Molly Smith, a Fine Art student, has recently been lending her hand in the development of a new app designed to help ease the complexity of organising groups for group projects. She recently spoke to WLV Student about the app, her involvement and the benefit it has had upon her time studying at The University of Wolverhampton.
What are you studying at the University of Wolverhampton?
I am currently studying a BA(Hons) in Fine Art at the University and am coming to the end of my final year and hope to go on to complete an MA in Fine Art in the coming year.
How are you finding the experience of being a student at University?
Being a student at the University has allowed me to grow within my Fine Art practice and has allowed me to progress and gain new skills which I never thought I would be able to - as I entered the University as an illustrator I'm leaving as an abstract painter, there are no limits! There have been a few struggles along the way, particularly where timetables and organisation within group projects have been concerned. This is why when I heard of the whole concept behind “Uni Genie” I became so interested and involved. If I’d had this in my first year it wouldn't have been as much of a struggle.
What is “Uni Genie”?
Uni Genie is a totally free app to download and use, and it will solve the difficult problem which most students have; finding time to meet other students for group work each week. The app also solves the difficulty sports captains have when choosing training times, so that all players can attend, along with it solving the same problem for absolutely anything, where a meeting is required at university. (Committee meetings, society meetings, socialising etc.)
As you may know students miss parts of their academic week, due to booking appointments during lecture times or booking themselves in for work- Uni Genie will solve that issue!
What are its benefits to students?
What is the story behind it?
The concept was realised by a deeply depressed student during a university module. It was taking him around 20 minutes on a group chat each week to find a suitable time to meet other students for group work, and as you would expect he found it incredibly frustrating, especially because he was in his 3rd year of study. Seemingly a small problem, his mental state at the time had that frustration ignite panic attacks on several occasions. He couldn't believe in this modern era that such a simple thing hadn't been technologically solved.
When his grandfather passed away on Boxing Day the Christmas before graduation, it was very difficult for him. Not knowing what to do with himself having dropped out of uni and battling dark emotions, the only idea he had was to try and immerse himself into something new to take his mind off things. So, he decided to try and give students one less problem and Uni Genie was born.
What has your involvement been with “Uni Genie” and how has it benefited your studies?
I took a considerable interest with the app as I saw exactly the same problems at my University where meetings and group work were arranged and not everyone would turn up with various different reasons.
I have been involved with some vital decision making regarding the design and now I am involved with the marketing side of things as we gain awareness from universities across the nation and gain downloads amongst the students - so they can experience the benefits themselves!
Being involved with the app has given me an enhanced focus with usual studies. It has allowed me to gain business knowledge but also apply and develop my current skills, it has allowed me to grow and expand my knowledge.
As well as being involved with its development I myself am experiencing the benefits from using the app. With my commitments uploaded onto the system I know when I can organise meetings and I can connect with people in my group via the LinkUp’s- which structures the meeting times for us all to attend. I find it a lot easier to create meetings with students on my course, as we can all use this app and it will decipher when we are all available to meet based upon the commitments we enter.
It has given me one less problem to deal with at University - I know it will benefit other students too!
What has it been like bring your skills acquired in and out of the classroom to a collaborative setting?
It has been a challenge to bring my skills to the table when involved with this app - a good challenge at that! It has been very enjoyable and has allowed me to develop and gain other skills in the business sector and has been an eye opener to see what it takes to complete something so ambitious and how marketing is a central part of the process.
To find out more and to download the app visit the Uni Genie website.