What advice and tips would you give to next year’s students?
- Do not miss the orientation week;
After only being at Cranfield University for a few months I felt like I had got whole rounded student support from various departments beyond just academic support. The extra-curricular services eased the process of learning, networking and prepared me for industrial and higher education roles. I recall that Welcome Week was filled with so many ice-breaking activities. Specifically, as the Agri-food department had played ‘People Bingo’. This helped me understand the things I had in common with my colleagues and module leaders. The other activity I recall had to do with the campus grounds and how well you can use a map. This specific game took me back to the time I was tasked with pathfinder challenges as a Scout. The map can be downloaded from Blackboard at any time. Trust me… you will need it!
- Balance your time;
The University has clear objectives of what is expected from everyone and what the University has to offer. Upon arrival, you should receive a student pack that includes the Cranfield Student Association (CSA) calendar, timetable, cybersecurity awareness, medical information and other means of support.
These are the tools you need to plan and stay on track with every class location, test dates and social activities.
- Go out and live!
After the orientation week, many would assume that as students, socialising isn’t advisable. I took a neutral route to network and get exposed to different cultures. I have visited museums, restaurants, had shared meals and snacks with my colleagues as well as new local friends that accompanied me to a few sites.
- Retail therapy
I would often treat myself with trips to the beautician and shopping. This is my usual self-care routine even before having travelled to the U.K! I would often visit beauty parlours because it is therapeutic, relaxing and a confidence boost for me. So find what that is for you. There is so much to pick from on www.lovebedford.co.uk.
- John Bunyan Museum
Bedford’s history was well described in the museum and this was interestingly well recited by a young learner and I thought it was interesting how someone that young knew so much. Bunyan was a leader that had suffered so much before he proceeded to go on to do many good deeds. Such as writing the book/movie, which was translated into more than 200 languages. ‘The Pilgrims Progress’ the movie I got to watch coincidently at a Christmas dinner month later!
I had the best Salmon in a restaurant called “Dr Foster’s Waterfront”. This restaurant is located in Gloucester. Expect tasty ravioli in Bedford at the “Ury Restaurant” on St Neots. For a slow, delicious candlelit dinner with a flickering sound and warmth of a fireplace try going to “The Kings Arms Cardington”. My first Chinese dish was served at “The Banana Tree” located in The Hub in Milton Keynes. To mention a few…
I had witnessed a live choir and orchestra performance whilst visiting the St. John’s Cathedral in Bedford. This building carries so much heritage. Took me right back to any royal wedding scenery except you get to be up close! For more visit www.heritagebedford.com. I also had the pleasure of visiting the Gloucester Cathedral, if I had to compare I appreciated the high bright ceilings more. Gloucester was built in 1089 while St Johns was built in 1870. That enough should assume the rest…
Knowing my environment such as the history improved my chances of understanding the UK culture and possibly what is yet to come in the class sessions; this could be from understanding class models and exercises to getting a mere joke in any social setting.
The Flamborough Headline Heritage Coastline in Yorkshire is breath-taking and unexplainable. I look forward to visiting during the low tide to get a better view of the cliff and cave-like rocks that would typically be underwater during the high tide.
I had hoped to travel to the Woburn Safari but I never got the chance. I specifically wanted to see animals that are indigenous to the northern hemisphere.
- Forgive yourself when you fall and re-focus your motives
You may encounter challenges along the way. It is important to forgive yourself when this happens especially when it affects how you recover from the fall. I had a close-knit relationship with my colleagues and each of us would remind each other on deadlines and other tasks. When something was beyond our expertise we would often reach out to student support and module leaders for clarity.
My blog on my group project details the tools I have used as solutions to the challenges I have encountered. For instance; the employability skills and online workshop was an active bridge that connected me as a student to the work industry. This helped me have a realistic view and experience to what to expect when I finally put my qualification to use. Because I already had worked; it helped me understand the gap of skills that I had and will gladly keep educating myself in this regard. Hence, I am very grateful for the opportunity.
What has been your favourite memory from studying at Cranfield?
- London McDonald’s headquarters hosted my colleagues and me for the Agri-business innovation module. We stayed in London and were given insights on how they ran their business from farm to fork GLOBALLY. We were then able to try out all items on the staff menu and how they responded to customer demands. I did not know of a McDonald’s University, which was on the same ground and reported to be reputable in business administration and service skills. This is only one of the many field trips.
- The beach party at the CSA was fun! Especially since I am from a hot semi-arid country, I thought the indoor beach set-up and the games were fun!
What have been your Cranfield highlights?
I have been able to learn how to manage time, be socially adaptive through being a student ambassador and worked for the Cleaning Services refreshed my knowledge on health and safety (e.g. COSHH). These skills are imperative in my line of work. That routine kept me busy and fit because some duties were labour intensive. The library was my favourite place to be, it was resourceful, safe, quiet (I later discovered the quiet thesis corner). Although I had to change to studying in my room when the pandemic hit, the Kings Norton Library played a positive role in being the most conducive studying environment.
Is there something you wish you had got involved with earlier?
- Photography society, more shoots, more backdrops (because more were done indoors), costume designers, makeup artists in case some people wanted to experiment being models, vloggers because of the nature of the new kind of marketing and influential duties in business setups.
- The walking society, there is a field I hadn’t gotten the chance to see; I had only discovered it in the last days when days were longer and I happened to ask a friend I took a walk with to describe the field so I could go and find it!
- I liked cycling when I was younger up until my teens. It would have been fun to have relied upon myself to get around because it is liberating and probably would save me time!
I hope the students enrolled in the next cohort and many more in the future enjoy themselves and continue to give feedback to keep up the productive culture of Cranfield University. I wish you the best and good luck with your studies!