Georgina Shaw was indecisive about where and what to study until she visited the University of Reading. Attracted by the University's green spaces and diversity of modules, she thrived in a flexible course that allowed her to form her own path.
"I had an unconditional offer from Reading which was really nice as it was saying 'we want you as a person' and I felt that when I came here for a visit."
Since her visit on Open Day, Georgina has found inspiration in guest speakers and course texts:
"Aisling Byrne was one of the speakers at Open Day and even my mum said 'I want to study here!' Aisling was talking about these modules and got so into it and I thought 'that's what I want to be like - I want to be so passionate about something that makes you want to talk about it all the time'".
Georgina enjoyed the "Creative writing" module and "Poetry" module, but she discovered her favourite text in another:
"The 'Old English' module was really fun, my favourite text was Beowulf. We have the Old English text on one side of the book and the translation on the other side. Certain words and phrases in Old English can have different meanings, so it is interesting to review the text considering the alternative translations. The Old English doesn't really scare you - it actually makes it better!"
TRANSITION TO UNIVERSITY
Since her first day, Georgina has valued the support from her tutors and peers at Reading, and during her time on Study Abroad in Canada.
"I had a few issues back in the first year, which meant that I was late on my first day, and I was really stressed as I wanted to make a good first impression. I went to see my personal tutor who was really supportive and helped me feel at ease. It's nice to be around people who are no longer your 'teachers', they are more like peers. You feel constantly supported and, if you have a problem or if you just had a really bad day and just wanted to talk to someone, you can!"
"Study Abroad in Canada was a really good experience. I definitely integrated well into the university and made so many new friends."
BUILDING A CAREER PROFILE
The Department's Professional Track Programme was one of the main reasons Georgina chose Reading. On an Open Day, she learnt that the Programme was a way of trying out new courses outside of her core modules and being rewarded with a separate qualification for it.
"I thought I wanted to go into Journalism, so I took a Journalism course. We had people from Bloomberg and The Times come in - it was really good. At the end of it I realised that journalism isn't for me, but I have a better idea of where to apply for jobs. We did a social media course and I want to go into social media marketing now. You get a separate Professional Track qualification at the end with your degree, and on your CV you can list all the courses you did with them."
Georgina still doesn't have a firm career path in mind as it still leaves her open to studying a wide range of courses in third year.
"English is so broad. I really like theatre, marketing, writing plays and screenwriting. My degree offers flexibility and the third year courses are so varied so there will always be something that you like."
ADVICE TO FUTURE STUDENTS
Georgina believes prospective students should come and see the campus and create a unique first impression for yourself!
"Everyone can read a Prospectus but come and see the campus, listen to the talks and meet the student ambassadors - I tell everyone to come to Reading! I love it so much!"