The Blast-Off Talks

By Bea Williams (Academic Rep)

First of all, I’d like to say a warm welcome to all of our new freshers! I’m sure you’ll love Hatfield and Durham generally as much as I do.  For SHAPED, the Blast-Off series is our first series of talks and it is specifically designed for our new first years. 

This year the series includes:

1.      What I Wish I Knew As A Fresher

2.      Manifestos and Getting Involved

3.      Internships, Spring Weeks and CV’s

4.      Academia Panel

The first talk is fairly self-explanatory regarding the content but I would thoroughly recommend it to all of our new students.  We will have a group of ‘experienced’ students who will be able to answer any questions you might have about what its really like to be a fresher at Durham University. This talk will help you to feel much more comfortable in your environment and you will leave with sound advice (including remembering to always wear your ‘klute shoes’ to klute).  It will also be incredibly useful to ensure you don’t make some of the mistakes that a lot of us have most definitely made.  I certainly wouldn’t give it a miss! 

The second talk is all about how to make the most of the opportunities offered at Hatfield and how to effectively apply for the many roles of responsibility that we offer.  There Is so much going on in College; it’s almost impossible to know about everything so this talk really helps! I, for one, was also rather intimidated by the word Manifesto as I hadn’t heard it before and honestly had no idea how to go about writing one.  This talk explains everything and will help you to really jump into College life! Applying for a position in my first year was one of the best things I have ever done and has developed so many skills of mine whilst being so much fun! 

The Internships, Spring Weeks and CV talk isn’t necessarily for everyone.  However, last year I attended the talk despite not knowing if a spring week or internship was something I wanted to do.  However, I’m so glad I did! I gained invaluable CV advice which is useful when it comes to applying for any kind of work experience and even a part-time job.  Not only this, but it opened my eyes to the opportunities that are out there and how the application processes work, making them seem far less intimidating.  My CV is much more professional than it was previously and that is all down to this talk. 

Our Academia Panel is completely new for this year.  We hope that it will give you an insight into academic work at university, including lectures, seminars, using the library and independent reading.  This will help to ease the transition between school and university as it can be a big change.  

I hope to see as many of you as possible at these talks and also hope that SHAPED can help you as much as it has helped me!