Kate Spear: student life and volunteering
Kate Spear chose the University of Reading for her undergraduate degree because she liked the size of the Chemistry Department as well as the university's green campus - she's a fan of parkland rather than cityscapes.
“The Department has a really nice feel to it. I immediately got the sense that I could be part of the community, but, more importantly, that I could contribute to it.”
Supported by staff
Like all of our undergraduate students, Kate has a personal tutor - an academic who she can speak to if she has an issue. But she says she feels supported in other ways as well.
“There are lots of supportive staff in the Department who will help with placement applications, look over your CV or help in many other ways to make your experience at Reading better.”
Volunteering and outreach
Kate volunteers for Open Day, talking to prospective students and their parents, answering questions about what it's like to study at Reading. It's a job that requires a lot of smiling, but Kate's up to the task.
“Choosing a university is a huge decision for students. For most, it is their first time leaving home. If I can help people make the decision that's right for them, then I want to be able to do that.”
As well as Open Days, Kate volunteers for Chemistry for All, a Royal Society of Chemistry project that is looking at how a long-term series of chemistry activities in schools affects participation in chemistry undergraduate study. Kate volunteers to help run chemistry clubs in local schools as part of the project.
“I enjoy doing outreach. I went to school in an area of Devon where there was no local university, so we weren't exposed to these types of programmes. I think it's important to offer these opportunities to children when they're available.”