As everyone who is a regular reader of my blog posts will probably know by now, I’m James Croft. I’m a 4th year student at the University of Hull studying Computer Science with Industrial Experience. I’ve experienced a lot while being at university and I’ve always wanted to give something back to help out prospective students who are eager to get a degree and move on to greater things like we all are (because that’s what we are all at uni for, right?)
In my second year, I became a course representative for my department which started off my ideas to do things for others and not just myself. At the time, the course representative scheme allowed students to review modules and liaise with key members of the departmental staff to raise issues with modules and promote those that were working well through peer evaluation at the end of a semester. This required a pair of reps to get up in front of the entire lecture and ask questions that would then be fed back into the staff-student committee meetings, and then to academic council meetings with all course reps from all departments.
While this seemed a good scheme when I joined, it just doesn’t seem to have the best impact on the university as the organisation is run through the University Union and not the university itself. Which is where student ambassadors come in.
I know that I should probably be really focussed on my work this year and getting that first class degree that I am after, but the great thing about the Student Ambassador scheme is that I can do it around my university timetable. This means that I will be able to give students from schools and colleges tours of the university, tours around my department and tell them on a personal level the experiences that I have had as a student in hope to encourage these students to take up the chance of higher education, especially at our university.
I’m definitely on a mission to inspire people to come to university and in particular, study as a computer science student, no matter your gender. Computer Science may be male dominated but it definitely shouldn’t be that way and I don’t believe that female computer scientists should be segregating themselves from the rest of the computer science community. Programming in any language is a skill that anyone can learn, and combined with my role as a Microsoft Student Partner, I am always aiming to encourage students to develop applications and take up the offer of getting the software that they need for developing through sources like DreamSpark. I’ve even started up video tutorials on developing mobile applications for Windows Phone to encourage people who aren’t skilled in app development to give it a good go!
I hope by the end of this year, I have been able to do everything that I had set out to do while I was at university.