I am always a bit nervous when it comes to attending interviews, after all the preparations and anticipation about how I might feel on the day, I just want to do well and explain to the interviewer what I am capable of. For today’s interviews, however, I was in a very different role, and rather than feeling a bit anxious about it I was very excited to start the day. For today’s interviews, I was in the role of a student ambassador, responsible for helping to greet and to look after the interviewees and their guests. As a student ambassador, you want to help to create a friendly atmosphere for the prospective students. We had a number of prospective students come to the Peninsula Allied Health Centre (PAHC) for their interview, which is where the undergraduate and postgraduate Occupational Therapy programmes are based. They arrived with a range of diverse professional and academic disciplines, and they all had very interesting reasons why they had decided to choose this particular career path. I really enjoy talking to prospective students and it is fascinating to hear their stories, and to realise how different their stories are to my own.
It was a slightly odd position to be in, to not have the pressure that comes with attending an interview, and it meant that I could see things from a different perspective. My position meant that I was able to do what I enjoy the most, which is to encourage others to overcome their worries. For me, I think the nervousness experienced by many prospective students is completely understandable. These nerves show just how excited they are about getting the chance to study their chosen course at the University of Plymouth, and demonstrates how much they want a place to be on the programme.
If anyone has got an interview coming up for a place at the University of Plymouth, in particular to study the Occupational Therapy programme, one of the top tips that I would give is ‘to be yourself’. Of course, preparation such as research on some key facts about the profession’s value, the range of opportunities that the University can offer, and what you might be assessed on during the interview remain essential. It is very important, however, to allow your personality to come through! The teaching staff and interviewers are interested in getting to know you, and they want to know why you want to join your course or programme, as well as to hear your story.
After all the interview assessments were finished, we had an interactive session with the academic lead so that everyone could get a taste of the teaching style at the University of Plymouth. We also went for a campus tour afterwards to wrap up the interview day. As I was leaving the building, one of the prospective students from the interview day came back to thank me for looking after her, and told me that she cannot wait to find out if she has been offered a place to be on the Occupational Therapy programme.
On reflection, working the interview day as a student ambassador made my Saturday very special, it was a privilege for me to be part of an event that might changes someone’s life forever. Will I do it again? Oh yes! Without a shadow of a doubt!