Meet the Team: iQ Kopa, Preston

Preston iQ life

Our site in Preston, Kopa, is in just the right place – five minutes from the UCLan campus and five minutes from the city centre. Preston has a big student population and a great choice of places to go to enjoy your downtime, from music venues to beautiful parks and art galleries. Kopa itself recently got an upgrade with the arrival of a brand new gym alongside its spacious study and social areas.

Today, we meet the guys looking after our Preston residents – Andre, Helen and Vanessa.

Andre

Hey, it’s Andre!

I’m Andre, I am front of house as a Customer Service Advisor. Basically, you want to ask a question or find something out, I’m your guy.

What makes iQ Kopa a special place to live?

We make sure the students know we’re friends, so they can come to us with any issues, know they can be relaxed here, and so they can be themselves.

What’s your best memory of the last year at iQ?

Decorating the reception area for Halloween was great because it scared a lot of students. The movie nights were good to get people together, and the barbecue is always great.

What are your favourite places to go in Preston?

Avenham Park is a great place to chill, especially in the sun. Level is great for bowling, games, drinks and food! The Warehouse is the best place to drink and dance because it has three floors, the genres of music change every night and the staff are brilliant.

What’s the nicest thing a resident has said to you?

“You’re the best receptionist ever” and “I’m going to miss it here”.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Getting to know all the new guys this year and thinking up more crazy events.

What about your iQ are you most proud of?

Its reputation for being a good place to live. That means the guys who have lived here have had a good time and that’s what uni is all about.

What’s your favourite band/ TV show/ movie?

Band – The Wombats / Little Comets

TV show – Stranger Things

Movie –  Beauty and the Beast

Where is the best place you have travelled to recently?

I have lived in Australia and visited Norway, Holland and Italy in the past few years.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Fried chicken and chips, with red salt.

Sum up the atmosphere at your iQ in one word.

Chilled.

If you could give your younger self some advice about student life, what would it be?

Relax, take time to think about yourself, and don’t be nervous to talk to other people.

Any interesting facts about yourself?

I love tattoos, I went to UCLan myself, I write films freelance and I love dogs.

 

Hey, it’s Helen!

I’m Helen, Operations Manager at iQ Kopa.

What’s your best memory of the last year at iQ?

My best memory is probably saying goodbye to a resident that had lived with us for a couple of years. All the staff had built a close relationship with him over the years and he would visit multiple times most days. When he first moved in, he was very quiet and withdrawn and after the first year his mum wrote a letter thanking us for giving her son the confidence to make friends and to leave his room and enjoy his uni experience. She saw a positive change in her son and put it down to iQ staff.

When he left after finishing his degree he was in such a different place than when he first moved in. We bought him some leaving presents of his fave things (banana milkshake and bread buns!) and a sympathy card as he was leaving us. We still check in on him now and are trying to convince him to do his master's so he can move back in!

What are your favourite places to go in the local area?

Avenham Park is really good, especially during Easter as they have an annual egg rolling event. They have a parkrun every Saturday morning and a nice coffee shop. You wouldn’t think you were in the middle of the city – it’s great to just relax. Blackpool is also a 30-min drive from iQ Kopa which is good for the beach and Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I always look forward to check-in… not only does it mean the summer is (finally) over but that we get to meet a whole new bunch of excited residents. I’m looking forward to seeing the positive impact of our wellbeing campaigns and hope that we are better equipped to deal with and help our residents.

What about your iQ are you most proud of?

The team and the reputation we have built together that iQ Kopa is a great place to live. Everyone does their absolute best to make sure the residents are happy and takes pride in doing a great job.

What’s your favourite band/ TV show/ movie?

Band – Lewis Capaldi, Celine Dion and Meat Loaf

TV Show – Grey’s Anatomy and Love Island

Movie – Toy Story and Butterfly Effect

Where is the best place you have travelled to recently?

Last summer I went to Bali with my husband and two children and that was just amazing. We got to experience so much, such as the temples, rice fields and Bali Swing (Google it!) We also met up with family who live in Australia who flew over for a week to join us. The world really isn’t that big…

Who is the nicest celebrity you’ve met?

When I worked as a bingo manager we had Crissy Rock (Benidorm) as our celeb who reopened the club. She was the funniest person and so down-to-earth. She even stayed to play bingo and joined the customers in the smoking area during the intervals and signed everyone’s tickets.

If you could give your younger self some advice about student life, what would it be?

I would say to carry on and not give up! Don’t worry too much about what people think of you and just be you.

Any interesting facts about yourself?

I was once in the school band and played the flute!

Vanessa

Hey, it’s Vanessa!

I’m Vanessa, the Assistant Manager at iQ Kopa.

What makes iQ Kopa a special place to live?

We really try to get to know our students here at iQ because we want them to feel like they’re at home and that there is always someone here for them, as we know that moving away from home and starting such a big challenge in life can be daunting. We love having a chat with our students at reception and out on site.

What are your favourite places to go in Preston?

I enjoy going to the cinema as I love watching films, and the local Vue is perfect. I also like taking a trip to Lytham St Annes when the weather is nice.

What’s the nicest thing a resident has said to you?

That they’ve loved staying here and that they love the staff and how friendly we all are, and that we’ve made their stay so much better.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I’m looking forward to meeting our new intake. I love move-in weekend, seeing all the excited new faces, getting to know all the different characters.

What’s your favourite band/ TV show/ movie?

Band – Backstreet Boys, Destiny’s Child, Little Mix

TV Show – Supernatural, Criminal Minds

Movie - Coming to America, The Shawshank Redemption

What about your iQ are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my team at iQ. They work so hard to make sure that our students live in clean and well-maintained homes. They take pride in making sure the site is as well looked after as our students are.

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Lasagne.

What’s your best memory of the last year at iQ?

Pancake Day was fun, watching people trying to stuff their face with Scotch pancakes was amusing. The leaving barbecue was also great. Everyone out enjoying food, drinks and sunshine was the perfect way to say goodbye to our residents.

If you could give your younger self some advice about student life, what would it be?

Don’t let anyone impact your future and be your own person. Work hard, and don’t give up.

 

Thank you to Andre, Helen and Vanessa for talking to us about iQ Kopa. You can meet another one of our iQ teams here very soon.

 

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