Ten take-aways from this session:
- Go where your passion takes you
- Be spontaneous
- Reach out to people
- Thinks of ways for you to stand out
- Embrace everything
- Be emotionally involved
- Everything will be fine
- Keep giving to others
- Don’t plan every year ahead
- Look for opportunities to collaborate
***The following transcript has been automatically generated and is presented here unchecked***
LinkedIn Live What we can learn from Generation Z_ persiste…
students, people, university, pandemic, universities, year, mental health, skill, moment, thinking, important, bit, degree, internships, uni, talk, happened, impact, izzy, life
Nadine Powrie [00:02]
And a very good afternoon to everybody who is going to be watching this amazing broadcast today. I’m Nadine Powrie, Executive and leadership coach and workplace mediator.
I’m Izzy McKellar. I am a third year European politics do you and at King’s College London, and I also do some journalism works.
I’m Richard Sharma. I’m a third year German and Spanish student at King’s College London. And I’m currently meant to be in my year abroad, but I am in Bolton, enjoying it.
I’m asking you to tell I’m a final year UCL classic student and student, journalist and activist.
I am Jenny Ling. I’m a leadership development consultant specializing in education.
Nadine Powrie [00:52]
It’d be like University Challenge. Just thinking that, ya know, Hi, I’m Jan Danes, I’m a I’m a freelance education consultant, based in the UK, doing some school and leadership support. I’m very happy to be here.
Nadine Powrie [01:12]
Yeah, it’s, it’s a very full house, it’s a very happy moment. And I have to say that when Jenny and Jan, we were preparing today behind the scene, and we we felt like it was Christmas, and we were waiting for Christmas present. And what I want to say is that there is always a why behind everything we do. And the why we’re here today is I should say a huge thank you to my to my one of my daughters. She’s at Kings, and she’s in a final year. And I was having a discussion with her about my LinkedIn life. And I said to her, what could I do to help you know, people like you, your generation in my LinkedIn life? And she said to me, Well, you could, you could invite students, you know, and, and have a debate or a discussion. And I have to say, that I have totally admire, admired my daughter for navigating this period. And this adversity. And she’s done that with such elegance and grace, when and courage, you know, when things have not been very easy. I thought, Okay, I’m going to do what she tells me. She’s my, you know, on my advisory board, and she introduced me to Izzy. And then Jenny, easy, Jan, we had a discussion. And then it grew to rashica and Asha, joining us today. So Camille, yeah, this is the this is the wild. We are. We are all together today. So a very well, warm welcome to you all. And last week, when I posted on LinkedIn that we were going to have this discussion is around in Hutchinson, which is a colleague of us, who’s worked in the Middle East with us sent a question. So I’m going to suggest that we start with the question, and I’m going to invite our audience to ask any questions that they want us to talk about. And the first question is, what of the skills and knowledge you’ve been taught, learn, benefit to them? And
Nadine Powrie [03:25]
and then there’s a second question I’ll read later.
All right. To me, the best skill that I’ve been taught is communication. In my second year at King’s College London, ran a pilot scheme called the Civic Leadership Academy. And that was all about, you know, obviously leadership, but also building a network, talking to different people from diverse backgrounds, and really cementing yourself growing some confidence, doing elevator pitches, that kind of thing. And that is definitely the best skill that I’ve been taught. Because I think in my first year, especially and previous to that, I was so scared of people like who seem to have everything together. And I didn’t feel confident, like reaching out asking for help. And my personal tutor actually told me recently, like, the most important phrase, I think, being a young person at the moment, so if you don’t ask you don’t get and that is really something that communication brings you, you know, being able to be able to weld and reach out. But I think that my least useful skill that I’ve been taught, I’m not necessarily sure if it’s a skill, but actually is that kind of sense that you need to have everything together at university like maybe a bit of planning if that is appropriate. I mean, obviously planning is important to some degree, but I personally have found in these very uncertain times, planning isn’t always the most helpful thing. Because at the moment, especially with me, I know I could spiral for hours and hours thinking, well, if I don’t get this job, then this will happen, this will happen. And really, sometimes it’s important to go with the flow, sometimes it’s important to, you know, see what connections take you where, and see where your passions lie. And, you know, sometimes spontaneous opportunities have pop up. And I personally quite like leaving myself open to them.
And have to agree, I think that possibly, the least useful kind of skill that I have acquired is the kind of need to have everything planned out, have everything structured and great, this is what the next three years will look like. I think, especially at the end of second year, in March, all that kind of flew out the window. One of the things that I have found that the actual pandemic itself has taught me, is resilience. And that’s comes from self point of self assurance, where everything will be fine, if you trust kind of your own skills and your abilities to problem solve. And I think it’s it’s hard to be, it’s really been tested in the past couple of months of having to change, you know, direction in the ponds and everything. I was actually meant to be in Chile in July for my year abroad, that didn’t happen. So kind of finding other ways to get that education, get that knowledge that I’ll need to get into my final year and graduate with a degree in kind of the the grades that I want that the grades that I want. You just keep need to keep pushing through it and just keep it sounds really cheesy, but just keep going. Yeah, yeah,
I totally agree. I think that sort of my most useful and least useful skill, come hand in hand, flickers, sort of in the vein of not having everything planned out, I think, especially when you leave the house and like go to university and start the next stage of your life, there’s a lot of competitive competitiveness drilled into you that everybody is your enemy, not enemy. That’s a strong word. But everybody is almost in competition with you to get the same jobs, and there’s not enough space for everyone. So you need to find a way to stand out. And there are ways for you to stand out that don’t include dragging people down or like making yourself feel bad by comparing yourself to them. And so the most useful skill that I’ve learned, as a result of this is collaboration has definitely made going through university and being a student, and especially in the past year, far more easier and bearable, and enhanced my life. And when I like sort of took the competition aspect out of the connections that I was making. We were all bolstered. So that is definitely the the best skill that I’ve learned is collaboration with loads of different people from different backgrounds.
I think that’s kind of part of our degrees. I know for all of us who don’t have degrees that necessarily lead into a plant pathway by geopolitics, reached as languages or asiyah. Does classics. And so it’s all about those transferable skills, I think when it comes to our university experience. And sometimes, you know, I talk with my friends, and I’m Jose, it feels like at the moment, I’m not doing a degree in politics, it feels like I’m doing a degree in resilience. And going through, because I probably learned more lessons about myself and about, you know, how to get through difficult situations that I have necessarily about politics. And that’s not for lack of trying, it’s just the situation that has happened in the past few years. And I think that’s also common for a lot of people who are going through University have a lot of difficult times happened to coincide with the university years, I think when you’re, you know, ages 18 to 21 or 22. That is always going to be an interesting time and leaving out the house or discovering more about yourself. And then obviously, when you throw COVID into the mix, I think a lot of people are feeling at the moment that we’re doing a degree in growth, and it persevering more than anything.
I totally agree. Especially in I think beyond COVID. University in general, a lot of people that whilst the degree subnet filtering itself is important, and obviously you’re doing it for a reason that things outside and the wider experience of university I found really, really valuable. Like society’s talking to people sort of living on your own sorting out financially rent, paying fees, and that aspect of independence. They all come hand in hand with like going to university or just generally going on to the next stage of your life outside of school. And those are The biggest learning curves that you don’t really expect but are the most impactful.
Nadine Powrie [10:06]
The second part, sorry, Rashida. Did you want to say something? No, no. Okay. Okay. The second part of the question that Geraldine was asking was, what do you wish you had been taught? Which I think is
one because in retrospect, you can say, Well, coming from, you’re coming from the viewpoint that we have now in pandemic and stuff, it would have been great to learn about how to deal with, you know, personal issues, how to reach out for help, how to ask for support, how support friends and other, you know, loved ones? It is, it’s quite a broad question. I think.
I think one thing that I really wish that I love is that to re embrace everything, I think that sometimes, you know, there’s a certain element of restraint, you feel like you should be showing not getting too excited or too upset, or, you know, too invested in certain things. But one thing that I’m really learning at the moment, as I think it’s so powerful to get really excited by things really involved in things, and that can be in every aspect, whether that’s, you know, getting really emotionally involved in things or in terms of university, I know, in first year, I was, I was scared of, you know, putting myself out there and joining a society and trying really hard. And I wish that somebody quite a few years ago, had told me just absolutely put your all into things. If you’re gonna spend your time doing something, you may as well do it really well. And now, obviously, we have so much time to reflect. That’s definitely something that I’m like, you know, I did that. And that’s cool. But I could have, I could have done this I could have taken all after that I could have really reached out to more people during that experience.
Can I ask a question? To what extent I mean, I think I know the answer, because I think you guys are probably fairly unusual for the students. But But what to what extent do you think others in your position have developed the resilience and the resourcefulness and the positivity that you are sharing us and telling us about now?
Let’s say, Well, considering I’d say the people that I’m referencing, now, my circle of friends, both at home and at university, I’m very fortunate to be around people who do think similar ways who are like to see the positive side of the situation and do help in supporting other people bolstering each other. And when we need like. I think at the beginning of this second lockdown, things got a little bit hard, it was dark, a lot. We had a lot of assignments during and there was just a myriad of stresses that kind of popped up in front of us. And talking to people my age, and my peer mates and stuff. It was really useful. It’s really insightful. As he said,
she has no monkey going to come back here.
I just I found it really insightful. And I found it really inspiring as well, because a lot of people were in similar academic situations to me were in we were all doing University online, but everyone was doing different courses. So I have a lot of friends who work in labs and they could and that find a way around. It’s just it’s different ways of overcoming a lot of a lot of academic stress.
Yeah, yeah. Also, in terms of like stepping back and looking at the wider picture of the student experience during the pandemic, I think that it’s exposure, as well as sort of showing lot of positives, it’s exposed lots of different areas of the education system that need work on and Pandemic was just shone a light on them. And students, the experience that I’ve had of like talking students and working with them is that we’re really taking it in our stride to try and, you know, advocate for making education more accessible and making mental health services more accessible for people who need it, especially at a time like this and making a more compassionate and understanding institution. And particularly recently, I’ve seen students canvassing and campaigning and organizing in difficult circumstances online with people that they can’t see or talk to or meet up with one person. And it’s really inspiring to see that kind of work.
It all comes down to the fact that students are 3d people and I think that’s something that I really struggle worth over the past year. And I know, one of my friends at Oxford has found that the universities sometimes seem to forget that we were 3d people, yes, we care about our degrees. And yes, we care about our graduate prospects. But also behind the scenes about, you know, we have complex families going on, we have relationship problems, we have financial problems, we have friendship problems. There’s all these other things that are happening behind the scenes as well. And potentially, you know, we had, you know, the perfect table flies, then our university experience probably wouldn’t have been disruptive lately. But when it comes to all the different complex elements, which every student has an a varying ratio, we really are being impacted and influenced. And so I think everyone has shown resilience this year. And it’s the same for non students as well, everyone has shown resilience in their own way, dealing with their own struggles. I doubt that anybody has really not had a challenge recently, that something has been influenced
by Can I just asking you a question? Because I think what you’ve just said is is is really interesting is that you’re talking about it being impacted, but actually listening to what you’re saying, over the past 20 minutes or so I would say it sounds to me like you’ve been empowered by it. Yes, it’s definitely impacted. But I think that what comes through hear from all three of you is how powerful you feel about your life. It’s not being done to you, you’ve taken control. And as such, the list of things that you said at the beginning? Well, we’re all involved in leadership development, you know, across industry, and across senior leaders and education. And I mean, that’s like, you know, you’ve got all the components there and leadership development program, somebody’s far down the line in their careers, but you’re actually now aware of these things of communication, of being embracing spontaneity, finding other ways to get through things, I mean, that what you are reflecting isn’t the impact, but it’s the empowerment, that’s not to say that, you know, there are lots of negatives that have impacted on you. But I would just like to feedback that I think you’re coming across as being incredibly empowered, and actually will take this opportunity to become the person you’ll become as a result of that. Whereas going back to what he was saying, in your first year, you might not have ended up like this in your third year if it hadn’t been for the pandemic.
So the time that we’ve had to reflect, for me, at least has been so important. Because, obviously, reflection is such a powerful tool that everybody use at some point in their life. And because we were locked down for so long, as well. And still, you can reflect on every aspect of yourself, everything that you’ve done wrong, everything that you’ve done, right, things that you’d like to change, and that sense of, if not now, when I think has really come through the pandemic. Everyone’s been trying to do this self improvement and whatever way and a bit of Carpe Diem as well. We may know how to do that the email signup email. I think that’s been so important for me, because also, yes, there’s been, you know, email downs here and there, but they, they teach you things, and they help you realized what you need to work on. And I know for me, part of that has been, what am I doing after university? There’s big question mark in the future. And for me, that’s comes down to really distilling my values, working out what’s important to me, working out what I always want my purpose to be, what do I want to bring into society and into the world. And I know, for me, that’s really making people happy. I think that’s quite a common one. But I really want to impact individual lives. I don’t necessarily care as much about big picture. But as long as I make one person happy, and in my work every day, I’m very happy with that. And so I think that reflection time really being able to have this giant puzzle, break it down with every individual element has been really useful for me.
Yeah, I think, coming into that point, that for a lot of people in our situation, a lot of our lives have sort of been very certain and like, you almost know the next step and up until you’re about like, 20, you’re like, Okay, I’ll, I’ll do school, and then I’ll go on to further education or do this apprenticeship or apply for this job. And then I’ll do that, a graduate scheme or whatever, and then do this, this and this. And then with the pandemic coming. It’s a really big time of uncertainty for a lot of people that they want and dissipating. And that does make you change gears and reflect on what are the most important things? And what are our priorities? And is that knowing exactly what I want to do X, Y and Zed in the next couple of months or next couple of years? Or is it understanding what’s happening in the moment how we can make things better right now? Because that’s all we have the certainty of, which is what the pandemic made clear. So I definitely think that for a lot of students, it’s been a case of rote like, Okay, this has happened, how do we adapt to what’s happened? And make the best out of the situation?
Do you think that’s made you stronger?
I think so. I mean, I don’t know where I would be if the pandemic hadn’t happened. Before it, yeah.
This ability to change quickly to changing circumstances and the ability to be flexible, and to be able to stick to your path, ie getting a degree, whilst all that all this fluidity is happening around, you surely must make you feel that actually, if I can cope with this, I can, you know, looking forward, I can cope, I’ve got so much strength and resilience for the rest of my life.
I think for me, as well, it’s like I was saying, there’s an ability to look at your whole picture as a person, I think that’s really strengthened me because I’ve been able to look at all of these different elements of my personality that I maybe previously hadn’t liked as much or hadn’t felt very confident. And, like, for me, for example, I have a non visible disability, I have mild cerebral palsy, and that’s something that I never felt comfortable talking about ever. And was something that was ashamed all over the pandemic, I’ve really had a child to see that and see, okay, well, this is part of me, that’s not changing, I have the time to work on my relationship with my disability work on my relationship with how that actually empowers me in certain ways, what lessons that support me. And then when you put on top of that, that everything that I’ve learned from the pandemic, it has been really great because it’s the pandemic itself, teaching us flexibility and resilience. But then it’s also the things that we’ve learned during the pandemic about ourselves during reflection. So that’s actually a really big strength. When you’ve got both sides about,
Nadine Powrie [22:30]
Jenny, she has
a couple of couple of comments that we’d like to bring in. One is from collard who just says, Hello, he’s so excited to be here. And Lisa Grace Williams, who is somebody that we know, we’ve met in the Middle East,
And she’s also been on this, on this forum. And she just says, there are some, these are some incredibly grounded students. So there’s some really positive feedback for you, ladies,
Nadine Powrie [23:03]
I I want to go back to the legacy that you will leave at university because the three of you will go in the world of work, possibly next year. Okay. Fingers crossed, the plan is going to work. And I want to ask you about your legacy as final year students because, you know, you will go away, but there will be first year going into second year and students will remain unique, you know, what legacy Do you want to leave? Behind you?
Honestly, I think you’re really great for this one.
I think that I really I care about a lot of things, which a lot of students do. And I want to be able to see when the things that maybe I didn’t have the opportunity to gain because of the way that my degree is structured or the opportunities that unit University offers or doesn’t offer, I want to be able to see that that is being offered to people when I leave. So for example, I I studied classics, and currently, I’m working on a project within my department about diversifying the curriculum and making it a safer space for people of color. And in doing that, we’ve already seen some changes happening where there’s been more open conversation discussions on how we can change the curriculum, discussions on how to make the degree itself more accessible and do outreach into communities that traditionally don’t study the subject. And even though I won’t gain from that necessarily, because I’m leaving in a couple of months, I want to be able to have a legacy and I many students I know of that. When they’ve left, they’ve made that experience more accessible to more people. So that’s definitely something I care about.
Nadine Powrie [24:57]
Well done, well done.
I think For me, when I came to uni, I was actually quite shocked, because I remember watching lots of YouTube videos and talking to lots of older students and in universities, the best thing ever, it’s so fun, you meet so many people. And now that’s definitely what I found that at the beginning, I was terrified. But also I found my calls and, you know, certain elements to be quite cold and quite intimidating, and no one would really speak to each other. And like Assam saying earlier, there was a certain element of competitiveness like high activated. But what I would hope that I’ve kind of left, as my legacy is a friendly atmosphere. I mean, I’m mentor to some younger students through the Civic Leadership scheme. And I just, I hope that they realize that university is a friendly place. Nobody needs to compete with each other. And I hope as well, I think, and I hope that in the working world is a bit less competitive in terms of you can all be good at your job. You know, it’s that phrase of all ships rise in high tides. And I would really hope that youngest students now a feeling a bit more welcome. And I think friendliness as well seems to be a bit of a like a trickle down system with one page because it’s friendly to you, then other people were friendly. And so
definitely, I’d like to jump off that I think, leaving a more warming and opening open community, especially within my department, it’s lovely as it is, there are very few complaints but especially the I’d say the student Professor relationships have been quite strange. At least I found my first year, they did relax a little bit in my second year, but I think that was mainly just for a couple students being very, very vocal and wearing them down and then finally being like, okay, let’s have a conversation. But I’d like to open a couple more channels just for communication of how students are faring, especially within the first couple of semesters in the university.
Nadine Powrie [27:13]
You you talk to you talks about mental health, and the beginning. And I’m just wondering, you know, if we, let’s imagine for a second, that we put you in charge of mental health, in your home university. What would you change? What would you bring new? What would you, you know, what would you do with that agenda?
I have so much to say on this. We done. I don’t think I noticed a single person at university who hasn’t faced some really difficult mental health challenges. Every single one of my friends, everyone that I’ve met, has, at some point, gone through quite a difficult mental health. And that in itself is not okay, you know, what, what’s going wrong there that needs to be investigated? Is it the pressure that you students are facing from the university, is it you know, the changing environment if you’re living away from home and those tense relationships, but that first of all really needs to be addressed in some shape or form to prevent that happening to newer students. But then also, once you’re in a mental health crisis at university, the help that you get is, in my opinion, not sufficient, you know, I know that they’re doing their best. But when you look at the figures, we give so much money to our universities, they get such a huge amount of fees. And I know, lecturers are always protesting because they’re not getting enough. We’re not getting enough in terms of mental health resources, dynamic resources, all that kind of thing. So where’s that money going? And that money, if I was in charge of mental health, I would try and make it more than six free therapy sessions. I know that sort of isn’t my university, you’re allowed six free sessions. And then you kind of that’s that’s you’re done. But if you’re in a mental health crisis, there’s a lot more to be done than that. There’s a lot to unpack. And I think as well starting those conversations early you know week one of freshers should have some mental health in it because this is a scary experience, you know, moving I moved from New Zealand, other side of the world. It’s scary.
Definitely, even if I know that something for mental health possibly might might not be coming in the next year or so. But until then, like is he said at the beginning of like week, one first year, just say look, these are some resources that you can go if you need to call someone. This is a cool line. I know that our university has student call lines you can call up students for but I think that sometimes especially when you’re in a mental health crisis, you feel like you can’t speak to peers about problems that are affecting you. Maybe offering, maybe you’re outsourcing some sort of therapy or providing just kind of digital resources, it could be very, very beneficial.
Yeah, no, I totally agree with what both of you have just said, especially in terms of stepping back and looking at why there’s a mental health crisis, as opposed to just like funding. And yeah, funding is so so important. I think beyond that, as well, sort of giving more training for mental health staff and people who are working on campuses and, you know, personal tutors, who may be the first point of contact for a lot of students who are going through these problems is sort of acknowledging what the issues are that that individual student is going through, in terms of like privilege and structures in at the university, because there will be people that there is such a variety at the University of people who are struggling financially, people who might be struggling with issues in terms of sexism, racism, all these things. And I just don’t think there’s enough talk called training about that. And it often makes people a bit uncomfortable to like, look and say, there’s something wrong with how we’re approaching students and who we’re helping and how we’re helping them that puts off a lot of students from even reaching out for mental health help. So I think that that’s definitely something I put funding towards making, you know, training that’s more aware of people’s individual circumstances and privileges and issues.
I think something that could be incredibly valuable is training or workshops on alcohol and substance abuse at university. Because those two things have a great impact on mental health. Especially I know alcoholism at university is, I don’t think I’ve ever had to talk about that. And if you’re a society, a sports team, you go to sports night, every week, or you feel that you need to go out to make friends. And the easiest way to do that is go to the park have a time. It can lead into really detrimental spiral, especially bringing social anxiety into that. And also, Alcohol is a depressant too. And, and substance abuse equally, it can be quite a social peer pressure kind of environment to be called fit in with your flatmates or whatever. So I think that also definitely has a tie in to mental health difficulties.
Did you just come in with Charlie? Comment from Charlie Potter and I think this was relating to Izzy what you were saying about the first year and being more supportive and more friendly. She just says I couldn’t agree more Rosie. I felt exactly the same way at university. And it’s so important to have that friendly atmosphere, particularly in the first year. Yeah. Hey, Charlie,
nice to see you there. Charlie’s my niece, actually. Thanks for joining. Charlie. I just wanted to pick up on something you said. Because, you know, I’m kind of really shocked about that. I mean, to so I started teaching in 1984. And what it’s certainly latterly, in the last 1015 years of of my teaching career, we used to ensure that as youngsters came into the sixth form, we accept form. And a new mix of youngsters coming in Oh, so okay, they’re coming in at 1617. Not not not not at 18. But even so the new mix of people and what I used to do is make sure that we gave them some you called it training with regard to, you know, the things that you’re now going to come into contact with because you’re in a much looser Freer environment with other people coming in who you haven’t met, who maybe have different values to what you’ve learned. And are you saying that that does simply doesn’t exist? When when when you then go on from school to university?
Yeah, and it’s definitely I had those books. My sixth form, they were brilliant. Thankfully, those lessons have stuck with me. However, at university, nothing Oh, it is. So
I find that terrifying, actually. It’s just just a dreadful omission. Dwell on that, but
it’s not something new either. I mean, Lisa at least has just come in again, saying really good points is even back in my days, there was a lot of substance abuse at uni, and I could bet it certainly gotten worse. And that’s speaking from my experience when I was at uni, which is a lot longer ago than anywhere else here. There were certainly A lot of substance abuse there. But I was never aware of any kind of mental health courts. So it’s not something that’s suddenly happened. And I’m sure that it’s actually been increased by the DEA, people being stuck in bubbles and not having that normality. So I’m sure that’s had a terrible impact on I
Nadine Powrie [35:18]
want to move on to student activism, because I know that the three of you are very committed to engage busy with it. And I think it would be great if he if you could share with us what you are involved with waste in terms of activism.
So at Kings, I’ve been involved with RA news, which is our student publication. And with that, we talk a lot about the uni and wider problems students. So for example, at the beginning of this academic year, so about September time, I wrote a long form article about how students are being impacted by the lack of internships at the moment. So myself, and I know, a lot of other students had internships that they were going to do in last summer. And you’ve worked really hard to get those internships, they take a long time, I had gone with the civil service, and that took about four or five months to get. And then sadly, I was unable to do it, because I’ve locked down one photo. And I know a lot of other students are in a similar position. So that’s kind of something that I’ve worked on sharing around. And then when those get reposted more and more, more people become aware of that, and hopefully, as well, it filters up into the largest stress. So they realize the impact that a lack of internships do have because we’re meant to get the work experience, we need to put on our CV, to stand out in front of other applicants if we’re not getting that foot in the door anymore. And, again, it kind of goes back to those really strong issues that have always been there the nature of who you know, not what you know, and we do not want to return to that kind of environment where, you know, if your parents happen to own a very wealthy company, you can just go there. And I’m a bit worried about that going into the future that people who have been disadvantaged by lots of internships or fewer graduate jobs are not going to progress as far as those who may have to professionally do a lot of student activism as well?
Yeah, no, I think that there’s a lot going especially, well, Jose in the past couple years, that’s because I’ve only been a student for the past couple of years. So it’s been a lot of different causes that students have sort of, I think it shows a lot of resilience that alongside their degree, there have been so many courses that students had been at the forefront of shining a light to whether that is sort of decolonizing curriculum, which is what I work most closely with, or making universities more sustainable in at UCL. for like the past decade, there’s been a big push from sustainability activists to get universities to divest fossil fuels, which eventually happened in 2018, or 2019. And beyond that, sort of looking at new societies and new places where students are being leaders of there’s a new society at UCL called the 93% Club, which is all about students who are from state schools, or low income backgrounds and their experience at university and how we can make that more accessible and better. And there’s just in every aspect of life, there are students who are leading conversations at their universities, I’d like more so than staff and those in senior leadership positions, to really force universities to face how they’re structuring that education system. So it’s been really, really exciting being involved in that but also, as is as similar as a because I’m a journalist talking to people who are doing this work. And it almost comes hand in hand in media and activism. Because without the media, amplifying your voices and giving you the platforms to show more people the work that you’re doing that has been really, really empowering and inspiring to see so many different causes that people have got behind.
I think these are both amazing, amazing people for doing this. I have to be a little bit embarrassed about this. I have not been I’ve not been too involved in student activism in the universities as such, but I have been looking forward to getting more involved in decolonizing curriculum, especially in the Spanish part my degree and looking more at there’s been a push in the past year to kind of look more at the All those Latin American countries, pre Spanish and Caucasus. So I look forward to asking for both of your advice. Excellent.
Nadine Powrie [40:14]
Jenny, do you want to say anything about the questions or any comments that we are getting?
I don’t think so. I think we’ve covered covered most of them.
Yeah. I, can I go back kind of back to the mental health issue, the danger, that’d be okay.
Nadine Powrie [40:34]
Oh, yeah, of course.
So what was this is dear to my heart. I’m I’m a trustee of a charity that provides mental health support for we would use the term were holding hope, where young people are unable to do that for themselves. That would be our what what we would say that we’re trying to do, but it’s focused very much on school schools, and it’s focused very much on schools, yeah, school age youngsters and their families. And so the services that are available in each of your instances, are they? Are they University been things? Or are the oil you? Are they? Are you signposted? Or could you be signposted to a charity? Like, for example, the one that I’m involved with? is so so how’s that? How’s that menu offered? Is it is it very thin? Because he’s one dimension?
Yeah, and my experience KCL because we’re connected to a hospital. I think that benefits us a lot. So we get NHS therapists, and counselors, but you get six free sessions. That’s our university policy. I think it might be the same at most
universities. So standard. Yeah, yeah.
So you get six sessions. And then that’s kind of you done, they give you resources. So there’s a website called the white wall, which is a forum which you can post about your mental health and see other people’s posts about their mental health. Although I personally am not so sure about that as a tool for mental health. Because I know for myself and a lot of other people that I know, that’s not the most helpful, because comparing difficulties, comparing your mental health does analysis, mental health, I personally wouldn’t find very helpful. So I’ve never really had any access to charities. The only way that I that is, there is a girl who’s at my uni who has a company called Mind mapper, and she was part of things entrepreneurship scheme for that, and that is a mental health charity, and other mental health charities. So through my work that I have gotten at UCL,
um, yeah, at UCL, it’s a very similar situation where it’s, you get the six free free therapy sessions. I know, in my own experience, it took like five months, I applied for therapy, and then it took five months to get my first appointment. And I’m lucky that I had a support system and like the privilege of not having so much pressure that like it being delayed, I was able to manage that. But those kinds of delays aren’t plausible for a lot of people who have clearly applied for a reason. So I definitely think there’s a huge problem with delays of Debian that that’s not necessarily like the direct therapy services fault. It’s problems with funding and waiting lists and that volume of students have applied to it. So I think that possibly I don’t know how much this year will be fixed by just directly sorting out mental health services. Obviously, that’s really important and the first step but genuinely looking and asking, Why are so many students in a mental health crisis that are on waiting lists for multiple months? Yeah, so I think that that’s something that we need to reckon with a lot more.
Okay. Is there any kind of trigger system then? So you have your your your six sessions, and presumably not everybody will pick up on that. If you’re having some kind of mental health crisis? This is this will obviously come up within those six. Does that not trigger? Some kind of follow up?
I think it would, in that case, they do risk assessment forms. On those risk assessment forms, you disclose, you know, how am I going to look after myself? What am I going to do for myself? Who am I going to talk to if I get into a worse situation, and the therapist that you’re assigned works through that with you so you do have a pathway to get to connect, it needs, they thought, I would probably say in that situation, if you’ve finished your six sessions, or if you if you’re unable to access those six sessions, I believe most students and what I myself would do would be go through the Samaritans, or another charity or NHS or that crisis helpline, because our universities are under so much pressure with what they’ve got that I wouldn’t feel most comfortable putting that helped me I need help today kind of pressure on them. And I don’t know if that would be able to address that necessarily.
Next step, then might actually be useful within the universities, if they have got some kind of funding would be to enable them to access that lead maybe your students to access that next step, without necessarily having to go somewhere else for it.
Nadine Powrie [45:59]
So looking, looking ahead, in a few months time, you will be starting work life with with a new job. Do you want to share with us what you are hoping to where you’re hoping to go? And what you’re hoping to do? And you know, is there anything we can do to help you achieve that?
And I myself would love to go into journalism or the TV history. I absolutely adore creative things, communicating meeting people. And like I said earlier, I really want to have a job that has impact on bringing people a little bit of joy. So TV, to me really stands out in that way. Because also you can convey so many different messages through that. You know, you can talk about mental health storylines, you can bring up certain issues, you can invite certain guests on that kind of thing. So I’m looking at ITV and can afford and BBC for that. But then also journalism, print journalism. I do love I love writing. And again, that’s talking to people. So yeah, I’m kind of looking at the main newspapers want to.
Nadine Powrie [47:14]
Okay, we’ll come back to you, Izzy, you know, as to where you are at the moment is your application. Will she care where she can? What’s your plan and roadmap?
So my year is actually, it’s a four year course because it’s not meant to be. So I’ll be going into my final year, and kind of hunkering down looking at what I want to do. I think for the time being, I’m really, really invested in looking in law. I think it’s just it’s always interested me. And I’ve, when I was choosing my degree, I was actually thinking between law and languages. And I was like, absolutely adore languages. I think if I keep them now, and I can’t develop them, I can always go into law later. So that is one of the main pathways that I’m looking
Nadine Powrie [47:56]
into at the moment. Wow. And you would say you would stay at sort of kings to do that. Um,
I would hope to I don’t think they actually offer a Yeah, a GDL or an LLM. So I’ll be my main University at the moment is VPP. I’m thinking about the LLM masters.
Nadine Powrie [48:21]
Wow. It’s exciting.
I guess I’ll jump in. I’m hoping to become a journalist, particularly working like on the ground investigations and sort of working with communities to shed light on underreported stories. And so I’m hoping that come when I graduate, I’ll be able to start work as a reporter, working at one of the main newspapers maybe like the Times or The Guardian, or if not also local papers as a great way to gain experience. So really just me the industry is so diverse, that I would really be happy, like working as a reporter in any aspect of the industry sort of start starting there.
Nadine Powrie [49:13]
So you’re not coming back to what you were saying that you’ve not been able to do, you know, internship, you don’t really strike me as having deficients at all. I mean, you know, if I were if I was sitting on a panel to to point you, at a point you would have no problem. But what are you doing at the moment to you know, to get a job well, I mean, now you do University, how can you like putting on workshops, whenever I can be put on to help you get a job.
So for me, I found the bright network, a really useful resource. They particularly work with underrepresented groups, but also they do You got to haven’t had somebody everyone. And they do workshops on you know how to construct a CV cover letter, all of that kind of thing. And so I found them really invaluable. And then they also sometimes do collaborations with different universities. But for me at the moment, I’m trying to balance because I’ve found that leaves I’m sure you’ve probably finds it for quite some of the icfes job applications take for hours and hours and hours. And then you’ve got the interviews and the texts and the assessment centers and all that kind of thing. So for me, I’m trying to balance my workload and those as much as possible. So important. Yeah. I mean, I next week, I think I’ve got an assessment center, which is final round. But it’s from 9am until 4pm. And I was given one slot. That was it, you know, if I can’t make that that’s, you know, unworkable. But also, if I spend, you know, my whole day doing that next Wednesday, and then I don’t get it, that would be quite devastating. Because then I’ve wasted a whole there could be sending a notification like that.
I think for me, the moment, I’m only looking at insight schemes, back schemes, the application versus them are surprisingly long. I am trying to focus a lot on my pelvis now my German semester, so I’m trying to get my German up to scratch before we start with the German universities.
Nadine Powrie [51:33]
Sorry. What language are you learning?
We are living German and Spanish. So I’ve had my Spanish semester for the first part of this year. And now I’m going to be going to an online university with Munich, the University of Munich. That’s going to be an experience, I’m very much looking forward to that. From a university point of view, they, the German department itself has actually hosted a lot of really interesting workshops, mainly because languages is not particularly it does not lead into a specific location. They kind of made them very broad. So how you can use your skills in business and like foreign affairs, law, even it’s been very interesting to have a lot of speakers and see what my potential partners could be.
Sorry, and I’m thinking, there’s been a lot of negative publicity this year, but what about first year students in terms of what they’ve had to put up with being shut into halls of residence? And, you know, we live quite near the university up here in Newcastle, and there’s all these signs up at windows and things. And I’m wondering, you know, if you were to talk to somebody in their sixth form, at the moment, who was thinking, Well, you know, now’s not really a very good time to go to uni, you know, perhaps I should just go out and get a job. What would you advise them to do? If they had that opportunity to either go to university or make a different decision?
I think I would ask, What is your motivation for going to university, I would say, if it is for personal growth, making connections, those kinds of transferable skills, if you feel like that need a bit more time, a bit more personal growth, go to uni, if you’re doing it for the specific degree heart, or to go in a particular vocation, I would maybe say go down the apprenticeship, instead, or internship or work experience or something like that. Because I think, virtual teachings for me, at least I’m not nearly as engaging, not being able to go to the library, all of that kind of thing. I’m really struggling to keep up my academic motivation. And I know if I was a first year, but in terms of personal growth, transferable skills, meeting people, I think it’s brilliant. And I would still recommend it, because if not, now, more than ever, you are going to learn a lot of skills at the University of Missouri.
Great, that’s a great answer facing what about you to Asia?
Yeah, no, I agree with this in terms of asking what their motivation is, because that it really depends on what you want to get out of it. And I think the pandemic has probably made that even more clear, because you really have, why am I doing this? Because before, it’s sort of like the default, oh, I’ll go to university. I’ll figure it out there, see what happens. But now, you know, you’ll be going to university on your laptop in your room and attending hours of lectures. And like, the social aspect is diminished naturally. So I think it’s sort of what you want to gain out of it and what you think the next app is if there’s something you’re really passionate about. If there’s like a subject area that you really, really care about, then yeah, go for it. The university and similarly, as you were saying, you learn a lot of skills at university, and it gives you more time to figure out what you want to do. But then if you know what you want to do, and you have other options, I think it’s sort of the same, just like really facing what you think the best decision for you is, and what you want. Yeah.
I couldn’t agree with the two of you more to be quite honest. I think in all fairness, all experience, cuz ultimately good experience, if you know what you want to do, brilliant, do it. If that means go to university don’t if you’re on the left, if you’re on the fence, I really would suggest just focusing on what will kind of be both most beneficial for you in the outcome in the long run? Nothing more than that, I could say,
Yeah, I agree in the sense that I, for a lot of cases, no decision is the wrong decision, you’ll gain different things from either way. And you’ll never know what would have happened if you took the other route. But you’ll be better for it either way.
Charlie’s just come up with an interesting comment. It’s been interesting. I work in student recruitment. And we haven’t actually seen any reducing application numbers applying to university this year, which, which is I think, really surprising people still want to go despite everything.
Nadine Powrie [56:13]
I don’t think I actually think that it doesn’t mean that they will go. They might be applying, but it might not go. It’s just my you know, they might be doing open. So I wouldn’t think that that’s necessarily what’s gonna happen that there is no, no drop. I think a lot of people are questioning, you know, spending your whole year in a room. I mean, hopefully by next year, we’ll be okay.
Yeah, people may be hoping that things, things will have improved by October, October. Yeah.
Yeah, I think there’s a few different elements to that. I think, you know, there’s two main schools of thought, obviously, what you’re saying that they may just be, you know, checking their bets, and possibly not both. But I also think that, you know, people are holding out hope, and I have I was 18 year old right now, I’d probably be saying, well can spend three years at uni, and then the economy will have recovered by the time I graduate, the graduate market will be fine. And then I can do the normal thing, whatever. But then also, I think that a lot of people were found locked down really difficult. I know if I had been shut in with my family, who was 17 and 18. That would have driven me a bit inside, I would have wanted to move away, I would have wanted to go and meet some new people get their fresh air get a bit of independence dependents. So that’s a driving factor as well.
Definitely. I also think there’s, I’m not sure how it was with the two of you. But I remember it my sixth form, it was very much you go to university, and there isn’t really that much of an option otherwise, so University was pushed and pushed and pushed. And we didn’t hear that much about apprenticeships. So once I was in the position of if it was me at 1718, I think I still would be like, right, I go to university, because what else have I got? One listening, that’s thinking that I really would recommend just looking at your options, have no harm and just searching around seeing if this will appeal to you more? Just
yeah, stay flexible.
If the pandemic stores. Yeah.
Charlie’s come back again, saying it’s very true. But I think they’re also thinking about what else can they do? Can they get a job? Can they go traveling COVID has stopped the accessibility of these normal things. Kind of coming at you from both sides, isn’t
Nadine Powrie [58:42]
it? Yeah, we have. We have about two minutes left. It’s been nearly an hour of talking, which is amazing. Do you have any final final message each that you want to people to hear?
I would say my final messages to students is that you have a lot more power than you may think. And people may tell you and like you may be looked down on but we actually have a lot of thoughts. And we’re at a time in our lives. And we’re learning so many new skills that we can put in place. And that’s what universities are teaching us how to use these skills to make change and make a better world going forward. And so we have so much power to do good and to take these skills forward and make things better for ourselves and future generations and we shouldn’t underestimate that at all.
Definitely, I would probably say something very similar. No your power, but also at the same time. Understand your limits. If there is remember that we are in situation that is incredibly unknown. No one knows what to do. That’s completely fine. If you Need to look after yourself, take the time, we have all the time in the world at the moment. Just yeah, I’d say just keep, make sure that you can keep going. Don’t try and exhaust yourself,
I think I would say have a bit of safe. I think that we are incredibly powerful, we are incredibly resilient. And I don’t think that anyone really gives himself enough credit. Everyone has such incredible resilience in their life, such incredible positivity, and we have a very strong and we can keep going. So I think it’s having that faith in yourself having a bit of faith and other people around you, they want to support you, they want to look after you. And having faith that as a society, it’s gonna be okay.
Nadine Powrie [1:00:52]
And, and you know what, in a few months time, I will, you will come back to my LinkedIn life. And we will talk again, and you will be very successful in your pianos in your fourth year at uni and in the world of work. And we will look back, and you will be very proud of what you’ve achieved. Charlene just said, You are some seriously inspirational young woman. And you truly are, if I was an employer out there, I’d want to know who you are. And I would look at your profile on LinkedIn and I would seriously get in touch with you. You about prospect of working for them. I think you’ve been amazing.
It’s been great talking to you all.
Nadine Powrie [1:01:40]
So if people want to get in touch with you, you’re all on LinkedIn. Okay, so they can contact you and direct message you via LinkedIn. So we should finish on that message. It’s been an absolute privilege to have you here. Really? Yeah. And you know what the prior to going live visit to our little guy thank you so much. We, our generation have a lot to learn from you are grateful for, you know, saying yes to coming on to LinkedIn live and sharing with us what you’ve said with us openly today. It’s been amazing. You’re amazing. Thank you so much.
Thanks for having