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What do you do?

Hear short snippets from our support staff, as they tell you about the services they provide and how they support you once you arrive at uni.
Hi, guys, and welcome to the University of Reading. My name is Puja, and I’m going to be talking to some staff and students about the support available at university.
Hi, Tom. What’s your role at the university? So i work for the Global Recruitment UK Team. We support prospective students, er, young students who are still at school to give them a bit of an insight into what a university environment is like, to be both to be a student academically, but also the wider opportunities that a university can give people. So my role at the university is to make it really easy for students to get paid part-time work working for the university itself. My role is a careers consultant, and that means I provide free and impartial advice to our students. Now that could be on a wide range of different things.
So it could be anything from getting a part-time job, to internships, graduate roles, right the way through to kind of thinking about what it is really that you want to do and how do you actually go about that. So I’m a subject librarian, which means that I look after a particular school and department. And I support the academic staff, but also the students in that department to kind of find the information they need, access what they want so that they can carry out their research and studies, and learn how to be independent. So I’m the life tools manager. I run this programme.
And my role is really to support student in transitioning into the university, finding their way, doing well academically. The presentations include how to concentrate, how to remember things, keeping well physically to be able to do well, to maintain motivation, er, and manage throughout their academic life and preparing for life beyond the university, so the whole journey. I am a disability advisor in the Carrington Building, so in the main student services. A small team with a mixture of disability advisors and admin support staff. I work in the area of technology enhanced learning, which is about using technology in different ways to support teaching and to support learning.
Erm, I lead a team of staff who work with the academic staff, the professional staff, and with students to help them make the best use of technology. For any future university students in general, what sort support can you offer? We do activities around student finance, watching personal statements, but also, that kind of more fun stuff That universities have to offer. We do things like residential where students can stay in halls, residents, get to experience that kind of student lifestyle, and what halls of residence are kind of like. I think it’s really important that we help students right from the outset when they arrive here, because they need to know what’s available for them.
And also, we want to make sure that they can use all these technologies really well so they can get the best out of them and use them in their study. So one of the things that we’ve been doing is running sessions in the first few weeks when students come here, really, to show them all the different tools and also to guide them to all this sort of online videos and support that we make available. So if at any point they’re unsure of what they’re doing, they can get the help that they need. We’re providing the information. We’ve got– I’ve got a blog up on a website in their life tools on the Essentials page, and we provide information.
Students can access information on their website, they get counselling and well being team. Like for example, in this building, we’ve got all the student services. So there’s a lot of information on websites. And there’s also the study smart programme that applicants can access. So we all provide support to students, and we want everybody to be able to do well. That’s the most important thing, because if they’re not well, they find it very difficult to study.
Anybody who’s declared a disability on their UCAS form, and that will be the same for any university that they apply for, we’ll pick them up and automatically write to them, sending them a questionnaire and asking them to send their medical evidence back so we can see what their disability is. We will then invite them to our Induction Day, which is always about the middle of July, early to mid-July, where we run a day where all the applicants come and visit us, and we give us, we give talks on erm disability support. Well, the jobs that we have on offer range from working in our bars, our coffee shops, our IT service desk. Also, our open days.
The roles themselves, sometimes they can just be working for one or two days throughout the academic year. Other roles are more regular where you’re working maybe five, 10, 15 hours every week, and you can also mix and match. So students can do a little bit of both, a one day job and also, a regular position. You do large-scale kind of workshops. So if you’ve got, like– you want help with your CV or LinkedIn, we can show you how to set up a profile, how to set up your CV, and things like that. And on a more individual basis, you can come into Careers, you can see me or one of my colleagues.
And actually, we can kind of give you a 20 minute appointment where you can either ask what it is you want to do. We can help you explore your ideas a little bit further. My team in particular, we help people when they’re doing their research. So when they are going a little bit independent and finding out something that’s brand new, we help them to find resources that are going to help with that, whether that’s books things, that are online. But the whole library team is really just there to help with any questions about getting used to using university library, which is probably going to be a new experience for a lot of our students.

Universities provide many services to support student welfare as well as academic study and you read about some of these in Step 1.8. In the second of our vox pop videos, you’ll hear from support staff who explain the services they provide and how they support you once you arrive on campus.

If you’re living with a disability, chronic medical or mental health condition, these additional preparation steps may be helpful:

  • Register with the Disability Service: Make sure this is done well before you arrive.
  • Disabled Student Allowance (DSA): Find out whether you’re eligible for DSA, and if so, apply for it as soon as possible. DSAs are a form of government funded support. They are aimed at helping disabled people to study on an equal basis with other students.
  • Day-to-day support: Have a detailed discussion with the person who helps you most at home, about what support you’re likely to need academically and for daily living. Contact the Disability Service and let them know what you need, so things are put into place to help you with a smoother transition and that you’re getting the right support.
  • Plan ahead: Plan the routes you’ll need to take around the campus and the town by looking at maps of the local area.
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