Monday, 6 August 2012

We cater for all – well most - types!

Alice
I am part of the Clearing Reception team consisting of Tony our supervisor, Nicola and Jen.  We rotate between the reception area in the Queen Mary Building on the Greenwich Maritime Campus and the Student Common Room in the Mansion Building on the Avery Hill Campus.  We are fully equipped to answer queries about courses and the Clearing process.

I really enjoy meeting different people and hearing their stories and it is so rewarding when I am able to help sort out a knotty problem that has been causing my visitor sleepless nights and lots of angst.   Some who drop in to us say that they find it much easier to be able to sit face to face with one of us and just chat in a friendly and informal way rather than by phone or email. I can fully understand this as I went to school before computers were something only scientists used and learnt to write with one of those dip pens with an ink well in the corner of the desk.

Fortunately we can cater for all preferences as we try and make it as easy as possible for people to have their queries dealt with.

For those who like to do a thorough website browse, our home page www.gre.ac.uk has a search button that will help you find info on most issues.  For example, you can get a comprehensive overview of each course, do a virtual tour of all the types of accommodation we offer, book a place at an open day, find out about fees, bursaries and scholarships.

There is our highly knowledgeable email team at courseinfo@gre.ac.uk who can forward emails to the appropriate department or point you in the right direction.

Then there is our wonderful phone team on 020 8331 9000.  Each member is a student or graduate of the university so not only can s/he chat through course info and the application process with you, but each has unique ‘insider’ information about such things as what it’s like to start at uni a long way from home, how to manage when the month is a lot longer than the available budget, and where to catch the best gigs around. You are talking to a friendly human – not a robot reading off a script.

Our latest innovation is our Clearing page http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/courses/clearing .  It is the “live chat” facility. You can have a typed conversation with us and I may even be the one answering you.  A few days ago I had a chat with a young woman very confused about applying through clearing.  She told me she was the first in her family to want to go to uni and although very supportive, her family was more confused than she was.  She hadn’t entered any GCSE s on her application form.  When I asked her whether she had any, I found that she had passed 10 with A-C grades, and just didn’t realise how important it was to include them. She was also still waiting for her BTEC results.  I explained that she needed to call UCAS to have the GCSEs put on and then to wait until she had her results to contact us again, not to panic but to get be fully prepared with everything at hand to apply when her results came out.  I ended by encouraging her not to get overwhelmed by the process but to contact us and we would be able to help her with each step of the process.  Although we were talking via live chat, it felt very personal and I had a real sense of her calming down. It was lovely to be able to help in this way.

We also have questions coming into us via twitter @uniofgreenwich and Facebook (uniof Greenwich) which we answer each weekday.

So whatever your preference in terms of communication …

... we do cater for all - well most- types!

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