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Meet the PKP PAs

Programme Assistants on the Pembroke-King’s Summer Programme are a multi-talented bunch.

Our PAs are essential to the smooth running of the programme and without them PKP just wouldn’t be the same! You’re likely to see our PAs around a lot this summer, but what do they think about the role?

We caught up with three of this year’s Programme Assistants: Magda, Salma and Mark.

PKP holds a special place for Salma as she was once a PKP student herself. Having now just graduated from Cambridge, she enjoys being able to share her interests with PKP students.

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Visits to nearby Fitzbillies are always popular

“I really like how flexible the job is, and that we’re able to decide which activities to run. I’m responsible for formal and catering, and the Harry Potter competition, as well as our regular tasks like setting up rooms. So far activities I’ve organised include a trip to Fitzbillies, the city tour, and we’re going to do a relaxing art session soon.  Being a PA is work, but it allows me to bring in things that I find fun and interesting, and sharing them with others who are interested in the same stuff.”

All of our PKP PAs are current or recently graduated Cambridge students, and even after several years of calling Cambridge home, they still discover new and exciting things to do in the city.  For Mark, a first-time PA, PKP is a great chance to do just that.

“Because we’re all students here we’re used to working very hard in term time and then going home in the vacations, but during PKP you’re encouraged to find other great things about the city and show that to the students. We have an exciting weekly schedule of activities and we try to put on a big range so there’s something for everyone. I’m helping Salma run the art session and we’ve also got another sunset walk running because last time we had something like 140 people wanting to go!”

PAs

PA HQ

Salma: “When you’re a student there’s so much to do so you might miss some things in the city like the galleries and museums. On PKP I get to actually enjoy Cambridge and have some meaning in that by bringing others to enjoy it as well. It’s a really lovely way to experience the city after “graduating and before leaving.”

On arrival day the team of twelve PAs are tasked with helping 350 students settle into Cambridge and while at first it may seem difficult to get to know everyone, the events and activities on PKP provide the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Salma:  “I thought arrival day would be tiring and a little intimidating, but I was really happy to meet the students and at the end of the day I was just excited! I was really happy to have met lots of new and lovely people.”

Having worked on PKP 2017, Magda had such a good time she came back for a second summer.

On arrival day you want to meet everyone but there’s such a big number of students you can’t. I’m looking forward to having more formal halls and plenary lectures where we can socialise with the students afterwards, but also just the small activities where there might be ten students. There you can just hang out and play some Frisbee, and that’s where you form bonds with the students.”

Magda’s parting advice? “Come back to work on PKP!”

PAs run activities such as ever-popular sunset walks, punting trips, and sports tasters. Below are a few photos from PKP so far!

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