Nathan Robinson: My year of change

Coventry University has once again been named ‘Modern University of the Year’, for the third year running! Not only that, but the National Student Survey crowned us as the top university for students’ personal development!

In todays guest blog, Third year History student Nathan Robinson tells unCOVered how Coventry University helped his development and gave him the confidence boost he needed…

“When I started at Coventry University I wasn’t prepared for how much change I was going to undertake, but this change and development was the best thing to happen to me.

Throughout my first year I was shy. Despite encouragement from lecturers and fellow students I didn’t speak up in seminars and rarely did I voice my opinions in group work. Giving presentations was an absolute nightmare. My time at Coventry University has changed all of that.

This isn’t like school

Inside and outside of seminars, lecturers are extremely supportive; with the help of personal and employment tutors my confidence has grown in a way which has destroyed my anxiety issues. It isn’t like school and I think that is a significant reason for my progression. In seminars, lecturers create debate and discussion, encouraging everyone to give their viewpoint and fuelling the fire for potential argument. It is all necessary in self development and has given me the opportunity to speak up and come out of the figurative shell. This is all heightened by the fact that I am treated as an adult, an equal. Now I find that I am the one encouraging others to speak up in-group study.

With the help of my career advisor I have gained and will continue to gain valuable lessons regarding future employment, including interview technique, application writing and job searches. On coming to university I had no idea of what path History would lead me. Although I am still fairly unsure, my aspirations regarding my career prospects are becoming more defined and I finally feel as though I am ready for the career market.

I am not going to pretend that I didn’t push myself because I tried hard to get out of my comfort zone and I strongly believe that you won’t see change without actively pursuing it. However, the lecturers and staff support I have received ignited my ambition and kick-started my year of change. Remember – Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!



University is a time to become independent and gain important life skills. I have done so, but with great support, meaning I can be independent in the future. With the assistance of lecturers I have been able to develop my own learning methods, I have found that this has boosted my grades and I am now achieving better results than I expected in comparison with my A Level grades and has furthered my independence at University. I have also progressed my interpersonal skills and feel as though I am much better equipped to go forward and make a career out of the things I have learnt at university.

New York City


My confidence was built further when I was chosen to go on a field trip to New York City to film a documentary about Marceline Orbes and Francis ‘Slivers’ Oakley, the influences of Charlie Chaplin. This is something I had only dreamed of and allowed me to put my interpersonal and teamwork skills to practise in unfamiliar territory. In New York City, our roles changed daily, from directors, to camera operators and general assistants. This allowed us to get used to unpredictability and at all times was encouraged by the lecturers, who were overseeing the development of our work.

So, spending time with lecturers and course mates in New York City has changed my life, putting into practise the confidence, which I have been building throughout first and second year. It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t have received an opportunity like this anywhere else.

(Plus the trip was subsidised to £200 per person = #lifegoals!)

Student Ambassador-ing!


I became a student ambassador in March 2015, I was nervous at the interview, I was nervous at the training session and I was nervous before my first shift. The training I had received and the encouragement from staff members both within and outside of my course helped me to leap the make believe hurdle of nerves that I had created and only furthered my confidence.

Working as an ambassador, I get to meet potential students and parents on open days; allowing me to put the advice from my career tutor and knowledge gained from seminars into practise. This has assisted me in gaining uncountable interpersonal skills which will also help my long-term career prospects and I have made friends that will last a life time (I apologise for the cringe).”