What it’s like to be a PAL leader

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by Hannah, BA(Hons) International Business

I’ve been a PAL (Peer Assisted Learning) leader since the start of my second year at university. As well as earning a qualification and some extra cash, I’ve gained some skills to put on my CV too. Here’s my experience of working as a PAL leader at UWE Bristol.

What is Peer Assisted Learning?

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) is support for students, run by students. PAL Leaders run group study sessions or workshops to support students who have just started the same course.

As well as being paid to lead the sessions and earn a qualification, the PAL scheme is a great way to interact with others on your course. It’s also really helped me to get to know the first years.

I’ve received a lot of positive feedback explaining how the PAL sessions have helped students increase their assignment grades. The sessions also provide an extra opportunity to build friendships at the start of the year too.

Sharing my experiences and knowledge through PAL has been beneficial to the students on my course. It’s great to see how the sessions have increased their confidence and helped them to settle into university life.

Benefits of being a PAL leader

While being paid to work as a PAL leader, I’ve completed a mentoring qualification (ILM L3 coaching and mentoring), which I’ll be able to add to my CV. I’ve developed transferable skills by supporting first year International Business students with various academic problems, boosting my employability.

For example, time management is a key skill I’m developing at UWE Bristol. Planning my sessions has helped me to improve my time management skills. Although I’ve had to balance PAL alongside my studies, I’ve found the workload manageable by preparing the sessions a few days in advance.

I’ve also built on my ability to communicate clearly and confidently, effectively signposting students and encouraging them to be more engaged in their learning. It’s been a rewarding experience and I’ve got a lot out of working as a PAL leader.

Find out more about Peer Assisted Learning at UWE Bristol.

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