s tower to have three floors dedicated to research, with paid opportunities for undergraduates to work on these projects in the summer holidays. These ‘studentships’ give you an amazing opportunity to work alongside experienced researchers, contributing to new and current projects. Some students even get to present their research at conferences or have their name in a journal article: a real achievement to be proud of. If research is something you’d like to explore, many staff within the Dental Institute have research interests as well as their clinical work, allowing them to translate what they see in the lab to helping the patients they care for. These members of staff are eager to guide students during their careers and are always around to talk about their work and many offer placement opportunities too. Some students choose to further their research careers even more, taking a year out from their dental degree to intercalate. At the end of this year, students complete a dissertation and earn either a complete BA or BSc degree, all for only a year’s extra study. King’s currently offers an amazing 18 different year-long degrees to choose from, from neuroscience to anatomy, psychology to imaging, there is something to suit all interests and foster a life-long passion for research.

Additional training and support

King’s also offers free courses to all students to help boost career-focused skills. From public speaking to dissertation writing, and courses in all the Office applications (which King’s students get free too!), they can help you study smarter whilst at university, and increase your confidence ready for the world of work. We also have our student-focused career service, supporting students to think about their careers and guiding them to achieve their personal goals.

Remember, dentistry isn’t all about sitting in a surgery on the high street, there are so many opportunities to go for, including hospital care, specialist training, teaching, army and prison dentistry and more on the horizon as technology advances. King’s can help you be at the forefront through our research-focused course and tailored career-enhancing opportunities (before you’ve even left university!).

Just as your activities outside school helped your application this time round, so will the commitments you have at dental school help you in your future careers. Being a member of a society and contributing to the student life of the university is extremely desirable, and can help you stand out from the crowd and learn valuable, transferable skills.

Here are a few useful links to help you plan ahead and get you thinking about how to make the most of your time at university:

Lauren.

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