Monday, 18 November 2019

The top student discounts

One of the perks of being a student has to be all the discounts and offers you can take advantage of. Read on for our guide to the top discounts and to make sure you’re not missing out on any, especially the ones exclusive to Herts students!

1. Save The Student

Save the Student isn’t just about discounts – they also provide free and impartial advice on how to make your money go further. You can find information on the best student bank accounts, ideas for making money (like by becoming a product tester), as well as hacks to help your cash go further.
Find out more at savethestudent.org

2. StudentBeans

StudentBeans definitely offers variety when it comes to turning your pennies into ‘magic beans’. From food to travel to fashion there are a huge range of
discounts waiting to be taken advantage of. Get your free digital student ID card and access thousands of student discounts both online and on the high street.
Find out more at studentbeans.com/uk

3. UNiDAYS

Providing discounts with a staggering number of retailers across fashion, beauty, health and fitness, and technology, before you decide to go shopping make sure you check UNiDAYS for a discount code first. Like StudentBeans, UNiDAYS is free to use, but has the added benefit of providing reward points for you if you get your friends to sign up too.
Find out more at myunidays.com

4. TOTUM app and card

With the TOTUM app you can receive free discounts as a student at Herts. If you also buy a TOTUM Card you will have access to over 200 UK
student discounts and will also receive 1-year FREE ISIC (International Student Identity Card) which unlocks over 42,000 international discounts. Although the app
is free, you do need to pay for the card, but any revenue the NUS generates from the card goes towards supporting key Students’ Union initiatives all over the country.
Find out more at totum.com.

5. Herts students only discounts!

Don’t forget, as a Herts student there are also extra discounts that you can get, including:
- Discounted Unobus tickets
- Free sports with Active Students
- Free careers advice, workshops, seminars and training from Careers and Employment 
- Free access to LinkedIn learning
- Special student memberships for the Hertfordshire Sports Village 


Spaces designed around you

University life can be pretty full-on. And that’s why we have created and refreshed lots of different spaces across both of our campuses, all designed around you and your needs. Whether you need somewhere quiet to knuckle down and focus on assignments, an area where you can chat and work collaboratively with course mates, or just somewhere to catch up with friends, there is lots available. 


Social learning space

The social learning spaces are the ideal destination for both group working and catching up between lectures. At de Havilland, the Mezzanine in the Atrium has large tables with lots of seating that you can all gather round. At College Lane, our Chapman Lounge is where you will find smaller booths plus group tables fitted with digital screens that you can plug your laptops in to. 

Learning Resources Centres (LRCs)

As well as being open 24/7 the new study zones in our LRCs mean you have a lot more flexibility with your learning. We now have dedicated floors to suit different study needs, including group working spaces and silent study zones meaning you can work exactly how and when you need to.

Restaurants and cafes

Our on campus food had a big refresh in September. The restaurants are now serving a wider range of food from super healthy choices to the more indulgent and traditional home favourites. You will also find new choices in our cafes, many of which have had new refurbishments giving you space to chat and study.

The Oval and de Havilland Common Room

When you need to relax or have some quality time with your mates then the easiest place to head for is the nearest common room. The Oval is nestled in the heart of the student accommodation at College Lane, and the de Havilland Common Room is just next to the de Havilland shop. Both have high specs with pool tables, foosball, and board games to unwind with, and you can even order a pizza in – so long as you clear up afterwards! 

Coming soon!

Early next year we are due to open a brand new social space at de Havilland in our Enterprise Hub. You have probably seen this being built right next to our Law Court Building and The Street. The ground floor is a dedicated social space and your feedback has helped to shape exactly what this offers. Keep on the lookout for more information about its opening in the New Year.

Work, work, work, work, work


Even though the end of your degree may feel like ages away, now is great time to start thinking about what you want to do after you graduate. You may already know and have your eyes set on your career, or maybe even your own business venture. Whatever your plans, make sure you have linked up with us in Careers and Employment. We offer so much free support and advice, from help with CV writing, self-development and upskilling right through to setting up your own business, we are right here to guide you. 



ACE
So many graduates look back on their Assessment Centre Experience and tell us how it really prepared them for applying for jobs after Uni. So now is a great time to start looking back over your notes and refreshing your memory with the skills you learnt and the feedback you gathered from our assessors. What would you do differently now? Have you gained new skills that you could use as examples in interviews? Make a list of these and continue to add to them as you progress through your final year.

CareerHub
If you aren't already using Career Hub, start now! As well as the latest jobs and a huge resources section, you can also sign up to events, webinars and workshops all for free. They cover lots of different topics from how to create an effective LinkedIn profile, CV writing, interview preparation and much more. Log in and see what’s on offer.



Enterprise Support
If you are interested in starting a business or freelancing, we can give you the help and advice you need to get started - not only while you’re a student here but also up to three years after graduation too. I’d recommend getting involved in our weekly enterprise workshops, designed to support students like you with their enterprise journey. The Uni also has its very own Business Incubator providing you with access to flexible office space on campus.

flare ignite
flare ignite is the University’s competition to help students and alumni launch new businesses or come up with an innovative idea. It offers budding entrepreneurs support and training in areas such as writing a business proposal, and offers prize money to help bring ideas to life. With a range of enterprise workshops and advice sessions in areas such as: planning, finances, intellectual property and publicity, you’ll have plenty of support to turn your idea into reality.

Upskilling: LinkedIn Learning
If you're looking to add some extra skills to your CV, then LinkedIn Learning is a great website. LinkedIn Learning is an e-learning tool available for free to all University students. There is something for everyone, with over 5,000 expert-led video tutorials across a wide range of subjects, as well as bite-sized videos and searchable transcripts for immediate answers. You also get certificates for each course you complete that you can display on your LinkedIn profile.


With so much on offer it can be difficult to know where to start. But don’t let that put you off, we are here to help and want you to succeed, so either pop in and see us in Hutton Hub at College Lane, or give us a call on 01707 284791. We are always happy to chat!

Michael Chapman, Careers and Employment Team

Monday, 4 November 2019

Activities to get you skills

Upskilling doesn’t have to involve text books and lectures. Here, your VP Activities Sajid explains how you can gain lots of skills from extra-curricular activities on campus.

"Our University offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities, from societies, sports clubs, volunteering, fundraising and student media (Trident Media). Getting involved in extra-curricular activities is exciting  giving you a chance to be a central part of the community on campus while learning a lot! Being a member of different societies and clubs will also really improve your social life!

I started my journey by joining an Active Students roller-skating session. It was a wonderful experience and so I got involved in more activities and found the more involvement I had in different events the more I felt I had settled into University life. 

During my second year I decided to create my very own society through our Students’ Union called the UH Global Students Society. This was such a great opportunity for me as I got to be involved in so much more than just taking part. I started to develop my planning, coordination and organisation skills, and it was also a lot of fun! I really suggest all students get involved in different extra-curricular activities, it is very beneficial - it’s like an investment in yourself.

Key skills that you will learn from getting involved in different extra-curricular activities are, self -confidence, leadership, networking, problem solving and a lot more. These will really help you in the future, especially when it comes to professional environments as well as your own personal development. You won’t just be rewarded with new skills though. Being in a society and getting involved in different activities will make great memories that in the future you will be able to look back on and smile. 



Here are some of the top activities I suggest to check out on campus:
1) Karaoke 
2) Pub quizzes
3) Societies meet and greets and other events.
4) Sports clubs socials and activities.
5) Taking part in fundraising and volunteering
6) Forum (night club) night outs
7) Freshers’ Week.

My advice? Make sure to keep it fun and enjoy it! Our student population is so diverse that you will meet a lot of students from all different cultures and backgrounds, as well as students who have the same interests as you. Who knows, you might even find your new best friend through your new activities!

If you’re unsure where to start, get in contact with the Students’ Union. They have loads of knowledge about what extra-curricular activities are available, and are always happy to help you find the best opportunities that the University has to offer."


Recipe of the month - Peanut butter cookies

This month Uni Chef Terry brings you another easy 3 ingredient recipe, this time for yummy peanut butter cookies. Perfect for dunking in your favourite hot drink.

Ingredients

Makes 25 cookies

1 cup peanut butter (200g)
½ cup of sugar (100g)
1 egg

Recipe

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

Step 2 – In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugar and egg.

Step 3 – Scoop out a spoonful of dough and roll it into a ball. Place the cookie balls onto a non-stick baking sheet.

Step 4 – For extra decoration and to make them cook more evenly, flatten the cookie balls by pressing a fork down on top of them, then press it down again at a 90 degree angle to make a criss-cross pattern.

Step 5 – Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are golden brown.

Step 6 – Remove the cookies from the baking sheet and leave to cool.

Step 7 – Grab your favourite drink, dunk your cookies and enjoy!

Study Success Hubs - Get help from experts


Assignments looming and looking for some study skills support?

The new Study Success Hubs on the ground floor of the LRCs provide a dedicated space to brush up on lots of valuable skills to help you succeed in your studies. From English and Maths support to how to correctly reference your assignments, a friendly team of experts are on hand to help. Sessions are drop-in and all students are welcome - no question is ever too small!

What's on offer?


Academic English support - get expert advice on all areas of assignment writing including paragraph structure, grammar, style, text evaluation and lots more.

Maths support – need help with a particularly tricky maths problem?  Experts from the School of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics are on hand offering specialist support on a range of mathematical topics.

Library Link up – help provided on using library resources to support your studies.  Sessions running in November include referencing, finding books and journals for your coursework and Westlaw certification. For dates and to book your place, visit the booking page.  

SU Study Smart – get help managing your workload and revision techniques with 1-1 sessions with the SU Academic and Welfare advisors. Book a session via the SU Advice & Support team.

Careers and employment – find out more about Careers and Employment services, events and online resources available to you during your studies here at Herts.

Visit Ask Herts to find out more or check out the session timetables on display at each of the Hubs.


Here’s how some of you are already benefiting from the hubs


Careers stand

'Having the promo stands in the LRCs is a great way to integrate the Careers service into the daily lives of students, increasing awareness; allowing students to reach out for support and guidance with regards to the plethora of services available to them throughout their studies and beyond!' 
Rebekah Lewis BSc (Hons) Final Year Nutrition student and careers link

'The career stands across the LRCs and schools are very influential in bridging the gap between students and the careers service. Through speaking to students at the stands I’ve learned that a lot of the time students wish to seek career advice or would like to know about upcoming career events that they may benefit from attending, but due to their busy schedules, they unfortunately don’t get the chance to pursue these opportunities. The fact that the stands are staffed by students allows everyone to feel more relaxed and open when bringing up subject matter they are not familiar with. The stands feel very valuable for students that want to start looking into part-time and full-time career possibilities.' 
Jamal Braimah Bsc (Hons) Psychology student and careers link

Academic English

“Helped me to understand what academic writing means and how to plan my work.”
“Very useful sessions delivered by excellent tutors.”

“It was awesome. The notes I took helped me a lot. The teachers were also very friendly and it was generally a worthwhile experience.”

“Very effective and useful for me.”

You can find out more about the Study Success Hubs on Ask Herts.

Voice It - Why your voice matters


These days it’s almost impossible to consume a product or service without being asked for your feedback. ‘Share your thoughts…Rate us out of 5…Write us a review’, just some of the many questions you may have been asked in the past month, if not the past week! And while it can be overwhelming, have you ever really stopped to think about the importance of sharing your opinion?

Here, Rida, your Students’ Union President tells us why feedback from students is so vital to the University and how you can use your voice to make a difference at Herts.


“When I first started my time at UH as a student, I always thought that my feedback didn’t have an impact. I always used to ignore the surveys sent by the University or Students’ Union.  But that’s not the case anymore. I never miss a chance to give feedback anymore, and here’s why:

Ever since I have been elected, I have been to tonnes and tonnes of meetings, most of them aimed at improving students’ lives. I have been part of so many discussions where staff have been very interested in understanding what student challenges are and how students want them to be addressed. Most people are very keen to understand- What is happening? What has worked? What hasn’t worked?

But how does the University decide what is best for students? How do they know what students are thinking?

I was surprised to see that so much of what the University does for students comes from student feedback, whether it be from a survey they completed, mid-module feedback or simply from a focus group. As a student I always underestimated the value my opinion had in influencing the University. So what examples are there of student feedback having an impact?

Timetabling
One of the main things being worked on by the University these days is timetabling. As a sabbatical officer, I thought that the main request of our students would be for no 9am lectures, so the commuting or even non-commuting students can get more time to relax in the mornings. Surprisingly, after coming into the role, I discovered that the priority of our students seems to be more focused around reducing gaps between classes - this came out in a survey done by the Students’ Union. The University and the officer team really took on the feedback and we are all working together to make the timetables the best they can be for the majority of our students. If it wasn’t for the students telling us what they want, we would have never known.

Lockers on campus
One of the huge officer successes over previous years has been the commuters’ lockers. The idea of having this facility came from HertsEmpowerment, which is a platform for students to raise their concerns or ideas. We received some feedback highlighting that commuter students felt like they couldn’t be as involved in University activities and that having a space to keep their stuff would help them move more freely around the University and could potentially make them feel more included. Many other students shared similar thoughts on the same platform and that idea has become reality today thanks to work done between the Union and the University!

Print Credits
Last year, our VP Education lobbied the University to expand their print credits for first years to all students. She took this idea forward to the University, and the University worked hard to listen to this feedback and has incorporated it into this year’s plans.


So far, all the work I have been involved in with the University always has an element of incorporating student feedback. There are many different ways of providing feedback to either the Union or the University, via HertsEmpowerment, Student Reps, Surveys, School Community Organisers, Student Council, Mid-module feedback etc.

Having attended an away day with academic staff earlier this year, I can say one thing: all feedback from students is  considered by the University.   Without the feedback the University or the Union never fully understands what is working for students and what isn’t. I haven’t been to a meeting where student views haven’t been considered.


So in short, if students ask “why should I bother giving university the feedback??” The simplest answer to that question would be, because your feedback can bring change! 

Find out how your voice is already making a difference on Ask Herts