Interview with Helena Martin
Name: Helena Martin
Home town: Essex
Uni: University of Leeds
Degree: Management with Marketing
Employer & Job description: Pinkberry – Certified Trainer
How long were you at uni for?
How does uni life change over the years you are there?
I went on a lot more nights out during the first and second years, and sometimes different places in the third year to avoid Fresher’s! Most people take uni more seriously in third year and attend most lectures and seminars rather than missing most in first year! Living in a house in the second and third year is also quite different to halls in first year – you have a lot more independence and get to choose who you live with.
What advice do you have for prospective students considering university study?
Make sure you know what course you want to do, what it consists of and that it will interest you.
What did you learn the most at uni?
The independence of living away from home and having more responsibility for education compared to the style of teaching at school.
What was your accommodation like during your time at uni? How did it change?
I stayed in halls in first year with people I didn’t know, who I got on with but wasn’t overly friendly with. In the second year I moved into a house with friends and stayed in this house for two years.
How did you budget throughout your years at uni? Any advice for prospective students on managing their finances?
I got the maximum grant, a bursary and a scholarship so it’s definitely worthwhile for students to find out if they are eligible for any or all of those sorts of things. It’s useful to find that out before taking A-Levels as well, as my scholarship depended on me getting certain grades - prospective students could use that as added motivation.
I then tried as best possible to work out when I was getting each instalment of the loan/bursary, and estimate how much money I’d have per month or week and try to adjust my spending accordingly. It’s definitely worth prospective students buying an NUS Extra card if they don’t already get one through their uni as that will save quite a bit in shops and cinemas. With my student account at Natwest I got a free student railcard which gave me discount on National Rail which was useful when travelling around the country either going home or to visit friends at other universities. Supermarket cards like Tesco Clubcard or Sainsburys Nectar Cards are also a good way to save a bit of money on food shops.
What were some of the best events/clubs/societies you got involved in during uni?
Jsoc and Business School Society were the only societies and events I really attended.