Posted by sthomas on March 10, 2017 3:03 pm

As part of your University application, you may be required to put together a portfolio to showcase the work you’ve already done and to display your skills. Depending on the course you’re applying for will determine what type of portfolio you’ll need to produce. For Web and Computing courses like mine (Web Technologies) the expected type of portfolio is a website that shows different types of work within that area.

As part of some of my University applications, I had to put together a portfolio to showcase the skills I had within the IT/Web area. As I hadn’t created a portfolio before I wasn’t quite sure what was meant to be on one. After some thought, I created a simple portfolio website that showcased the graphic designs I’d done and websites I’d developed. When designing the website I decided to make it fully responsive, which means all the elements span the full width of the page and can adapt to any size screen making it more accessible and readable, as this showed that I was aware that most people browse the web on smaller devices such as tablets and smartphones. The format in which I showcased my work was in an image gallery, this meant that the screenshots of the work were the sole focus of the website. As well as using the images on the website to showcase my skills, I also coded the website myself using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

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As my portfolio was a static website it didn’t take much time to create. If I’m remembering correctly it only took a few day to complete. The hardest part was deciding what pieces of work should go on the website.

Looking back I don’t think I got much support in the creation of the portfolio website, which was mainly down to me not asking my tutors for help or to look over it. Now though, I think I should have asked some of my tutors for help as they would have been able advise me of what I should put on it and they would have given me feedback on the design and content within the portfolio.

To make my portfolio stand out above other people’s I tried to include a mixed of things to show my versatility and that I could do a variety of tasks. Other thing’s I did was made it responsive and very image focused.

Personally, I think putting together a portfolio can be difficult. Deciding what should be included is a big decision and if I could go back in time I would add more content around the different projects I’d worked rather than just displaying pictures. I think this would give the person looking at it a better idea of what was actually involved in the project.

I have put together a few tips for those that need to create a portfolio.

Tip 1

Display only your best work (quality rather than quantity).

Tip 2

Don’t worry about how you create and display your portfolio, focus on the content.

Tip 3

Get as much feedback from your tutors on the design of the portfolio and content within it.

I hope this helps if you need to create a portfolio for your University application. If you have any questions about portfolios feel free to comment them below.

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on January 2, 2017 2:50 pm

In today’s blog post I’m flipping the coin again and finding out what my dad thought about me going to University. I called him and asked 8 questions on the topic of universities, open days and accommodation.

Sophie: Hi Dad, thanks for taking the time to do this quick interview. Firstly, how did you feel about me going to University?

Dad: Predominantly proud and a little bit surprised as you hadn’t been thinking about going for the most part.

Sophie: What information did you want to know about the Universities I was applying to?

Dad: I wanted to find out the pretty much the same information as you. The most important thing was if the course content was suitable, enjoyable and that there wasn’t any Maths or a big emphasis on Maths. From a parent point of view I wanted to know how safe and secure the University and from an academic point of view how much support is given to the students.

Sophie: How did you support me in choosing my course and University?

Dad: To support you with choosing the course and University I took you to open days which allowed you to look around and gain more information about the course you’ll be studying for the next 3 to 4 years. Whilst at these open days I tried to get you to engage in conversation with current students and lecturers to find out more about the way in which the course is taught. Finally, I sat down with you after attending an open day to grasp an idea of what you thought about that course and University.

Sophie: What information did you most want to know when attending an open day with me?

Dad: When attending an open day with you I wanted to make sure that the course content was suitable and to see what the general feel of the University was. As well as this, I wanted to see what the surrounding areas and accommodation was like.

Sophie: What were your thoughts on how the University of Huddersfield Open Day we attended was run?

Dad: From what I remember I feel as though it was run really well. The information given was useful and they were excellent at selling the placement year and their own placement team as well as the course as a whole. I also found the student ambassadors really helpful in answering questions and finding out about other accommodation in Huddersfield that is closer to the University.

University of Huddersfield

Sophie: What information did you most want to know about the student accommodation?

Dad: In terms of accommodation, I wanted to know how close it was to the University and local amenities. I also wanted to make sure that the place you’ll be living in was secure and that there was someone on site 24/7 just in case of an emergency. As well as this, I wanted to find out what facilities were available for you to use, the price and contract length.

Sophie: Now that I have been away at university for over a year do you feel that it has been beneficial for me?

 

Dad: I do believe so as you’ve certainly come out of your shell and have been more social than I’ve seen you be. You also seem to have adapted to the work load as you won an award at the end of last year.

Sophie: Before I end, is there anything you’d like to add?

Dad: “From my point of view, you have really settled in well. Huddersfield and you have undoubtedly been a good fit. After speaking with your lectures at the end of year awards they all spoke highly of you which reassures me that you going to University was the right decision for you.

Before I end this post I want to say a final thank you to my Dad for taking the time out to answer these questions. I hope this helps a few of you who are looking into university.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below or tweet me @sthomasuk. Remember to use the hashtag #hudunilife!

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on January 13, 2016 11:26 am

My journey to university was a little unexpected I suppose, due to myself having no intentions of going. However, like most journeys it starts somewhere and this one was at college in October/November time when I began to fill out my UCAS application…

Filling out the UCAS application is now a little blurred for me as it was over a year ago but from what I do remember it wasn’t too hard to complete. It mainly required me entering what course I was studying and what grades I got in my GCSE’s. I found writing my personal statement the hardest part as it is all about writing about yourself in a positive way.

As I didn’t have any intention of going to university I never really looked into what universities I should attend before filling out my UCAS application. In fact, I didn’t look around any of them until I submitted my UCAS application (!). Although this probably wasn’t the best way to go about it, I felt that there was enough information online to help me make my decision.

Once I filled out and submitted my UCAS application, it was just a waiting game really until I got a message to say I had either got a place, a conditional place or didn’t get place at all. And even then after getting your offers, you have to wait until the summer to find out if you have been fully accepted.

After receiving all my offers, which was around the end of January, I had to make the hardest decision so far which was which university I wanted to put as my first choice.

To help make this decision, I decided to attend some Open Days. The events were really informative and really helped me decide which university I could see myself studying at and which place I could see myself living in. For me, Huddersfield came out on top of both points and I made Huddersfield university my first choice.

The next stage was to choose where I was going to live in Huddersfield. I based my choice on what I saw when I when to the Open Day and I decided to live at Aspley House. I chose to live here because it was close to the university, the shops and had it had plenty of facilities. You can read more about choosing your accommodation in a blog post I wrote titled Choosing Accommodation.

Fast forward a few months and college was finished. I got my confirmed place at Huddersfield quite quickly compared to my friends because my college course was a BTEC. Once I received my offer it was a case of getting ready to move in September.

This brings me to moving in day which is where the journey of getting to university ended. However, when one journey ends another begins and for me that is being a university student.

Looking back, the journey to university was quite stressful as there were many huge decision to make but I do feel that I have made the right decision as I am very happy with both the University and accommodation I choose.

How is your journey of coming to university going? If you have any questions feel free to get in touch.

– Sophie :)

Posted by sthomas on December 15, 2015 2:43 pm

You will properly hear me say this a lot but deciding to go to University is a huge decision to make and deciding which University to go to is an even bigger one. Once you have made the decision to go to University you then have find the right University for you in terms of the course and location because there is no point in the course being right if you are going to hate living there and vice versa.

There is a way to gather loads of information about the different Universities and it also gives you an insight into the Uni itself, the course and the location surrounding the University. Yes you guessed it, Universities hold Open Days throughout the year to allow you to look round the University.

University of Huddersfield

The only drawback to an Open Day is that you will have to travel to get there. However, this will all be worth it as you will be spending most of the day at the University finding out what course you will be doing and where you could be living for the next 3 to 4 years.

What an Open Day does best is that is provides you with so much to do throughout the day; with talks from lecturers, workshops based around your course, tours around the campus, an insight into where you could be staying and of course student helpers on hand to answer any of your questions.

When I was looking at what University I wanted to attend I went to three Open Days. Going to those Open Days really did help me make my decision. Now that I am here at Huddersfield University I can honestly say that I did make the right decision because I am enjoying my course and I love the University and location surrounding the Uni.

University of Huddersfield   Open Day at HUD Uni

Open Day at HUD Uni  Open Day Duck

The biggest tip I can give to you when attending an Open Day is to make notes throughout the day because trust me you might forget somethings that was said, not because it was irrelevant but because it is such a busy day and for some it can be very overwhelming.

Still not convinced? I asked some current students why they attended an Open Day and what they gained from going. Check out what they said in the video below.

I hope that as many of you can attend an Open Day provided by the Universities as they are a huge help and if you cannot don’t worry there are plenty of information about the Universities online.

Have any of your own tips you’d like to share about attending an Open Day? Then let us know in the comments box below.

To book onto a University of Huddersfield Open Day, visit: http://www.hud.ac.uk/open-days/

– Sophie :)