Ask these ten questions before you leave an event

At events like UCAS Discovery, you’ve got the opportunity to meet a lot of people who can help you decide your next steps, so make sure you ask the right questions (don’t worry, we’re going to give you all of them).

This means that by the end of the day, you’ll be walking away with all the info you need to move forward. No more Googling. No more scrolling.

Ready? Let’s go.

Questions about teaching

To make sure it suits your learning style – after all, that’s the main reason you’re going – to study.

Everybody learns differently. It’s a good thing. But you need to make sure that how you learn is compatible with how the course or apprenticeship is taught. So make sure you ask these three questions:

  1. How is this course/apprenticeship taught and what will my typical week look like?
  2. How often, and what type of work, will I be assessed in (group projects vs coursework vs exams vs practical)?
  3. What support is available if I’m finding the jump to degree/apprenticeship tough?

Degree apprentice, financial services, London

“It would have been nice to know what amount of support would be available to me as an apprentice. We were the first apprentices at the company so there was a lot of trial and error throughout, as well as plans changing from what was originally advertised. It was still a positive experience but knowing beforehand would have helped set expectations. I would also have liked to know more about apprentice’s role in the company when compared to regular employees, graduate hires, interns etc.”

Questions about additional opportunities

To find out if this course or apprenticeship stands out from the others.

Remember that the tutors and mentors want you to be a part of their class or team as much as you do. Don’t say yes to anything before finding out whether it deserves to have you! Think of this part like a job interview, you’re assessing them as much as they’re assessing you. Here are some great questions to determine the quality of the course or apprenticeship you’re considering and whether it can offer you something others can’t:

  1. What additional opportunities are available to me (a year abroad, work placements, mentoring)?
  2. Are there any scholarships, bursaries or guarantees like first-year halls of residence?
  3. What industry experience do the tutors and mentors have?
  4. What are my career prospects once I’ve graduated – where and what have your former students or apprentices gone on to do?

Psychology undergraduate, Gloucester

“More information about the post-uni pathways would have been helpful – as well as what makes this university so good for this course. I wanted to make sure I was getting the best education from the best tutors and definitely could have asked more questions beforehand.”

Questions about you

To figure out if this is the right course, apprenticeship and fit for you.

These are the make-or-break questions. You love the place, their style, the facilities, and you even get free parking on-site. Boom. But now you really need to know if you’ll fit in. Be bold and get ready to ask these questions:

  1. How do I know the course/apprenticeship is really right for me, what can you tell me that I wouldn’t know from your prospectus or website?
  2. If I’m not 100% sure on every module or aspect of the role, should I choose it anyway?
  3. Based on our conversation, do you think I would be a good fit for this course or career?

Bonus question. If you really want to make them sweat, ask this:

If you were my age again, would you pick this course or career?

So memorise them, print them off, or tweak them to make them comfortable for you. But hopefully these questions have given you some inspiration and a sense of control over what you’re going to do at the event. Remember it’s always better to ask too many than not enough, and your decision-making will be easier once you have all the facts.

Good luck.