Senior PAL Leader - Alex Eales

As a Senior PAL Leader, Alex has used his experience as a PAL Leader in Computer Science to support other PAL Leaders across campus to develop their sessions. 

"Mentoring the Physics and IMML schemes last semester, and now the SASS and Civil Engineering schemes, have and will be an amazing opportunity to learn about these fields." 

- Alex Eales, MComp (hons) Computer Science

What made you decide to get involved with the PAL scheme?

I had always been interested in my subject, even before university when I studied it in my own time alongside my A-levels, and when I came to university it furthered this interest and passion. As a result, PAL felt like a natural progression for me after my 1st year as it was an opportunity to help students to develop the core skills they will need to succeed, as well as a chance to improve on my leadership and public speaking which I had struggled with. After completing my year as a PAL leader it made sense to stay and be a senior PAL leader, since I was not taking a placement for another year, and it was also a chance to provide the new PAL leaders with a Senior PAL leader from their department who could provide more domain specific help.

What has been the most positive aspect of being a Senior PAL leader?

Seeing the benefit of the PAL schemes I have mentored has been incredible but also learning from all of the PAL leaders I meet with and discovering new ways to improve the scheme and run sessions. I’ve never had experience with subjects outside of computer science and so mentoring the Physics and IMML schemes last semester, and now the SASS and Civil Engineering schemes, have and will be an amazing opportunity to learn about these fields.

What has surprised you about the scheme/ something you were not anticipating?

The creativity and enthusiasm of the PAL leadership team as well as the PAL leaders. There is a cohesive belief and drive to make the scheme work and help fellow students which I think really summarises the environment that makes the university such an amazing place to work and study.

What skills have you developed /further developed as a result of being a Senior PAL leader?

Balancing meeting 3 PAL schemes a week as well as the other senior PAL leaders alongside writing my dissertation, attending lectures, doing coursework, and applying for placements has been a time management problem unlike that I have faced before but it has helped me massively and has prepared me for the kind of problems I will face on placement. Additionally, my interpersonal and communication skills have also improved massively since I must communicate between all of my PAL schemes and the PAL leadership and Departmental Contacts frequently to ensure my schemes have the resources they need to succeed!

Why would you encourage others to get involved with the PAL scheme?

PAL is an incredible scheme that is doing a lot of good in the university and expanding year on year. It isn’t a massive time investment and the payoff is massive, the skills and experience you gain will be useful for years to come and will make you shine in the eyes of employers. And it goes without saying that helping your peers to understand and succeed in your subject is hugely rewarding!