Amy is in her third year as a history student and president of the union’s band society. She is planning postgraduate study to develop her research skills, which will complement her experience of coordinating social events and concerts around the University.
What programme are you studying on?
I’m a third year single-honours history student.
What do you hope to go on and do when you graduate from the University of Leeds?
At the moment I am looking to apply for a master’s within the school of history for this September.
I have found through my course that the more I discover about certain periods of history, the more
I want to learn about them. Now that I’m in my final year, I want to go on to complete my learning by further study to develop the skills I have acquired at an undergraduate level, through postgraduate study.
What skills and qualities do you think you’ve gained from your course?
History at BA level tends to involve a lot of independent work. The history department is always ready to give advice and general guidance throughout your studies, but I think learning to motivate myself to tackle difficult historical sources is something I have taken on board, which has helped me to develop my confidence in the analysis and assessment of historical evidence. The course also encourages you to participate in group and individual presentations, which has helped to develop my communication skills both inside and outside of the classroom.
What skills and qualities do you think you’ve gained from co-curricular activities?
As president of the union’s band society, I have gained valuable experience in coordinating social events and concerts in and around the University, which has helped to develop my organisational and communication skills. For example, through working as part of a team, I have been able to help motivate the rest of the committee to provide a publicity campaign to promote the society in the Leeds music scene, whilst encouraging our members to get involved and come to all our events.
How will these skills and qualities help you achieve what you want to do when you graduate?
By effectively balancing my workload, co-curricular activities and going out at the weekend, I have been able to demonstrate good skills in time management, which is very important in the workplace for meeting targets and deadlines. Through studying history at undergraduate level, I believe I have gained maturity in writing and presenting, which will help me to take my study of history to a higher level. No doubt the organisational skills and independence I acquired on my course and through BandSoc will also be of benefit to me in the future.
What has been your proudest moment while studying at Leeds?
I think the best feeling I have had at Leeds has been when I have put all of my energy into doing something and it has turned into a success. There’s nothing more rewarding than turning out an unexpectedly good essay, when you have struggled and agonised over it for weeks, to be commended for all of your efforts.
How do you think you have benefited from studying at Leeds?
Studying at Leeds has given me great independence in my studies and lifestyle and has given me so many opportunities to get involved in the community. Without the union I wouldn’t have been able to meet a lot of the people I know today; the nightlife at the University and the existence of many societies has given me several social and networking outlets which have helped me to make friends and establish work contacts in and around the university.
What advice would you have for students just starting out at Leeds?
For anyone starting out at Leeds in September, make the most of freshers’ week and establish yourself in the University community. Get involved with the union’s societies to meet new people and establish social networks. Most importantly, you must grab new opportunities that come your way. Most undergraduates are only here for three years, which is no time at all. Now that I am in my third year, it feels like the real fun is just getting started. Make the most of what the University and Leeds itself have to offer while you are here, the time will go so quickly that you will have finished before you know it.