Currently I have just finished my second year and will be entering my third year at the University of Suffolk studying IT & Business Management in the autumn of 2021. During my first two years at University I have met loads of new people and certainly learnt a lot, although to say that there have been many ups and downs in my time so far would be an understatement.
To start my journey off and immerse myself in university life I attended the well-known Freshers week. This is a week ran by the University, full of events and activities for new students to allow them to meet other freshers and some of the staff at the University of Suffolk. To begin with on the Monday we had the Induction talk. This was a talk simply welcoming us to the university and giving us the much-needed information, as well as the history of the University and Ipswich itself for students who are perhaps not as familiar with the area. Next on the Tuesday I attended the Freshers Fair which was held in the waterfront building, at this there were various stalls about clubs and societies at the university as well as local partners of the University giving any vouchers and telling people what exactly they do.
The location for me is a real positive for the University of Suffolk, with it being only a 15 minute walk from the train station - making it ideal for people who commute like myself. It’s also only a 10 minute walk from the town centre. The waterfront where the University is based is also a stunning and modern looking area of Ipswich, providing a fantastic view of the docks. In my opinion the University buildings also give off positive vibes and I have friends who are very happy with the student accommodation being so close to where our lectures are held.
One of the main challenges that I encountered, and am still currently adapting to, is the pandemic. The government announced a lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2021. This ended up affecting my studies massively, it originally meant that no face to face lectures or seminars would be able to take place and instead they were shifted online, making everyone thankful that we are able to do this with the technology available nowadays. I found there were both positives and negatives to this, firstly this meant that I didn’t actually have to physically go the University and instead giving me that bit of extra time in the morning, which usually allowed me to have a slightly longer lay in. Like myself many students were a fan of this. Since I also got the train to Uni this meant I was able to save that extra bit of money just staying at home.
There are many aspects of my course which I have enjoyed, however one of the highlights was in my Introduction to Marketing module. A talk was arranged with an entrepreneur called Scott Russell who is the CEO of Paddy and Scott’s which is a coffee producer in the UK. Scott talked about how the adventure starting and growing the business had taken him on and also went over the different aspects of the branding of Paddy and Scott. From this I not only learnt how Paddy and Scott’s became what it is today but also the mindset of an innovative entrepreneur like Scott and about how he goes about his daily life.
From the 26th-30th April 2021 I also attended the some of the various webinars at the Careers Week sessions. Usually these would be held in the lecture rooms around the University but were held online instead. In the week I attended three different ones; Coderus, UOS Enterprise Skills Programme and Fourier. Overall I found these beneficial as I got to learn about both of the companies. Coderus is a leading software and app development company in the UK based in Ipswich, and is one of the partners of the University. Fourier provides contract and permanent personnel to clients including investment banks, hedge funds, fintechs and so on. Both of these companies are also in sectors which I’m looking to go into so definitely worthwhile!
Another memorable day for me was in my Business Economics module I also went on a trip to the Business Show 2019, in the ExCeL building in London. This again was a fantastic day out arranged by the University. This was full of new and thriving businesses, speakers, entrepreneurs and so on. Aside from getting loads of free stuff I overall found it a great experience and definitely got to meet and network with ambitious people like myself.
More recently near the end of my second year I began the Micro Placement Scheme ran by the University. So far I have starting doing a placement on the Waterfront Reception / Student Life centre which has including myself helping out on the social media channels and the rebranding of the Student Life Centre, as well as shadowing others in this department to see what they do and how they do it. This has also allowed myself to meet lots of new people around the University and most definitely increased my network. It is also incredibly flexible to fit around studies. For example when most of my time was taken up by various assignments near the end of my second year I was given less work, and was instead allowed to focus on them. When I had finished them and had a lot of free time I was given many more hours.
As for now I’m applying to become a Student Ambassador and hoping to welcome new students onto the Campus from September 2021 - Covid restrictions permitting. Also I’m looking forward to starting my final year of studies after the summer break.
- Theo Ellis, current second year student on a micro placement
The Micro-Placement scheme offers paid opportunities that will enable you to take on real responsibility by working on live projects, or with services/facilities delivered within the University. Read Theo's Case Study here.