My experience in the Sprint Development Programme for Female Undergraduates
Hello everyone and welcome to my first post as a Warwick University blogger! It is a thrill to be writing blog posts and sharing with you my experience as an undergraduate student here. I am a second year Economics student and I am here to talk about my experience in the Sprint Development Programme.
First of all what is this programme all about? It is dedicated for female students (both undergraduates and postgraduates) and it is aimed for those who want to achieve self-assertiveness and self-development.
I came across this programme last year while I was taking a 10 minute break from my lecture. If it is a two hour lecture, we would have a 10 minute break in between so that people can walk around and have a cup of coffee or just relax. I saw the Sprint booth right outside my lecture, I found it particularly interesting because I knew a friend who has done it before and she seemed to be more confident and assertive, regardless in lectures, seminars or even when talking to strangers.
I don’t consider myself to be an introvert, nor shy. But I do find it a struggle to speak up in lectures and seminars. You see, I am not the brightest student in my course. I have so many lectures which I attend and I come out not understanding anything that is happening. I remembered in first year, as the lecturer was explaining something, I was crying because I had no clue what was going on. In seminars, I would not speak up as well, even when I have so many questions in my head.
I also realise that, I am going to be an adult and a person with a career soon. In less than 1.5 years. To be honest, I feel like I am nowhere near ready to have a career. I was told that this program will help me discover who I am as a person and will help identify my personal branding.
So there I was on the 11th of February, ready for the programme. I was told that I would be in the Red group. We started off talking about what we want from this programme. I could tell that the main themes were, gaining confidence and develop assertiveness.
I will spare the details of the programme as I would like to make this post a spoiler-free content. But I can tell you this, I could see the impact on the second day itself.
On the second day, i.e Tuesday 12th of February, I would usually go for my swimming session held by the Triathlon club first at 7.30a.m. I have this huge fear of road cycling, but because I do have a road bike, and I do have this goal of becoming a triathlete someday (hopefully it would just be a matter of time), so I decided to take my bike out to cycle from my house. I live quite far off from campus but my friend has told me the route to campus before. Unfortunately, I got lost halfway through. (Also) unfortunately, I broke down in the middle of Canley because of how lost I was, but in my head I remembered the book title recommended by the programme,
“Feel the fear, and do it anyway.“
And that was what got me through and I made it to campus, alive!
Overall, the programme did make a lot of difference to me. As I mentioned, I do struggle with my academics, but I realised that, if I really want it, I really have to go the extra mile. I was inspired by the stories of the other participants and how they develop their study techniques. In a short amount of time, I had more incentives to go out there and speak out because I remembered what my teammate said to me, “your opinion matters, regardless of what others think about it.” It is a bit of a struggle at times, to speak up, but let me tell you this, it is so so rewarding when you finally say what’s in your head and you get that clarification. For instance, I would now immediately ask the tutor or lecturers on what they mean by a certain topic, and they would happily explain to me what it is about, even when I still scrunch my face, indicating that I am still puzzled, they would continue explaining the content until I understand it. You would be surprised to know that the lecturers and tutors love answering questions because that is what makes the module engaging. Being in university is not only about the lecturers telling you what the content is all about. It’s also about you responding and questioning it. Hence, a two-way communication.
I learnt a lot more than just being confident. I also learnt about the things that I value most, and making sure these value are always positive. I learnt to set realistic goals as well. Like my teammate said to me, “think about progress, not perfection.” And slowly, you could achieve your goals, bit by bit.
I would definitely recommend any female students, UG or PG, to attend this programme. It is so rewarding and, bonus point, you will have the opportunity to get a mentor from the programme sponsors as well! For us, we had Goldman Sachs and Severn Trent as our sponsors. Regardless of what year you are in, you should consider this programme and it could help you so much in building your characteristics and values as a whole.