My name is Samuel Wright and I have been a PAL leader this year for Economics. I wanted to get involved with PAL to both support my academic learning and to help out first-year students who were in the same position that I was in last year. My own prior experience with PAL was very positive when I attended sessions as a first-year which inspired me to want to run my own classes.
I’m working alongside two great guys to deliver sessions; students are in touch with us before the week which lets us plan ahead but we’re equally capable of doing a session ‘off-the-cuff’ if we have to. It’s a great feeling to be able to use our experience and knowledge to solve the questions we’re given.
One of the biggest challenges that we’ve faced is to have people come along to our session on Microsoft Teams. Although we do have regular attendees, we’re trying new ways to raise awareness of PAL through contacting lecturers and/or sending year group emails. When dealing with a smaller number of students however we are able to tailor the session around all the questions that they ask.
A big takeaway for me from PAL has been how it has improved my ability to communicate information clearly and not waffling when trying to explain and answer or point. Although I have had an experience teaching in the past, the nature of PAL keeps me on my toes as students can ask questions from any of the 5 modules that they may be doing.
I would really encourage other people to also get involved with the scheme as not only does it have transferable skills for a job/placement application but it’s a great way to help out other students.