Student bloggers

Life as a student in Bath

Posts By: Gina Tanzer

Take part in an adventure at university!

  

📥  School of Management, Undergraduate

Hoping to be a part of something spectacular at University? Secretly dream of being a performer? Look no further than the University of Bath’s very own A capella group: 'Aquapella'.

Amongst all the interesting lectures, coursework, nights out, and  more – a hint of music may be just what you are looking for. Aquapella is less of a group and more of a family, which opens doors to the most amazing experiences.

Just this past year the group excelled to new heights by competing in the International Championships of Collegiate A capella (ICCA’s). Having placed 3rd at quarter-finals and 1st at the UK semi-finals, with one of their members being awarded ‘Best soloist’ for both of these rounds, they now hold the title of “UK National Champions of A capella 2017”. As if this wasn’t enough, the now UK National champs were invited to compete on Broadway in the Big Apple where they went on to win the International Award for Best Choreography. What a year it has been! How do I know? I myself was a member of the group during this unforgettable year.

Aquapella at the ICCA finals in New York

The inside scoop: the life of an Aquapella member…

Becoming a member of Aquapella is nothing short of an experience in itself. You start with a taster session where you can sing along with the group and get a feel for what Aquapella is like. Then there are the auditions and finally call-backs where the group will teach you some of their songs and see how you ‘blend’. Once you’re in, the fun starts!

Aquapella have the most exciting events on their calendar; from flash mobbing a TED talk, singing at School of Management Events, to flash mobbing a wedding (requested by the groom of course). You can most definitely catch Aquapella busking in the beautiful city of Bath on Saturdays and Sundays and if that’s not enough, you can even hire them yourself. But just before you think it’s all work no play, I can assure you that Aquapella’s social calendar is just as full with socials between the various A capella groups sprinkled across the UK.

Aquapella at the ICCA semi-finals in London

One of our first socials of the year was a karaoke night with the 'Bristol Suspension' A capella group, held at the Bristol University Students' Union. A few weeks later we travelled to Cardiff for a blast from the past with a decade themed social where each group dressed up to the nines of different times. In addition, to these socials, Aquapella holds their very own annual Christmas meal and Aquapella reunion night in December. These two nights are an all-time favourite where firstly, you get to indulge in the Christmas festivities such as turkey, mulled wine and Secret Santa, and secondly, new Aquapella members get to meet old members as well as the founder of Aquapella himself, whilst of course singing and dancing the night away.

Work, work, work, work

International Championships of Collegiate A capella (ICCA’s)

Getting to the top requires hard work but there was laughter all the way. Preparation for the ICCA’s involved vocal training, choreography, and great marketing efforts to fund the group’s travel. From Exeter for the quarter-finals, London for the semi-finals, and New York for the international finals I can safely say that the group bonded incredibly through this journey both on and off of the stage.

Edinburgh Fringe

Each year Aquapella travels to Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they rent out a venue and put on an hour-long show which takes your through a journey filled with laughter, inspiration, as well as ‘sass’ and leaves you in joyful tears. The Aquapella Fringe show is nothing short of really hard work – the group trains for two weeks to bring the sheet music to life and all members hand out flyers each day at the festival in order to bring the public to the show. Fringe is another incredible experience filled with yet more laughter, cooking rotas, board games, and special end of year celebrations.

Parading around the streets of Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival

Handing out flyers to a famous face at the Edinburgh Fringe festival

Aquapella, where to now???

Having recorded and released a music video for their single “Somebody Else” just this past year, Aquapella stays on the ball by recently having been in the studio recording a fantastic cover of “Purple Rain” (coming out soon). The group has also entered the Voice Festival UK this year! Keep an eye out for more details about performances, song releases, competitions, ball games, and more on their Facebook Page and their brand-new website. And if you do end up coming to Bath and feel that you’d like to be a part of Aquapella’s unforgettable adventures, then you should definitely put yourself forward for the Freshers' Week auditions. I am really glad that I did, and have learnt so much about music and myself by being a part of this very special musical family.

Some more photos from our time in New York City at the International Champs of Collegiate A capella (ICCA’s)....

 

 

 

Management sandwich placements at Bath

  

📥  Undergraduate

Hi there!

Welcome to my first student blog post. I am a second-year BSc Management with Marketing student, drowning in work but loving every second of it. As you may know, the University of Bath’s School of Management is renowned for their various ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ sandwich degrees. The thick sandwich degree structure, entails is a ‘juicy’ year out working in an industry relevant to your course; an industrial placement. These placements are invaluable experiences that stand you in good stead for future graduate job applications.

In contrast, the thin-sandwich degree structure is ideal for students who wish to fulfil more work placements of a shorter timespan throughout their course period. These placements often take place over one semester. The University encourages students to enrol in a sandwich course structure and have established an incredible support system for the application process. This post will hopefully provide you with some inside details on how the thick sandwich degree Industrial Placement application process is carried out and possibly convince you to choose this type of degree.

There is more than one type of thick sandwich in Bath

A bit about the University of Bath support for placement students …

There are three fundamental elements that support the Industrial Placement Application Process; Mock Applications, lectures as part of your Personal Development Program (PDP), and a Placement Team specific to your course. In addition to these support systems, the University has a general Careers Centre and hosts many on-campus company presentations, events and Careers Fairs. All of these are great opportunities to take advantage of and are useful to you when seeking and applying for a placement; be sure to make the most of them if you come to Bath to study Management. Furthermore, if you are unsure of which company or industry you would like to work in they are geared to assist you and guide you.

It is currently the week of my mock interviews; the second stage of the mock application process. The first stage of this application process involves sending my CV and cover letter; which I worked on throughout my first year at University. The Placements Team sends feedback on CVs during the summer holidays, and this helped to ensure that I was prepared to start second year off with a stellar application just waiting to be sent out. My interview is tomorrow and I feel well prepared having attended the University Careers Fair where I spoke to my mock company to get an idea of what they look for in a prospective student. In addition, I have attended all of my course specific PDP sessions which are really good at helping to create that special cover letter, develop interview skills and guide you on how to be successful in the application process.

With the right support, interviews don't have to be scary!

Interacting with Companies on campus…

Many PDP sessions are led by external speakers from various UK firms. These professionals aim to present their company principles and values while giving valuable tips for the application process ahead. I recently attended a Slimfast session on ‘Networking while on your placement’. Here I learnt some keys facts about the firm, developed my understanding of the importance of networking and how to go about it in a professional manner (as well as getting my hands on some great freebies).

In addition to these compulsory PDP sessions, we have many opportunities to attend various optional sessions. Some of the optional sessions which I attended include; a PwC Presentation on Psychometric Testing and a MARS presentation on why sustainability is a strong focus in their company. Your placements team works hard to ensure that there is something for everyone; they are persistent in posting about opportunities to ‘meet the firm’ at company presentations and networking events. A highlight from my second year so far has been the pizza and networking event arranged by the Placements Team wherein returning Industrial Placement students and students currently seeking placements were able to gain some personal insight and tips on company placements whilst socialising over pizza. A great way to network.

Get involved with societies that improve your employability…

Here at Bath, there is a diverse and exciting range of societies that have all sorts of weird and wonderful things to offer and can really help to boost your employability. Among these societies are the business-related ones such as The University of Bath Management Society, Enactus, Women in Business and Bath Entrepreneurs. These groups are geared to enhance your employability by sharing external company events and competitions and hosting speakers to stimulate your entrepreneurial mind. In addition, they hold socials in the beautiful City of Bath; so, there is a work hard/play hard mentality if that interests you.

For the entrepreneurs out there…

For those of you that are keen entrepreneurs, Bath Entrepreneurs and Enterprise Bath are two groups to look out for during your time at university. Enterprise Bath hold many entrepreneurial competitions such as Apps Crunch, The Business Plan Competition and Dragons’ Den. If you have a business or app idea that you would like to develop, be it in a group or individually, then these are just for you.

On that note, did you know that you can use your own business as your Industrial Placement! This has been done before and has proven to be an incredible hands-on experience in which you gain practical skills, immensely develop a business-like mind and create something of your own at the same time. Bath alumni Rob Huysinga did exactly this on his 6 month BBA placement where he co-founded the company Pan-N-Ice. Who knows, maybe this could be you one day.

Well, there you have it, insight on the Bath University Industrial Placement Process. I hope that this blog post assists you in understanding the ‘thick sandwich’ degree at Bath and for current students reading this; good luck with your applications!