Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Welcome home!

Welcome home!

It was great to see everyone again at WelcomeFest on Friday. Moss House really came alive for the day and there was something for everyone. So, if you missed out in favour of another duvet day, then it was a big mistake!

Apart from the fact that the Dining Room’s pizza oven was fired up again, and delivering great food at just £1.50 a helping, there were society stalls, a chance to meet the Student Guild team, get help with academic writing, link up with the health and wellbeing team and have a go at all manner of games and skill tests.

Enterprise Hive was giving away business start-up knowhow in the form of a number of publications in return for identifying famous entrepreneurs. And I took the opportunity to book in for one of their business consultations – not only do you get some one-to-one guidance but the chance to access start-up business funding. If you have an idea that could be the next Facebook, what are you waiting for? But be warned, slots go fast so you had better be quick.

I also enjoyed talking to the external exhibitors looking to recruit students for a variety of roles. For example, Off To Work was looking for front of house staff for the Cheltenham Festival, Bushcraft was seeking people to help run wilderness camps for children, and Hilton had a number of vacancies across its hotels. Birkdale Collective offers specialist career advice to, among others, sports professionals and entertainers while AtoZ Interpreting was looking for more translators to join its books.

As a Professional Chef student, I made a beeline to talk to Yasmine Selwood, our very own Masterchef: The Professionals contestant. While the title eventually went to another former University College Birmingham student Dan Lee, Yasmine’s story is particularly powerful and inspirational because she set out to prove the only barriers you have are self-imposed. As a newly-divorced mother of four, she enrolled at the University to pursue her love of cooking, and just a year after achieving her foundation degree, she was rubbing shoulders with the greats as a quarter-finalist on the iconic TV show.

Of course, no WelcomeFest would be complete without the obligatory glitter and there was plenty to go around, along with free samosas and cupcakes galore. And while all this was going on, Joel and Darius aka Lunafall were blasting out some great music.

So, if you were a no-show on Friday, you will be kicking yourself because I came away with some great contacts, lots of information and a big smile on my face.

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