Posts Tagged ‘QMSU’

Trolley Dash in Olympia

It was a happy day. One of the happiest day that I had. I’m talking about the Trolley Dash of course.

I used to love toys and my favourite would be my cooking set… Or Barbie… Or my Sylvanian set… 🙂 Ahh~! I just love them all! <3 Having said that, I on the other hand, cannot recall precisely when was the last time I actually played with them… Probably some time during my 8th grade or… even long before that. I still like them, trust me I do and that should be the exact reason why I was thrilled when I saw the SU offered an opportunity to collect toys!

OMG! Count me in! x)

Volunteering group 2014 at the Toy fair

QMUL Volunteering team at the Toy Fair – Barnardos Toy Trolley 2014

At the time, the opportunity was organised by Barnardos with the permission of the Toy fair in Kensington Olympia. Volunteers come in on the last day of the fair and for the last 30 minutes, would take a trolley (sponsored by Tesco) and collect as many toy donations as we could . Sorting out them afterwards, according to size, we would then load them on to truck after truck, sending them to disadvantaged children in need.
But for the whole process of sorting up until loading, we had some fun ourselves admiring the toys we loved. There was a huge giraffe I remembered, tiny shopping trolleys, countless cooking sets and so many dolls! Then there were construction toys, teddy bears, tiny figures, mobile phones, colourful fruit baskets and so much more than I can name. It was like a toy heaven!

Huge Giraffe on top a trolley full of toys!

Huge Giraffe on top a trolley full of toys!

The event took place on 23rd January 2014 and it actually was the first time I volunteered through QMSU Volunteering service. It was the start for a series of all the great opportunities I continued to get involved in later days. Now looking back it felt even greater :’)

Me pushing mini trolley, "nagging" for more toys

Me pushing mini trolley, “nagging” for more toys

January 2015, I looked forward so much to another memorable trip to the wonderful toy-land and my heart sank when days after days checking the website without seeing the opportunity pop up. What could I do if there was no event held altogether.

But I felt the worst when it came back in 2016 and I could not go. This time, organised by Kids Out.

QM Team at KidsOut Toy Trolley 2016 - Olympia

QMUL Team at Toy fair – KidsOut Toy Trolley 2016 – Kensington Olympia

The event crashed with my school schedule but I wanted to go so much that I was considering skipping class… Everyone who went told me the same thing – it was amazing! 🙂 I knew that, I knew that all along. And I’m glad that they had great fun volunteering at the Event as I did 2 years before.

There’s not much to say besides it’s a really really really really nice event that one should definitely consider going (if it doesn’t crash with your classes xD) Take it from me, and from those who were there.

London Marathon 2016- Time to Marshal!

Hi all, I hope revision is going well for you. I thought I’d share my experience of volunteering with QMSU Volunteering at the amazing London Marathon last week- one of my favourite annual events to volunteer or spectate at.

The London Marathon is 26.2 miles and runners pass sights including the National Maritime Museum and One Canada Square, finishing at Buckingham Palace. This year’s was the 36th London Marathon and the millionth participant ran the route too!

Sunday 24th April 2016- the runners’ big day!

It is barely 4°C at 9am when we set off along Mile 19 to choose our places to be stationed at!

It is barely 4°C at 9am when we set off along Mile 19 to choose our places to be stationed at!

 

At around 7:45am, we had a rundown of the event (pardon the pun) as we’d been briefed on our role as marshals at uni on Friday. At 9am, we walked around to Mile 19 and I chose to be at a crossing point with three other volunteers. With a pair of us on opposite sides of the road, in charge of the crossing, we started cheering on the elite women, followed by the Paralympic athletes and then the elite men. We were directing spectators when they needed assistance. Soon, the masses started approaching us and hundreds of spectators on our road alone, us marshals included, began encouraging thousands of runners!

 

One of the elite runners approaches our section

One of the elite runners approaches our section on The North Colonnade

 

The whole day was brilliant. Though my hands were hurting from continuous clapping, icy wind and occasional freezing sheets of rain, I continued applauding the runners- the reactions of some runners when they saw everyone, even if it was just you clapping and calling their name at times, was my fuel!! My voice was going too and the responses of some concerned spectators saying “oh no, you’re going to lose your voice” was heart-warming. Some spectators were even cheering me on for cheering, aha!!!

 

A marshal portrays just how cold it can be during the London Marathon!

Tried to portray just how cold it was! This expression unfortunately doesn’t look like one of a cold me but a cautious me, aha- it was very cold indeed!!! I used my backpack straps to hold onto my useful event guide and free my hands, ready to applaud.

 

The great majority of runners were strangers (I did cheer on a colleague, a YouTuber and a former teacher, though) but I still genuinely believe they are ALL CHAMPIONS for running the marathon! Mile 19 can be one of the most gruelling miles. One of my favourite received reactions was people actually speeding up or starting to run when we cheered for them. And my reaction to that? Well, I was thrilled each time and jumped up and down cheering even more excitedly for them as they sprinted past me yelling a “thank you” or smiling from ear to ear at me while I mirrored the smile or laughed!

 

A wonderful event to marshal- substantiated by my sore and freezing hands at the end of the day and my now-croaky voice in need of a rest!

A wonderful event to marshal- substantiated by my sore and freezing hands at the end of the day and my now-croaky voice in need of a rest!

 

Well done, one and all, what an accomplishment, what a feat (that one was intentional)!

Be proud of yourselves for completing the London Marathon! A huge congratulations to Eliud Kipchoge who smashed his 2015 course record and Wilson Kipsang’s 2014 course record, setting a new course record for the elite men and to Jemima Sumgong who overcame some horrible falls and even an inconsiderate intruder on the course to win the women’s elite race!

 

Fact: The first event I can ever remember volunteering at was the 2011 London Marathon. Yes, eesh, half a decade ago!! Thus, volunteering at this year’s marathon marked half a decade of volunteering for me (not at every Marathon event but volunteering in general- 5 years ago is when it all started in volunteering for me)!

Fact: The first event I can remember volunteering at was the 2011 London Marathon. Volunteering at this year’s marathon marked half a decade of volunteering for me (generally, not at every Marathon).

Day in the life of an Economics student

If you’re a university student, you probably know that student life isn’t easy. Juggling assignments, part time work and fun takes effort. Some of us have the same day everyday, but for most students that’s not the case. For me, some days are busy as ever and others I do barely anything.

 

People say, second year is the hardest of them all, as the jump from year 1 to year 2 is massive. But personally, apart from the increase in the number of midterms, I would say anyone can get through it (with a bit of coffee and library time). I thought it would be useful to give you an insight into the life of a second year QMUL student.

 

7 am – 9am: Wake up and have breakfast if you’re lucky

Most of my days start quite early, even though you don’t have lectures till late, I find its useful to get up early and use the time to do your class work, catch up on reading or even go for that morning run.

Breakfast for me is a challenge as I’m never hungry so early. I’ve found a remedy – the nutribullet. It’s the best smoothie maker around and makes for a refreshing and healthy breakfast.

The Nutri bullet is the best kitchen appliance

The Nutri bullet is the best kitchen appliance

 

9am – 9:45am: Tube journey

A big part of every student’s life is the dreaded commute (unless you live on campus). London Underground can be unreliable with its random tube strikes, but its quick and the best we’ve got. As long as you travel after 7am rush hour, you’ll have a pleasant journey.

My journey isn’t too long, you’ll be surprised how quick 45 minutes passes when you’ve got your favourite songs on loop and the metro in your hand.

 

9:45am – 10am: Starbucks time

Stepping out of Mile End station, you’ll find a range of coffee shops on the way to campus (both Starbucks and Costa), perfect for that morning coffee. Just don’t get sucked into their loyalty schemes, there’s no coming back once you start collecting stars on the Starbucks app.

Starbucks thinks of it all

Starbucks thinks of it all

 

10am – 12pm: Classes

Every student within “the school of economics and finance” has four, 1 hour classes per week. Classes are usually handy to understand what goes on in lectures and grasp key concepts through practical problems. Just don’t forget to attempt the problem sets before you come to class!

When I'm early for class, for once

When I’m early for class, for once

 

12pm-4pm: Student Communications Intern duties

Working part-time is normal for students, we need the experience and sometimes the money. For me, I love my job and enjoy the work I do as a QMUL student communications intern; writing the student newsletter, working with QMSU and researching student news stories. My role has really given me good exposure to the field of higher education marketing and communications. I intern for 10 hours a week within the QMUL communications office on campus, which is great as I don’t have to travel.

Skipping lunch, used to be my thing but not anymore – you have to make time for it. I usually bring something with me or dash to the ground café on campus for a Panini.

My desk in the comms office!

My desk in the comms office!

Promoting the NSS as an intern

Promoting the NSS as an intern

 

4pm – 6pm: Lecture

Economics students have four, 2 hour lectures a week, which tend to be nicely spread out. Lectures lay the foundations for your modules and without them I would be so lost, economics is about much more than demand and supply. Most of our lecturers are engaging and make learning a rewarding experience.

You need a coffee to survive at 6pm lecture

You need a coffee to survive a 6pm lecture

 

6pm-7pm: Fashion Society event

I recently started a Fashion Society at QMSU – best decision ever!I’ve really enjoyed running it this year as president. I usually organise events, skills sessions, club nights and day trips for members. I try to keep in mind that students have classes during the day, so many events are after 6pm. However, Wednesday afternoons are left free from teaching for society events.

QMSU is completely student-run. If you’re passionate about something you can take that further and find people with similar interests. Running a society has let me live student life at its best and meet people from a range of courses.

 

10pm: Netflix catch up

If I’ve got exams, then this step isn’t really a good choice. But, I like to relax watching some of my favourite TV series (i.e. Pretty Little Liars) after a long day. Before I fall asleep on my iPad.

Time to relax :)

Time to relax 🙂

 

Don’t be scared, my days don’t all end this late. On a Friday, I’m off at noon to do what I want. To be honest, every day is different –  as clichĂ© as that may sound, it’s really true. As a student, you have the chance to do so many different things and discover yourself, be sure to make the most of your time at QMUL.

 

Much Love,

Kajal

Getting involved at QMUL

It’s reading week, a well-deserved break for many students at Queen Mary. My first semester has been hectic and super busy, with not a moment to spare. But I’ve loved every minute.

 

The School of Economics and Finance (SEF) at QMUL has so many opportunities to get stuck in too! You can work with the school as a Student Helper, help our growing department at induction, open days and outreach activities. Guiding and assisting the first year’s during the schools induction, will remind you of old times. We even have a super fun team of helpers and staff! Not only this, but you can become a PASS Mentor for SEF, guiding 1st years. I am also a Student Blogger for SEF, writing blogs such as this, giving my insight into QMUL. Blogging is great fun, and allows you to share your experiences in order to help others.

SEF Student Helpers

SEF Student Helpers

If you’re a second or third year, you have the chance to be a Research Assistant to a member of staff within the department. I currently work as a Research Assistant with an inspiring academic “Yioryos Makedonis”, it’s a very flexible role that will give you the chance to witness cutting edge research. It’s useful for students considering a career in research or academia. It even keeps me reading business news, something I never did before!

Mr Makedonis "an inspiring academic"

Mr Makedonis “an inspiring academic”

 

The Queen Mary Students’ Union (QMSU) is home to many student societies, you can even start your own! This year, I started up my own Fashion Society, which I love more than my life. With the help of an amazing committee, I publicised our new society through social media and the welcome fair. The turnout and response we got was amazing, over 400 active members! QMUL students sure love their fashion. Though, running a society is more work than I realised, it’s worth it. Especially when you see members enjoying themselves at events. We have held our meet & greet, skills sessions, day trips and are planning our first ANNUAL RUNWAY!

QM Fashion Society members

QM Fashion Society members

Want to be the voice of your course? Stand for course rep elections! Organised by QMSU, course rep elections run at the start of every year. Course reps are elected for every year and course at QMUL. These students represent their year and help make students’ voices heard! As a second year Economics course rep, I can tell you it’s a rewarding and fun experience.

 

QMUL’s Communications Team runs some great competitions for students. During welcome week, they ran the #QMULWelcome photo competition. Students and staff engaged over social media, tagging their photos from welcome week with hashtag QMULWelcome. It was a great way to show your passion and who doesn’t love social media? 3 students’ photos were chosen (including me!), we won an ipad mini 2!

The lovely Communications manager  "Cat Heaton" giving me my iPad mini prize! YAY

The lovely Communications manager “Cat Heaton” giving me my iPad mini prize! YAY

 

I’ve taken on a lot this year, and everyone who knows me, tells me I’m doing way too much. I love being involved though, it never seems like work. Not only is it super fun and keeps you busy, you make so many new friends along the way, trying new things. You discover who you are and what you love. So grab these opportunities while you have them and take a chance to try something new. Get involved and get stuck in at QMUL!

"A giant teddy bear?!" QMUL welcome week gets crazy!

“A giant teddy bear?!” QMUL welcome week gets crazy!

 

Much Love,

Kajal

 

 

The Breakfast Challenge at Whitechapel Mission

Calling early birds and night owls, here’s a Breakfast Challenge for you!

For years, QMSU Volunteer has been working with the Whitechapel Mission, offering students with various amazing volunteering opportunities. One of which is known as the (legendary) Breakfast Challenge.

 

Full English Breakfast

Full English Breakfast

What is the Breakfast Challenge?

This is a unique volunteering experience I can definitely confirm.

Belonging to the One-day volunteering category, this is the opportunity for Volunteers to help the Whitechapel Mission prep and cook breakfast for the homeless in the area. A full English breakfast is offered on menu, together with other options such as porridge or cereals. No cooking experience required from Volunteers 🙂

 

What is happening on the date?

Basically, a group of students, ideally 8, will meet up as early as 5:15am on a Sunday and then travel to Whitechapel together, just in time for the 5:45am brief.

 

A Group of Students Volunteering at the Whitechapel Mission

A Group of Students Volunteering at the Whitechapel Mission (Feb 2014)

Afterwards, each pair will be in charge of a station – hot drink, toast, veg or protein (how I usually address them)

1. Hot drink station – responsible for making hot drinks – coffee, tea or chocolate, on order
2. Toast station – responsible for making buttered toasts, usually prep around 10-15 family loafs
3. Vegetable station will be filling up a huge pot of mushroom and a huge pot of bake beans initially. If you’re in charge of this station for the second phase, remember to stir the whole pot from time to time (gently) to avoid burning!
4. Protein station, my favourite, is responsible for frying sausages, eggs (sunny side up) and oven bake some bacon! (yummm). Me alone on this station may crack up to 70 eggs myself.

The preparation process will continue until 8 o’clock; until then, Volunteers can change stations and try out different tasks.

Once it’s 8 o’clock, only 2-3 volunteers will stay at the Protein station to maintain the flow of hot eggs whereas the rest will join the front line and run the service. Normally, one volunteer can be the cashier, 2-3 can assemble orders and another 2 at the drink station. Also there will be other volunteers remain in the kitchen and prepare porridge or cereals on order. Otherwise, Staff will circulate around to manage the process and provide guidance. Volunteer can also manage the charging station and/or give out toiletries to those in need.

Service will end around 10AM, drinks and food window will be closed after this time. What’s left is just cleaning!

Cleaning process

Cleaning process

 

Volunteers are expected to be dismissed by 12pm or even earlier than that (if you’re efficient in cleaning :P)

 

Why did I do the Breakfast Challenge? How do I feel about it?

 

Why not?
It’s Volunteering! It’s outside uni-time! A chance for me to try something new, to take on a challenge! It’s a perfect one-day opportunity for someone who’s afraid of commitment like I was 🙂 and it’s absolutely meaningful to the community!

I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and besides, I’m an early bird myself, I also love food; interested in meeting new people and especially I like to talk and share (like what I’m doing now – indirectly communicate my experience and opinion to you!).

 

Funtime

Funtime with SU President Dola (2013-14) @ the Breakfast Challenge (Oct 2014)

 

I’ve made new friends, amazing new friends from the Breakfast Challenge; friends from different departments and different countries each and every time I take on the Breakfast Challenge. So far, I have participated in 3 occasions and still find each time fascinating and special in their own way. To me, this is a very unique opportunity that gives me a different perspective of life. If I decide not to participate in this event but to wake up at 9am and stay indoor all day Sunday, I would not be able meet other inspiring volunteers, would not have seen another image of London and its people and almost certainly would not have the chance to do something nice for the community.

 

Christmas time @ Whitechapel Mission: Staff and Volunteers

Christmas time @ Whitechapel Mission: Staff and Volunteers (Dec 2014)

 

True, it may be a little hard to leave the bed so early and head out to the dark and the wind; but what you gain is warmth in your heart and even more.

 

Advice for you

Because I can do it, so can you!
If you’re a night owl and you’re taking that excuse to not waking up and be ready, then think how amazing it would be if you can actually take on the Challenge! Winning double – I would say 🙂 And if you’re an early bird, then here’s a good reminder not to skip Breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day! Prepare it and share the care!

Although the SU Volunteer only offers the Challenge on a Sunday owing to Students’ timetable, Whitechapel Mission holds this event everyday. Bankers (from Lloyds, Barclays or Deutsche Bank) and people from other organisations take turns to participate. Thus, this means that you can possibly “connect” to them if you’re thinking about a career in Finance (haha). Examine the Calendar once you’re there if you don’t believe me. Otherwise, you can always brag about all the skills you gain through this Challenge in any interview, ranging from initiative, drive, time management, communication, coordination and so on and forth!

And believe it or not, Breakfast Challenge is one of the most popular Volunteering opportunities that students love. There are instances that the event is over-registered so make sure you put your name down fast on qmsu.org/volunteering!

Happy Breakfast

I dare you to take on a Breakfast Challenge!

Milestones

I can’t believe I have finished half of my degree now!

I have to express it straight away ’cause it has been in my head for several days now!

It’s not like I’m feeling old or something but I guess my time at Queen Mary will be running out soon. I still haven’t explore/exprience everything there is to offer me here!

Recalling January 2014, on the 23rd was my first volunteering opportunity with QMSU Volunteer. It was the Barnardo’s toy trolley in Olympia London. Back then, I have only been with QM for like almost 4 months and started to gain interest in other activities rather than study and get to know my course mates.

Team QM Voluteer at the London Olympia

Team QM Voluteer at the London Olympia

The experience working with other like-minded peer from QM made me feel so warm and happy; and that was the scoring point in encouraging my commitment with other activities with the University.

On 13th April 2014, after joining several other volunteering opportunities, I got my chance to help out with the London Marathon 2014, which was like the biggest event I know of ever! The crew from the Uni was so big. There were more than 80 of us, all happy and excited!

Team QM @ London Marathon 2014

QMSU Volunteer team for London Marathon 2014

It was one of the most memorable moments in my entire student life! (I’m so gonna do it again this year! Wait for that post!!!) And it made me realise I do, very much enjoy what I’m doing 🙂 and that I like to be more involved than just being a student, being a volunteer member of the Volunteering society.

It was not a difficult decision to put my name down for being a One-day Volunteer Team Leader. At the time, I was not very certain that I’m good enough to take on the role, I was not confident at all. Nevertheless, in the end, I got myself a position in the Leader team (woohoo) and I was beyond happiness! I felt like I can do so much more for the community as well as learn so many things while I’m volunteering. But on top of all, I really enjoy it and and want to do it!

September 6th 2014 was my first day back in Uni. Not simply a student keen on coming back, but also a QMSU Crew member to welcome the freshers for 2014!

QMSU Fresher Crew 2014

QMSU Fresher Crew 2014

 

 

Gradually, I was getting more and more involved with the University and everything around study and student life. I even picked up blogging (sometime in October 2014), which was an unusual thing for me to do, but it’s still great!

Come to think about my little time left, I really want to do more than what I’m already doing now! What sort of milestones will I have in 2015? There’s “Get Active” from QMSU that I have been wanting to try but I never seem to have enough time. There’s “International week” (I’m gonna do this!). There’s “QMSU Ball” or the “Boat Party” that I never have the motivation to go… And I know another one that can make it in to my list though… (Just that I’m not quite sure if I can do it :()

… Since we are in the nomination period for new QMSU officers… should I give it a try? :3

I’ll give myself a little more time to think about this! Maybe it would be one of the best thing I have done while being at QMUL! <3

 

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