By Jacqueline Grima
This week, the Humanity, Languages and Social Sciences Faculty hosted a Faculty Enrichment Fair at Manchester Metropolitan University.
With 20 stalls on offer, the Fair gave students the opportunity to find out more about the faculty’s extra-curricular activities. Stallholders included The Students’ Union, The MMU Student Press Office, Time to Change and Kirsten Burke of the Placement Office, who was able to advise students on how to access course-specific work placements and internships. Students were also able to find information about how they could improve their employability by signing up for MMU Futures awards or by opting to learn a foreign language at the university-wide ‘Opt for Languages’ stall. As Language Department co-ordinator, Stephanie Aldred, told Humanity Hallows, ‘Learning a language can lead to lots of other opportunities and can be done as an extra-curricular activity or can be integrated into a student’s studies, earning 15 credits.’
Also recruiting at the Fair were the Army’s Manchester-based Six Military Intelligence Battalion, who were offering students the chance to join the army as a reservist with the ‘Certain Start’ project, designed to fit around a student’s studies whilst also offering up to £5000 in bonuses as well as opportunities to be posted abroad.
Fun activities on the day included the Make a Difference stall’s ‘Wheel of Fortune’ game as well as the chance to ‘Tattoo a Banana’ on the Fairtrade stall. According to Jason Smith of MMU’s Environment team, ‘The university has had Fairtrade accredited status for 5 or 6 years now and all of the tea, coffee and catering ingredients used are Fairtrade but, in order to keep the status, the use of Fairtrade products has to be actively promoted.’ Students also had the chance to join the MMU History and Vegan societies, speak to the MMU IT team and find out more about the Humanities in Public festival.
On hand to offer advice at the fair were Kate Johnson, the university’s Postgraduate Student Experience Tutor, who brings postgraduate students together in order to enhance their university experience, and HLSS Student Support Officer, David Peters, who offers guidance to students who might be struggling with any aspect of their course such as assignment writing or time-management.
Student reaction to the Fair was positive. Jessica Foley, a second year English student who was looking for advice regarding a summer internship, said, ‘With so much information given at the beginning of the academic year, it’s sometimes hard to know where to turn to ask questions, so the fair is a great idea.’ Ciaran Weir, in his final year of a Sociology degree, also praised the event, saying, ‘I am impressed with the information about postgraduate scholarships as I am interested in going on to further study. I also found out how to improve my CV at Kirsten Burke’s Placements stall.’
All donations made on the day went to Readwell, a charity which provides free books and storytellers to make life better for children in hospital.
Jacqueline Grima is a mum of three, a (somewhat reluctant) dog owner and is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at MMU. She is also sending her novel ‘Coming Second’ out to publishers. Her novel was shortlisted for the 2014 Luke Bitmead bursary. Find her blog here www.grimajgrima.blogspot.co.uk
HLSS Faculty Enrichment Fair Photo Gallery