Shrey’s experience: studying during a pandemic
We asked some of our new students about their time at Loughborough University London so far – take a look at what Shrey, an MSc Sports Business and Innovation student, had to say.
What made you choose Loughborough University London?
I’ve been playing football since I was six years old, so sports has always been a passion of mine. I did some independent research with careers counsellors etc. and Loughborough was always at the forefront of sports, so it was an easy decision to make and so far, a good choice!
Has Covid-19 had an effect on your studies?
I arrived at the height of the pandemic. I feel there are three aspects with Covid-19:
- where you live
- where you study
- and the rest is when you’re out and about etc.
Firstly, I live at Unite Stratford ONE – which is a great option as it’s a Covid-19 safe building and close to campus. In campus we also have good initiatives such as a temperature check on arrival, hand sanitizers everywhere and everything is contactless – from the library to lectures. Classrooms are also widely spaced out, there is a minimal chance of contact plus there is so much local open space such as the Olympic Park and Victoria park. I felt reassured being in a safe environment.
Has Covid-19 affected your teaching?
The quality of teaching has not been affected at all – the professors have adapted to the MS Teams software with small breakout rooms and face to face teaching is still the same too, so the quality hasn’t reduced. It felt a bit weird wearing masks and being distant, but we never once felt our teaching was affected by the measures.
Even if you’re studying during Covid-19 bear in mind that by the time you’ve completed your studies the situation should have improved. My parents suggested I defer my studies but I thought more about what lay ahead and chose to go forward with my studies. This is probably the best time to kick start your education as you have the additional time to concentrate.
What other activities have you gotten involved in?
We had a hackathon event (together with Ticketmaster Sport UK) where we divided ourselves into teams and worked on a solution for the company. It was fully online, but employers were still contacting us and interested in our contributions. The University has not backed down at all providing us with regular opportunities and events with the Future Space team. We have events, activities with employers, advice services and the digital skills programme – so there is continuation of adapting to the measures and accommodating full online networking and I personally have connected with cooperative employers since.
What did you look forward to most in your modules?
The chance to address topics directly with the professors and academics. I was worried about how Covid-19 may affect this face to face interaction. But, as an example, we currently have assessments coming up and to aid us in the process professors keep at least one-hour slots free on MS Teams to aid student questions – much like a drop-in session. Again, an adaptation/ improvement during Covid-19. The professors enable you to present your thoughts and opinions and are also very friendly. I love that it is an open environment it is more communicative rather than sitting and listening.
How has your experience been so far?
It’s only been a couple of months but I’m starting to experience what ‘Loughborough Family’ means. Its starts as soon as you walk in the building, the security team are always welcoming. I’ve found that everywhere in the building actually – whether it’s the professors, academics or cafeteria staff – you are always greeted with friendly smiles. The sense of family is that whatever your background you are all equal in this space – everyone’s opinion matters. Like I said, its only been 2 months for me but its just a feeling you get, and I already associate myself with the family tag and colour purple! It just flows into you right from the start of being on campus.
What were your concerns prior to starting your studies?
I was a little worried studying in London as its such a big city; with so many people how would I be able to get my opinions across? But London is such a multi diverse city and you get to meet so many interesting people that you wouldn’t normally come across and historically London is known for its research and development. East London is a growing area for innovation as there are so many new initiatives in this area – to be around this while simultaneously learning is a wonderful experience. You get the best of both worlds.
What is like to be a student ambassador?
Student ambassadors get to represent the University, whether it’s at events or academics on campus. Becoming an ambassador was key to me. I spoke to two previous student ambassadors and they said that it just adds such a great experience to your year outside of your studies – you get to explore and gain additional experience. It also adds to your journey as a whole, so you’re not just here to study, you get to develop yourself as person too.
What advice would you give for students interested in joining Loughborough University London?
If you’re considering taking the leap and if you’ve always wanted that – trust me this is the best time to do so. There is no better time than the now and the University has taken a lot of measures to keep you safe and you can’t network as effectively online. Being on campus opens creative thought so even when I join lectures remotely, I usually log in from the campus!
We would like to thank Shrey for taking the time to answer our questions.