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Widening Participation- become part of the team- get a job
I was looking for a part-time job when I joined Warwick. I applied for a position known as Widen Participation Ambassador. This job was great as it helps those from disadvantaged backgrounds get into university and in particular Warwick University. The disadvantaged backgrounds they come from range from being the first generation to attend university, young carers to those who are from low-income backgrounds. Young people who are on free school meals or have received free school meals are 22 times less likely to attend a top 10 university in the UK. Widening Participation aims to break these statistics as the young people have the academic ability to attend a Russell University but not always the information or support system to get them there. The young people that the ambassadors help range from those in Year 7 all the way up into getting into university. Being an ambassador means you can work on a variety of opportunities such as Pathways to Law; this is a programme which helps those aspiring to be lawyers. The programme is run by the Sutton Trust – being an ambassador means you help out these events which range from workshops, talks to residentials.
The role in Widening Participation was a great fit or me because it is flexible around my studies and other commitments. I feel that not only is it a rewarding job and well paid you to gain invaluable experience. I was/am undecided on what I want to do after I graduate however one of the options I am considering is teaching. Being an ambassador means that we go into schools and run sessions similar to being a teacher. This experience is good as it develops your confidence, presentation skills, empathy, safeguarding knowledge and the ability to communicate with all ages. Hence being part of the team is a great opportunity for students. Working with young people from WP backgrounds and helping them realise that University may be an option for them is so rewarding at the same time as developing these skills.
Running sessions include talking to young people about their options after Sixth Form helping them discover that university can be for them, talking to them what a campus is and what university life is like in general. The Outreach Team are incredibly supportive and are at most events to give guidance but most sessions are led by ambassadors which means you can see how the young people grow.
Please feel free to leave any questions about joining the widening participation team below.