Make the most of Essex

Dissertation deadline is approaching and so is graduation. In the midst of masters applications, coursework and deadlines, have you ever stopped to think if you made the most out of your time here? I have.

Here is my list of university highlights to inspire you.

 1.  Societies are a good place to explore your interests

Theory is nice, but isn’t joining related Societies the best way to get more in-depth experience of what you’re studying?

In the Amnesty Society I have been surrounded by passionate people who helped me explore my interest in human rights beyond the theory.

This is my second year with the Chinese Society. They are welcoming and put a lot of time and effort into teaching us their language and sharing from their culture over delicious hot pot!  Also, I’ll never forget the time I wore a beautiful Chinese dress. On a stage. Singing. In Mandarin. When I don’t know how to sing!

img_1397 (2)

2.  Volunteering is a great way to discover new passions

From teaching English to refugees, to scaring people for Halloween at the Zoo, and helping out with arts events; volunteering has opened my eyes and heart to others and to the world.


 3.  Joining in on campus makes some of the best memories

One thing I know for sure: I like trying out new things despite my lack of talent.

My secret ingredient to a fun university experience has been to take advantage of all the opportunities on campus. I’ve enjoyed juggling with fire, singing in Norwegian, pole dancing, climbing, life drawing, meditation to name but a few.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

4.  Gaining work experience can be fun

I am currently working as a Frontrunner Plus for the Employability and Careers Centre and as a Lab Assistant with ESSEXLab.  My previous work experience includes a variety of roles – from a Front Desk Officer and a Promotion Assistant to an Accommodation Representative.

All have given me the tools necessary to build my personality, my career and my identity capital.

5.  Year abroad

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

giphy year abroad

6.  The people are great

I could insert the overly-used cliché of “I have developed myself professionally and personally”, but Essex offered me more than that.  I got to know people from almost all areas of the university from students to academics to staff … (and, of course, the cat). They helped me build new perspectives and look beyond the ordinary.

The saying goes that ‘people make a place unforgettable’. I subscribe to that.

7.  Let’s not forget about Campus Cat

Please name a better cat! Yup, that’s impossible.

campus cat

At Essex I’ve made a home far away from home. I am sad to be in my final year, but also happy to have gained such rich memories and experiences throughout these years.

Speak to your Employability and Careers Team about gaining work experience, finding volunteering opportunities and events you can attend to improve your skills and knowledge.

Iulia Popescu is a final year International Relations Student rolling into adult life full of enthusiasm, emotion and coffee.


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