I’m James Croft. I’m a 4th year student at the University of Hull studying Computer Science with Industrial Experience. I’ve experienced a lot while being at University, and I’ve always wanted to give something back to help out prospective students who are eager to get a degree and move on to greater things (because that’s what we are all at Uni for, right?)
In my second year, I became a course representative for my department. This started off my desire to to do things for others and not just myself. At the time, the course representative scheme allowed students to review modules and liaise with key members of the departmental staff to raise issues with modules and promote those that were working well through peer evaluation at the end of a semester. This required a pair of reps to get up in front of the entire lecture and ask questions that would then be fed back into the staff-student committee meetings, and then to academic council meetings with all course reps from all departments.
While this seemed a good scheme when I joined, it just didn’t have the best impact on the University, as the organisation is run through the University Union and not the University itself. This is where student ambassadors came in.
I know that I should be really focussed on my work this year and getting the First Class degree that I am after, but the great thing about the Student Ambassador programme is that I can do it around my University timetable. This means I will be able to give students from schools and colleges tours of the University, my department, and tell them on a personal level the experiences that I have had as a student. Through this I can encourage students to take up the opportunity of higher education, especially at The University of Hull.
Dene and I demoing Windows Phone & Windows 8 App Dev at Campus Party 2013
I’m definitely on a mission to inspire people to come to University and in particular, study as a Computer Science student – irrelevant if you are male or female. Computer Science may be male dominated, but it definitely shouldn’t be that way. I don’t believe that female computer scientists should be segregated from the rest of the computer science community. Programming in any language is a skill that anyone can learn, so combined with my role as a Microsoft Student Partner I am always aiming to encourage students to develop applications. I also encourage students to get the software that they need for development, through tools like Microsoft DreamSpark which is free to students – a fantastic opportunity.
Click here to find out more about the Microsoft Student Partner or Windows Games Ambassador programmes.