This weekend was the first visit day of the academic year. For those of you that are unsure, a visit day is similar to an open day in that the University opens its doors to prospective students who come to get an idea of what it would be like to study here. However, visit days differ slightly in that they are only for students who have applied to a course through UCAS. This means the department is able to go into a little more detail on the course and get to know individuals a bit better as there is normally less people around.
One of the big additions to the visit day in comparison to an open day is than a number of department interview their prospective students and IScience is one such department. Now I know this sounds scary and if any of you have University interviews coming up I know you are likely to be a little nervous. I certainly was! However, I know it easier said than done, but do try not to worry too much; they tend to be no where near as bad as you imagine them to be. Obviously I can’t speak for every department in every University but in the IScience department they tend not to ask lots of difficult science question (you will have your grades to show them that) but instead just want to get to know you better and try and figure out if you would work well on the course. The big thing to remember is to show enthusiasm, that is a big thing that they will be looking for.
I always like to help out on both open and visit days in the department, as do a lot of my fellow course mates. I love having a chance to talk to all the possible new students and, I hope, give them a bit of an insight into the course from a current student point of view (and of course convince them that they should become an IScientist!). People tend to be a lot more chatty on the visit days as well which is really nice to have I have found this especially parents actually… I sometimes I wonder how many of them I could convince to become IScientists…
Good luck to anyone who has any visit days and/or interviews coming up, where ever they may be! Don’t forget to ask lots of questions and chat to the people from the department on the day. Not only is it good for you information wise but it also shows that you are an engaging and interested person! I remember a number of the current first years because they came up to me and chatted to me on visit days last year. It is funny really because now they are giving the same advice to the new set of applicants! Don’t be nervous to ask questions even if you think they are silly, they probably aren’t. Plus, if the people there are anything like me they will be hoping that you have lots of things to ask them so they can tell you all about it 🙂