Something for Nothing?

This week I had the chance to visit yet another university – one I'd visited only a few weeks earlier (and it certainly wasn't because it was round the corner; 3 1/2 hours on a train each way meant it was a little further than I thought)!

The reason for the second visit was similar to the first; to promote the opportunities within Operational Research (OR) and raise awareness of the careers in it. However, the difference was that rather than speaking to lecturers and alumni, I was speaking to current undergraduate students.

Anyone studying a STEM subject, so physics, chemistry, maths, engineering, computer science, accounting etc. (the list goes on) is eligible for FREE student membership of The OR Society. And so I was there, in full force along with my white and red company banner and tablecloth, highlighting that something for nothing (i.e. FREE) was a good thing!

Everyone likes freebies. Whether it’s pens you get at a career fairs or something a little more exciting (I once got given a mug full of sweets – that was great) most people don’t say no! And when it comes to USEFUL freebies, there’s no good reason to pass.

With The OR Society, our student membership offers you access to all our journals (those things with the latest research in you tend to find in libraries), our monthly magazine (full of non-technical information and useful insights) as well as our quarterly IMPACT magazine, which features case studies from recent projects that are easy to read.

And if that wasn’t enough, alongside this, you get the opportunity for accreditation (fancy having some letters after your name?), discounts on training and conferences and of course, the opportunity to part of the OR community. Sounds good to me right?

I was based in the Library on the Treforest campus, handing out leaflets, flyers and of course free pens. I spoke to accounting students, business students, science students and lots more! Questions included where you could work, how much you get paid and of course, what it involved. I answered all these questions and more. I also chatted about the special interest groups and regional groups we run - the regional group in particular (called SWORDS) meet up a good few times a year in South Wales (usually Cardiff or somewhere similar). Penny Holborn, who is a lecturer at USW, heads up the regional group and if you haven’t met her before, she’s a very friendly face on campus who will happily chat to you about all things OR!

It was a great day and I really enjoyed meeting lots of different students. If you didn’t get the chance to chat to us though, we’re happy to hear from you anytime! Drop me a line (, search out Penny, or read more on our blog ( Alternatively, if we’ve sold it to you already (technically student membership doesn’t cost you a penny so I’m not sure that’s actually called selling), sign up online (

Interested? Bored? Hopefully not the latter ….

Tweet us @ORinSchools or @TheORSociety or drop us an email:


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