Jingle Bell Slog: What Uni Students Should Be Thinking About This Holiday

You’re not in Kansas – or kindergarten – anymore. Gone are the days of festive wordsearches and early home-times. And whatever your schoolteachers proffered, you can bet that stern professor isn’t going to be loading Balto into the lecture theatre projector.

But what when the last class shudders to a halt and the mass exodus begins from City campus? Sorry folks; you’re still a full-fledged uni student, and you need to approach your holidays like one.

Here’s what the grown-ups among you should be thinking about this Christmas.



Gosh. But it’s Christmas. Right? Nobody works at Christmas.

Tell that to the half million small-to-medium business owners who’ll be working every day this holiday – or the hospitality employees who’ll be averaging five hours sleep. Let’s get one thing straight: being a student is not hard labour, or at least not compared to those who live and work in the real world. So no martyr acts here, please.

Sure, everyone needs a break over Christmas. But if you’re planning on wasting every day on Netflix, you’re making a classic undergrad mistake. In January, the motivated people on your course will return to class with a head start, simply because they could be bothered to do something – anything – over vac. And it’s them, not you, who’ll be scoring Firsts come summer.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an hour a day or six. Over the course of this extensive uni vac, it shouldn’t be hard to save time for your academics.



“Oh my god! I missed the deadline for McKinsey/Lloyds/Lidl last week!” No crap, Columbo. In fact, in all the excitement of presents and trees and reindeer, you probably missed all the others too.

October through December is prime student recruitment time. All the big companies – i.e. the ones you want to work at – use this period to seek out candidates. Looking for a CV-boosting placement this summer? Leave things until January and nobody will want you anymore.

Whether you’re looking for something cool or something well-paid, you’re doing yourself no favours missing these deadlines. Apply, apply, apply – before it’s too late.



Okay, Christmas probably isn’t the time to go on a no-carb diet. But those precious weeks at home may be your perfect chance to make use of the family cross-trainer, or get on top of that sugar addiction, or read that book you’ve been eyeing for ages.

Thinking about starting an exercise regime? Now’s the time. Improved fitness not only affects your physical health but your mental wellbeing – essential in the run-up to exams. Fit individuals also see a hike in cognitive functions and concentration. Or maybe you’d rather learn to cook – a student essential.

Whatever it is, use your Christmas holidays logically. If you can’t find time for personal pursuits now, God knows you won’t back in halls.



No, we don’t mean academics.

The sad fact about uni is that it’s finite. In three years/two years/one measly set of six months, you’ll be cast from the warm hearth of full-time education and expected to make your way in the big, wide world. And, whatever it’s taught you, your degree won’t have prepared you for true, working independence. Just ask the 58% of graduates stuck in non-graduate jobs.

Being ready for the world of work is not about good grades. It’s about fostering resilience, developing business naus, managing expectations and understanding office politics. Most of all, it’s about deciding what you want to do with your life – something surprisingly few students have done by the time they graduate.

If you’re in your first couple of years, think about how you can maximise your employability over the next couple of years. If you’re a finalist, use this last pre-finals rest – because we all know Easter will be hairy – to seriously consider your options.

You won’t be a student forever. Plan accordingly. Through the haze of mulled wine and turkey, you can be sure that summer is coming.


Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment agency which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs London, visit their website.


How to Network Like a Pro

They say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.networking-communications-events-pr03534693af2d64e1b49cff00008aa896

Second-year law student Christianah Babajide, interviewed top law students across the country to dig out the best and most effective tips for newbie networkers.

Now, more than ever, you will hear a lot about the importance of “networking.” In other walks of life, networking simply means getting to know people but the meaning weighs heavier for law students. Nowadays, networking can either make or break your legal career.

Networking events usually consists of the attendees networking in a room over lunch or canapes, and demonstrating their commercial awareness, or lack of it, to big-shot City Lawyers.

Whether you like it or not, as law students, you have to network, network and network some more. But If you play your cards right, you can find yourself networking your way to Continue Reading


Teach English abroad for The British Council and Get Paid for it!

Applications for students and graduates to work as British Council English Language Assistants are open!british-council

Positions in French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking countries, and also China.

Fantastic opportunity to become immersed in another language and culture, gain work experience…and get paid.


Inspire and be inspired! Apply by 28 February 2017.   Find out more







How to Make Yourself More Employable in 7 Seconds


Seven seconds. That, according to psychologists, is how long it takes to form a first impression. Considering creating a good first impression is only less important than work experience in clinching a job offer, getting those seven seconds right when you walk into an interview room is crucial.

Ready? Start the clock.


1… Unfold Your Arms

Body language is important. When we assess how someone else is feeling, over half of our analysis is derived from the way they hold themselves. So unless you want your interviewer to think you’re defensive, insecure, inflexible and closed-minded, don’t cross your arms.

We fold our arms to create a barrier between ourselves and the person we’re talking to. It’s a common way to deal with nervousness, but it’s the ultimate subconscious faux pas. So don’t do it!


2… Stand Up Straight

Even if you’re five-foot-nothing, always draw yourself up to your full height when greeting your interviewer. Good posture doesn’t just make you look more professional and self-assured, it makes you act more confident too. So-called ‘power postures’ are so effective that they inspire more assertiveness in an individual than giving them a powerful job title.

Creating an impression of height works in your favour too. Research shows that taller people are more successful than their diminutive counterparts. The logic is that evolutionary tics make us equate tallness with leadership and competence.


3… Smile

It sounds obvious, but it’s super easy to forget when you’re overcome with nerves and focused on rehearsing your CV in your head. So make a mental note to bare your pearly whites!

Smiley people are more likeable. In fact, research shows that when we have to pick someone to exclude from a group (read: reject for a job) we’re more likely to chuck out someone we think is unfriendly than someone we think is incompetent.

How many job applications ask for “positive” candidates? Ticking this box can be as simple as smiling sincerely. Smiley people are not just pleasant to be around, they make those they’re smiling at feel more positive too. And who wouldn’t want to hire the candidate that makes them feel good?


4… Hold Eye Contact

Not maintaining eye contact is the top body-language mistake a candidate can make, according to over two-thirds of employers. While you shouldn’t be staring someone out (think: blink) keeping good eye contact throughout an interview is essential.

Human beings tend to naturally maintain eye contact with people they like or admire, and look away when they are embarrassed or not paying attention. Because we are aware of the difference on at least a subconscious level, we look for the same cues in the people we’re talking to and judge them accordingly.

That’s why public speakers who maintain eye contact are thought to be more competent and believable, and why cereal whose cartoons are drawn to stare at shoppers are more likely to be bought.


5… Shake Hands Firmly

It sounds like a small thing, but a good handshake can make or break your interview. One study found that it mattered more than agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability. Hold your hand out first – it is a subtle way to show confidence and take control of the interview without seeming domineering.

Always grip the interviewers’ hand as firmly as you can without crushing their fingers, and if you’re prone to sweaty hands make sure you’ve discreetly wiped it on your suit before going in for the kill. Timing is everything – drop their hand too quickly and you convey disgust; hold their hand too long and you give the impression that you like them a little too much.


6… Introduce Yourself

Even if they have your name written down in front of them in three-foot-high letters, always greet an interviewer with “Hi [THEIR NAME], I’m [YOUR NAME]. It’s lovely to meet you.”

Why? It’s an easy way to break the ice, and shows confidence and assertiveness. Introductions are a social cue – swapping names makes you seem more personable, while referring to how pleased you are to be there shows enthusiasm for the opportunity.

It’s important to refer to the interview by name (and doubly important that you get their name right! Take some time to memorise it beforehand). People love to be treated as individuals, and few things wrap up our identity more powerfully than our name. That’s why it’s common knowledge amongst salespeople that repeatedly addressing a client by name helps integrate yourself with them. It might sound barmy, but science shows that when we hear our name it causes different parts of our brain to activate than those that are associated with regular speech.


7… Stay Standing

Finding the line between confidence (good) and arrogance (very, very bad) in a job interview can be tricky. The best candidates maintain a balance between taking charge of the situation and deferring to the interviewer who is, after all, the decision maker.

Having gone in with a strong handshake and assertive introduction, wait to take a seat until either you are invited to by the interviewer or they sit down. It’s polite without being self-doubting, and it indicates that you have respect for them and their authority in this situation.


Beth Leslie writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in matching candidates to their dream internship. Check out their graduate jobs London listings for roles or, if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.