05/11/2019, by Susie Colley

Work Experience: a week in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area studies

The leaves are turning brown, Halloween is fast approaching and one more student comes along, eager to find out what goes on behind the scenes inside a Russell Group University. Hi, I’m Holly  and I spent 5 days working at the University of Nottingham, alongside their wonderful CLAS department, which stands for Cultures, Languages and Area studies ( don’t worry, I had no idea what it meant at first either). On my first day when I had a tour of the campus, it struck me just how much there is here! Shops; cafes; classrooms and most importantly, a lovely atmosphere to be surrounded by. From that first day, I could tell that I would enjoy myself here. This is my experience of working in this wonderful place.

For most of my experience, I was inside the grand Trent Building located at the heart of the campus… it even has its own mini Big Ben that chimes every 15 minutes! The team always kept me busy with various tasks: making spreadsheets for language evening classes, organising last year’s exam papers and creating signs for each room in the building. It was particularly interesting to have a sneak-peek at some of the exam papers- I can’t believe I’ll have to get to that standard one day! I also spent some time with a SPLAS student, (that’s Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, sorry for all the abbreviations). I spent an hour with Dom, who was friendly and to the point when answering my questions about studying languages here- I couldn’t believe that you could study paintings in a Hispanic degree!

In terms of what the University offers, no doubt there’s a lot- and I mean a lot. You think of a society or club, there will most likely be one here. I also had the amazing opportunity to attend some lectures in Spanish and Portuguese that taught me the basics of the languages but in so much more detail than they teach you at Secondary School. These subtle introductions to life at university makes me even more excited to start a new chapter of my life somewhere new, or possibly at Nottingham, who knows?

The week I spent here gave me gorgeous blue skies and the floor covered in crunchy caramel brown leaves, the walks I had at lunch resulted in many autumnal pictures you don’t get at school! All of the buildings here are stunning: from the older Trent building with its two grand organs, to the much more modern Teaching and Learning building with interactive seminar screens and state-of-the-art performance studio. A welcoming atmosphere is present throughout the campus, with helpful students and friendly staff always willing to lend a hand whenever I was unsure of anything. The self-access centre located on the top floor of the Trent building, was quiet, spacious and gave me access to some Spanish documentaries and TV programmes (very cheesy but very useful).

Doing something like this gave me a real insight into what goes on behind the scenes to keep those university cogs turning- I couldn’t recommend this University highly enough.

Finally, a big thank you to the School Management and Research team for taking such good care of me.

Holly Ward- Year 11, Toot Hill School

Posted in American and Canadian StudiesCulture, Film and MediaFrench and Francophone StudiesGerman StudiesLanguages and Area StudiesRussian and Slavonic StudiesSpanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies