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Pembroke undergraduates share their volunteering experiences from Admissions 2018

31st January 2019

This piece was produced by Pembroke undergraduate student volunteers

As current Pembroke undergraduates, we’ve all been through the Oxford interview process. We remember how daunting and stressful a time it was, but we also remember meeting some of our best friends during interviews and having a memorable first-time experience at Pembroke.

With our own experiences in mind, we wanted to make sure that all the interview candidates had the best experience of Pembroke and Oxford, despite the pressure of interviews.

Our main jobs as student volunteers revolved around greeting the candidates upon arrival in the JCR, helping to decode their interview timetables, answering any questions, and showing them to their accommodation. Although our main task was to help the candidates feel as relaxed as possible throughout the admissions period, one of our top priorities was to make Pembroke’s JCR a friendly, welcoming space as their main social hub.

In the daytime, the JCR was used as the pre-interview waiting room which – with a lot of Christmas music, Ariana Grande and Friends – made the environment a little less tense. After dinner however, the JCR completely transformed into a lively space filled with people meeting and socialising and taking part in the evening activities. With help from College, we made sure there were lots of free snacks and drinks available in the JCR, and made sure that candidates were always kept informed about the evening activities in the week through our Instagram, from ‘cupcakes and gingerbread decorating’ to ‘hot chocolate and mince pies’.

We caught up with JCR President, Roshan, who commented: “Helping out with the admissions period was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for all of us, and it was great to see current students be so eager to make Pembroke a welcoming place during what is – inevitably - a stressful time for candidates. One of our volunteers and current JCR member, Qianhui, set a fantastic precedent for future years with the new evening activities programme and the new welcome booklets she designed!”

To keep up to date with Pembroke JCR, visit their website here.