Ahead of the new academic year Carrot Magazine took the time to interview many of City’s diverse societies for Spotlight Week. Spotlight Week is the week to help City’s societies promote themselves for new members. First up is the 93% Club.
Although there is a variety of societies that cater to every student from politics, performing arts and religion, City now have a society that aims to bring together the 93% of state-educated students – hence the name 93% Club.
The 93% Club is the first and most extensive network of students, spreading across more than 50 universities. It focuses on levelling out the playing field for state-educated students in order to open up opportunities for them.
How the 93% Club came-to-be:
Nicola Gatfield a 3rd year Law student who is also the President of the 93% Club. Gatfield decided to incorporate the 93% Club at City, University of London in July 2021. With the help of fellow law student and the now Vice President, Kayla Allyna Donnelly, they saw how the club can help new state schooled City students to transition from student life to working in a top-end job when they graduate.
Despite the 93% Club being new and upcoming for this academic year at City, the society as a whole has been successfully running since 2016 originating from Bristol University by previous student Sophie Pender. Pender used her difficulties of being state schooled while aiming to become a lawyer to spark a change. She says: “The start-up of the 93% was to let members know that the world in their oyster.”
Vice President Kyla says: “I feel personally that law firms tend to gravitate towards those that are privately educated. Now there is a larger proportion of graduate students. The disparity between state-educated and those that aren’t is causing concern for people’s futures. This Club within City will allow more state-educated students to have more support.”
Upcoming Academic Year:
Although welcome week has come to an end, Gatfield talks about how the 93% Club will be shaped into the new academic year. She says: “The best thing about having a society within City that has a lot of history behind it is that there is a link to multiply partnerships.”
She adds: “Within City, we are linked to companies called FirstGen and Fantage. With companies like these, we can bring events targeted at enabling students to have networks after they graduate because they have been taking part in career-based events.”
Power of Networking:
Gatfield also mentioned how the Club offers impressive opportunities like employment week and socials to allow connections between their peers. Additionally, she expressed that being a part of the 93% Club will allow students to network with other London universities 93% clubs to make the chain of connections longer.
The aim of the 93% Club within the City is to enhance the power of networking. Nicola, her vice president Kayla and their publicity officer Christina Koutsovoulou all spoke about how they have been bought together due to being members of the Club.
Gatfield states: “We all become connected through our bonding exercise of sharing our state school stories. From this exercise, our communication officer and I found out we went to the same school. We bonded over the similarities of coming from the same area and how we felt at university, which was different from what we expected. Like the unconscious bias and being left out of things as we were state-educated.”
Being the new society on the block, City’s 93% Club feel that they can positively impact the students at City. Allyna Donnelly says: “I don’t think people realise the power of networking.”
Donnely adds: “Privately educated students mostly get top jobs from the links and connections they have. They are the ones most likely to know a CEO of a leading London company. Because of this, the Club will allow state-educated people the chance to network through people with the events we will be held throughout the academic year.”
Likewise, Koutsovoulou promotes the opportunity to talk to guest speakers: “They are the ones that have been through this same path. Those that have been state educated and have got a top job. It will hopefully inspire and encourage the soon graduates when they get a job”.
Contact the Club:
The story of the 93% Club is truly inspiring and empowering to all. They had a stall at this year’s freshers fair, but if you were unable to attend, be sure to keep an eye out on social media for more details of location and timings.