27/03/2018, by CLAS

Work experience: a week in the University of Nottingham

Olivia Colley, Year 10 student from the Carlton Academy, came to work for the Faculty of Arts in March 2018.  Read her blog about her experience of working with us.

Olivia’s blog

Hey, I’m 14 and my name is Olivia and this is my blog of a week in the University of Nottingham for my work experience. LET’S GET INTO IT!

First, the food here is delicious and I have to say it’s at least 4.5 stars on my rating (obviously my rating is clearly full of fine cuisine). I bought a tuna panini on the first day, a spicy meatball panini on the second, a sandwich on the third and a jacket potato on the fourth day it was literally amazing. Of course they don’t run thin on cafes either. I’m sure there was a café around every corner. The thing is, all the cafés looked fun (or “lit” as the young’uns say) to enter and socialize with my mates and stuff. Well, anyway I could talk about food all day but that’s not really what you came for, so moving on…

Yummy food

Trent cafe












Societies and courses. There are a lot. I’m talking about hundreds here. I remember finding posters for all kinds of societies like sign language, French and German, AmeriCan Soc, Brazilian and Portuguese Cultural Society and Hispanic Society and tons more than that. I’m pretty sure you could think of something random and there would be a society for that. Alright so something a lot of people want to know about are courses. Well on my first day I checked the online prospectus which listed all the courses in the Arts section of the University. I’m not joking when I say that there were so many just in Arts like English and History BA, English with Creative Writing BA, Classical Civilisation and Philosophy BA, German and Contemporary Chinese Studies BA, Modern European Studies, Russian Studies BA and Historical Archaeology BA probably with way more too. It was intimidating but also comforting that I had so many to choose from.

Also, I noticed how tolerant or non-judgemental the students and staff seemed to be. I admit I didn’t speak to a lot of students at my time here however, they all seemed to smile and have an attitude willing to speak to you. There also seemed to be a wide range of people everywhere you turned from a fat cat in a plant pot to your normal everyday human.

The Library fat cat!


I believe everyone should respect another’s opinions or beliefs which appeared to be the outlook of everyone else as well. I saw so many different styles and personalities that I could literally feel all the tolerance oozing out of this place (also some of the outfits really slayed). Although I am only 14 years old from my viewpoint was that everyone was accepting.

At this moment, maybe you’re like “wwwowww this girl thinks she knows it all when she isn’t even a student and wasn’t even there for more than 5 days” which is a fair standpoint… Anyway, changing the subject. No, seriously, I do think I’m not the right person to be getting so in depth about everything. I just know what I felt walking around and working here.



The year abroad gallery #uongoingplaces


On my second day I looked at a common room space for students at the bottom floor of the Trent building. Anyway, I made a poster for it (if you’re a student at U of N then check out my poster boy). As I made the poster I wasn’t sure whether to feel confident about it or not. Then the people I was working with gave me full support and helped develop the ideas I had, they were critical but not harsh and kept a certain authority while also being friendly. I truly believe that the staff are efficient and hard working at their jobs, so they motivated me to work as diligently as I could. I think I’ll give them credit where it’s due. So all those brochures and posters are made by them and they work hard so I guess just appreciate the effort they put in to get that result.

Helping at the Offer Holder day

With regards to the students looking for a Uni let’s talk about the campus. There were giant buildings with fountains and old-fashioned buildings (like Trent building). Everywhere seemed busy with tons of students strolling around but I still managed to find a nice quiet garden which actually felt refreshing. As I mentioned there are a lot of cafes to eat from and a Starbucks, Boots and a Spar. Some students want their food ready at 5:00pm however, I think it takes away from the funny disaster food compilations people seem to experience in University (I’m not saying it’s bad, so you do you booboo). Anyway, I sort of went off topic talking about food so back to campus. The fact that it was so big and not even the largest in the world was daunting. For example, the Portland building. It was beautiful but huge and it had a wide staircase with fountains going down as the stairs did. It was a satisfying sight if I do say so. It had the best aesthetic for Instagram but unfortunately I am not a photographer honey. Anyway as a 14 year old the building was discouraging because it made me realise the campus and all its facilities are for older, mature people (which certainly isn’t me). I focused on the fact that I may not belong here just yet but one day I will hopefully be searching for a place at the University of Nottingham. So right now if you’re a student looking for a university to join then I recommend you this place. I mean it has everything you need. Now I know what you’re thinking “wow this girl is just giving them promo” and yeah I am, not because they asked because I want to.

Hard at work in the office

The giant chess board

During this whole encounter of thinking for my future or how I want to act in life I concluded that maybe I’m not ready for all that brain power to be used. Yeah, I seriously think I look a little too deep into things but I’m content that I came here, for certain. Facing what I could be later on in life was, of course, scary but also exciting! While I got a taste of working life in the Trent Building, I also just felt happy seeing different things and feeling foreign in a good way. At most times there was no pressure and I sensed real freedom like a bird escaping its cage (clearly I am a beautiful peacock but that didn’t make sense for this). Maybe I am naïve, but I’m not bothered because at the moment I will focus on now and when I come to looking I’ll know what I want out of a university.

Wow! What a journey… I’m surprised if anyone made it to the end of this but thanks for reading if you did. Okay, so I am kind of sad to leave this place (tragic, I know). I think I’m only upset because it was a moment of peace in my life but for other people this is the start of their future. All I have to say now is don’t worry too much about every little detail because my main ideal is HAVE FUN! So chill out and live the life.


Signing off for real now is 14 year old Olivia Beth Colley who spent a week in the confusing and exciting place of the University of Nottingham. BYE!

Posted in Languages and Area StudiesOutreach