William Maisey

Confident, adaptable individual

Name William Maisey
College College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Widening Participation

William Maisey is going into his third year in Sport and Health Science, and is involved with the Student Recruitment Office as a Student Ambassador. Will has engaged with Widening Participation, which involves “conducting mentoring sessions in local schools for pupils that should be considering Higher Education (HE), but the nature of their home life or upbringing did not naturally coincide with that pathway.”

Will strongly believes that Widening Participation is beneficial for all stakeholders, having entered Higher Education through an unlikely process himself. “There is still a wealth of untapped talent that is being limited by extrinsic factors (predominantly household income and attitude towards Higher Education). By outreaching into communities, and inspiring motivation for HE attendance, the children themselves will take responsibility for making an illustrious educational pathway a reality.”

Developing confidence, adaptability and resilience

Within his role, Will has been able to develop his confidence and adaptability by working and connecting with a varied group of people. “I've also learned some harder lessons in that it is not necessarily possible to ‘fix’ or ‘save’ everybody, and perhaps that they don't even want to be. Conversely I have also learned the value of giving even just one person hope of and tools to access an improved quality of life.” These attributes are essential for graduates to develop, as Will explains; “in any situation (personal or business), while it is vital to have a robust plan, often external factors will make that plan flawed or incompatible with a situation and if you do not have experience in, or the ability to be adaptable, you will not meet your objectives.”

“When you step into a classroom, you have to adopt an entirely different persona to the one you would operate in day-to-day life, which is initially very unnatural, but the more you do it, the more seamless the transition into 'teacher-mode' becomes. Often though, we would not have the required time to conduct a session (due to late arrivals, etc), which meant we had to be very intelligent in the way in which we adapted what we delivered, so that we got all the key information across before we ran out of time.”

Becoming an enterprising team player

“The mentoring and tutoring was generally conducted in pairs”, which meant that communication between Ambassadors and the Student Recruitment Office had to be strongly effective. Will found that working within a team and sharing the workload, such as the delivery of presentations or logistical organisation, meant that the children were better engaged and sessions ran successfully. “Having two people conveying information, there were two minds working towards a shared objective… If funding ever allowed, this highlights how classroom teachers would really benefit from having support in lessons. Having both influences meant that we had two different perspectives and experiences contributing to the development of the group, increasing the quality.”