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WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE A PART TIME JOB

Written By: Rabiya Khawaja

Many students experience that strain of finances and lack of time that comes with studying at university. So many have taken up part-time jobs in retail, cafés and other sectors to earn a few extra pounds, but there are many other benefits of taking up a part-time job which can be beneficial in your chosen career.

  1. CUSTOMER SERVICE:

Within one shift you can encounter so many different types of people. Some friendly and polite while others are incredibly testing, you learn to be patient and deal with anything that can be thrown your way. In some circumstances, you need to be sensitive in the manner you approach certain people who may need extra help with finding items or understanding procedures.

  1. WHAT RECRUITERS SEE:

Having part-time jobs shows future employers many positive things. Firstly, you can show you have commitment especially if you have worked for a few years. Having your job and study routine shows that you have a strong commitment to your job as well as your studies.

  1. MONEY!

This is the most obvious benefit of working, being a student is very financially staining from paying bills, rent and travelling. It is nice to have a regular pay check coming in aside from the student finance to help cover basic necessities.

  1. EXPERIENCE:

If you are lucky you can get a job to gain some experience in the field you want to go. This allows you to gain experience and make new connections. While studying you gain practical understating of the work environment and real-life training and an invaluable insight into what your future might be.

  1. BUDGETING:

The financial strain on students can be daunting, but the right attitude to budgeting can help relieve the stress. You can use money from work and student finance to manage your bills and rent as well as leave some over for a night out. Having a job allows you to spend more wisely since you have to work hard to earn it and you can always look forward to your next pay check.

  1. SKILLS: 

ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS: when working alongside studying, you need to be able to organise your time and your work accordingly. This can be difficult as you have different priorities, but you need to manage your time, some people find doing school work on the weekdays and working weekends easier. If you are lucky you may have flexible shifts and a workplace that understands your workload so may be able to offer your hours accordingly

TEAMWORK: you will most likely be working in a team and from this experience, you will be well equipped to deal with a variety of people and personalities.

DEALING WITH PROBLEMS: you may be faced with something unexpected and something you weren’t trained for; these experiences will give the initiative to deal with things that may not go according to plan. They are also good talking points during interviews.

Having a part-time job will expose you to an array of situations and people, you may not have dealt with before. Recruiters will see that you have practical skills in the real world, you learn to interact with people and develop more skills than you could imagine!

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Guest blog: Working at a tech startup with an economics degree

Many UK university graduates struggle to find their first job after getting their degree. The competitive landscape makes it hard to stand out, especially if you aren’t from a target university. In many ways I think the system is flawed, but this post is not the place to talk about it. I will rather explain how widening my job search scope brought unexpected results.

As an economics student I was constantly pressured by my peers to do consulting or investment banking. However, I realised that it’s not all about these two choices, one never has to confine himself to such boundaries. There are a bunch of amazing opportunities out there which have nothing to do with consulting or investment banking. I would even argue that trying out something which is not “in your field” teaches you a lot about life.

After I got my economics degree in July I decided to apply for a program which supports startups in Hungary: Bridge Budapest. I was given a chance to learn how to build a business from Samebug, a tech startup which aims to change the way programmers solve errors in their code. In October I was put in charge of Customer Relations. Notice that this is very different from what I studied before. I had some sales experience from volunteering at AIESEC, a not for profit youth-driven leadership platform but nothing else. Speaking with programmers and building a product for them was completely new to me.

My first week was quite difficult as I had to get used to the terminology. On my very first day I was given a task to go through a list of speakers at an upcoming conference. As the founders of the company planned to attend the event, I was left with the task to choose the people worth talking to. I honestly had no idea what I was doing but asking questions from colleagues was very useful to get started. The week went by fast and my knowledge about the industry kept growing at a really high rate. Last week the conference ran its course and I managed to arrange meetings with a couple of speakers.

After a month I can still say that there’s a lot more to learn. However, I learnt as much to be able to devise strategies for going forward. I picked up ownership of a number of tasks and contributed to a lot more. This has made me appreciate how much responsibility I can take up since now I see how much impact certain actions can have.

Samebug is a startup, which has its pros and cons. There’s not much hierarchy so we have a friendly atmosphere where employers and employees work together at the same table. Whenever I have a question or need some input, I can ask anyone (including my boss) in my vicinity. This brings together the people at the organisation because we can see everyone working hard for the same goal and that’s very inspiring. We have regular meetings to plan ahead and talk through processes, everyone’s input matters. We usually have lunch together and there are teambuilding sessions as well (last time we went to an escape room and got out in time).

The downside is that there is a lot of uncertainty. To demonstrate this, let me give an example: on the second week we conducted a series of interviews, both with individuals and teams at companies, to understand behaviours and how we could build the right product. At the end of the week we sat down to talk through our learnings and the immediate learning was that the problem does exist, but the solution we are presenting does not apply yet. Developers are solving this issue somehow and it takes a lot more to “convince” them to change the behaviour. The meeting had a very negative tone and I went home with a really bad feeling. However, on Monday we came back, everyone had new ideas on how to proceed and address the learnings and we once again knew how to proceed.

At Samebug we always knew we will win if we are able to present a solution which is worthy for developers to change their behaviours. We continue to work on that harder than ever. The whole past month was like this: a roller coaster ride of emotions.

At the beginning I wrote that an experience like this teaches you a lot about life. I still uphold this statement. Life is sometimes unfair and difficult, but you alone are responsible for how you react to it. You can have a negative conversation after some talks about how what you are doing is useless but ultimately, it’s up to you to choose whether you’ll be reactive or proactive. We chose to be proactive and changed our assumptions of our product. Was it a good idea? No one knows for sure, however, at least we did something about it.

Written by Istvan Erdo, BSc Economics Graduate

 

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Guest Blog: Top 5 Reasons Why You Should See An Application Adviser, by Carolina Are

Carolina, one of our Application Advisers, has written this fantastic post on why you should come and see one of the team!

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should See An Application Adviser – by Carolina Are

As a former City University BA Journalism student, I was aware of the existence of the Careers Service but never really used it. For two years, I became one of those people who sent the same CV and the same cover letter to every company and then wondered why I wasn’t getting a job. Luckily things changed once I joined a society and started working part-time in recruitment, but I could have used my time here way better and fixed my CV much earlier, and for free. How? By going to see an Application Adviser. Here are five reasons why you should too. Continue Reading

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Volunteering with the Citizen Advice Epping Forest District

After spending my first year at university studying law, learning all the theoretical elements and digging my head into the textbooks, I decided to volunteer at the citizen advice bureau to get an understanding of how the law impacts people on a day to day basis. Walking through the corridor on my first day at Citizen Advice, formerly known as the Citizen Advice Bureau. I was greeted with smiling faces. I was introduced to a friendly and caring environment in which all my colleagues were an instrumental factor in helping me settle in.

Citizens Advice thrives on the help of volunteers and the generosity of strangers. Clients come with a whole array of problems including homelessness, mental health issues, benefits and debts. This opportunity has allowed me to see at a practical level how to deal face to face with some very vulnerable clients. Additionally, I have seen how Citizens Advice helps clients on a personal level through the way my supervisor goes to all lengths possible to find the best solutions for her clients. The dedication posed by the volunteers is unmatched and is in many ways very moving.

My main role involves administration work, filing, writing and drafting letters and helping the advisors with anything they may need. Within my fair share of time, I have witnessed many unexpected situations, clients that seem frazzled and confused about the course of action to take as well as annoyed and agitated. I have learned the way to proceed with such clients and trying to calm them down. When such situations arise being able to listen is a key skill while allowing them to explain their problems. However, the most satisfying element of being a volunteer is when you see a client that is joyful and happy after their problems are sorted.

I decided to volunteer as a co-editor of the Bureau Buzz for the Epping district. I was lucky enough to be accepted and worked on my first newsletter in June. My role involves editing the format and layout of the buzz before sending them out to the staff members.

Although our roles individually seem minuscule, when looking at the bigger picture, you realise that all efforts are helping someone else’s life. I may be a volunteer for a short amount of time, but I would love to stay for longer and see many more smiles.

Written By: Rabiya Khawaja

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5 Graduation Speeches Every Student Should Listen To

Life lesson for students: graduation is always closer than you think. One moment you’re hanging out with friends in Freshers Week, the next you’re capped, gowned, and thrust out into the big wide world.

Unfortunately, that world tends to be confusing, difficult, and scary. Fortunately, universities attempt to equip students with some inspirational advice before they go. Graduation speeches by illustrious alumni or celebrity speakers are designed to set students off on the right road. Listen up to the best of the best, and you’ll find this adulting malarkey a whole lot easier:

 

“No matter what path you choose, I want you to make sure it’s you choosing it, and not someone else.” – Michelle Obama (full speech)

Life is a series of choices. Which career will you pick? Where will you live? Will you take time out after uni or plunge straight into the world of work? Everyone around you will have an opinion on which choice is best, and those opinions will differ wildly from each other.

While it’s important to listen to the advice of those who care about you, every decision you make should be your own. Never feel pressured to define yourself by someone else’s idea of success. We only become the best we can be when we feel passionate about the project we’re undertaking, so without following your own dreams you’ll never realise your full potential. Yes, you’ll probably make mistakes, change your mind, reverse course… but that’s what makes life interesting. Just don’t get yourself into a position where you waste years of your life on something that you never wanted.

 

 “If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be full of cowboys and princesses.” – Stephen Colbert (full speech)

It’s always okay to change direction. Maybe you studied a law degree only to realise that you don’t want to be a lawyer. Maybe you studied art and now do want to be a lawyer. Either way, don’t beat yourself up for getting it “wrong”. Instead, come up with a plan for getting what you want.

Remember that we’re always growing as people. We want dramatically different things at different points in time because we’ve become a different person. Keep listening to yourself and keep adapting. Variety is good for us.

By the same token, if you’ve been holding on to hopelessly unrealistic dreams then now is the time to let them go. Measure your expectations against your reality and if they don’t match, reassess.

 

“There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.” – K. Rowling (full speech)

Or blaming anyone else, FYI. The whole point of being an adult is that you take on full responsibility for yourself and your actions. Holding yourself accountable motivates you to get the task done. It allows you assess failures with a clearer head. And success, when it comes, feels sweeter, because you know that you alone earned it.

Bad things happen, and they can throw everything off kilter. It’s okay to be upset, to struggle, to ask for help. But don’t ever let anything negative drag you down to the point where you give up. Every step forward, however small, is a step in the right direction. Keep trying and your effort will pay off. Good things don’t come to those who wait, but those who work.

 

“We must think critically, and not just about the ideas of others. Be hard on your beliefs. Take them out onto the verandah and beat them with a cricket bat.” – Tim Minchin (full speech)

The rise of the phrase “post-truth” to describe the prevalence of inaccurate statements in modern media and politics shows how important it is to never take anything at face value. Modern graduates hold a unique position of privilege: not only are they highly educated in the traditional sense, but the smartphones that most carry around in their pockets give them access to an unprecedented amount of information. Take advantage of these opportunities; keep learning.

The best way to challenge your beliefs is to expose them to opposing views. Attend debates. Discuss issues with peers. Read voraciously. All these things will make you more informed, more balanced, and more accurate in the opinions you hold.

 

“Don’t let your fears overwhelm your desire. Let the barriers you face—and there will be barriers—be external, not internal.” – Sheryl Sandberg (full speech)

There are always going to be problems in your life. There are always going to be obstacles between you and what you want. Learning to tackle and surmount them is the basis of success. But you can help yourself immensely by limiting your struggles to facing barriers that are outside your control.

Self-belief and confidence are the most important skills you can ever develop. Nobody else will see potential in you if you cannot see it in yourself. So many tasks are deemed impossible until someone comes along to try, to work, to sacrifice, and to prove the doubters wrong. You are just as good as anyone else, and you have just as much chance to succeed. Believe that, and you’ll be amazed how far you can go.

 

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 listings for roles. Or; if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.

 

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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.

 

Work

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.

 

Apply

“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.

 

Self-nurture

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.

 

Think

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.

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5 Habits That Successful People Cultivate

Wanna be a star? Don’t we all. If flying high were all about changing a few habits here and there, we’d all be at it.

But while it’s true that there are many sides to success, there are some things you can do to increase your productivity, maximise your potential and get your head in the game…

 

Plan ahead

“What’re you up to tomorrow?”

“Oh, y’know. Same old.”

We all know what we’re doing tomorrow – vaguely. It might be going to lectures, or trundling off to work, or watching old-school Justin Bieber music videos on repeat. What we don’t do is write all this stuff down the night before, because – well – that’s more effort than it’s worth, right?

The rich and famous disagree. From Ben Franklin to Obama, political superstars are famous for planning every day with meticulous care, and they’re not the only ones. Organising your day before it starts, setting daily goals and waking up with a concrete sense of doing stuff can help you get seriously productive.

So get yourself a diary and plan, every night, what you’re going to get accomplished the following day. Or use the 18-minute method. Whatever – just get organised.

 

Wake up early

So many high-fliers swear by early starts, it’s hard not to feel guilty swanning into college at midday. Believe the hype: getting up early enhances your productivity, boosts your health and benefits your overall mind-set.

In 2010, Christoph Randler conducted a survey of 367 university students. His research suggested that early risers were more productive, proactive and self-confident than their night-owl counterparts.

“When it comes to business success,” he concluded, “morning people hold the important cards. My earlier research showed that they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them.”

You don’t have to be up at 4.30 AM to make the most of your morning. Take it slow at first; go to bed 15 minutes earlier, and rise at that interval again. Repeat until you’re getting up at 8 AM latest – earlier if you can. You’ll find so much more time opens up in the day, those few bleary-eyed minutes will be worth it.

 

Exercise

Yes, you knew this was coming. A devout fitness regime seems to be a prerequisite for success – just look at the number of celebrities who boast one! If you want to join their number, you’d better hop on that treadmill fast.

Exercise is seriously good for not only your physical but your mental health. It’s motivating, inspiring and empowering. So whether it’s joining the gym round the corner, buying those tasty running shoes or unearthing that yoga book your mum bought you last Christmas, get sweaty to get ahead.

 

Eat smart

Steve Jobs’ carrots obsession. Novak Djokovic’s post-match grass-munching. Renee Zellweger and her ice cubes… Okay, maybe you don’t want to eat exactly like the stars. But eating smart does not equal eating weird; there are ways to improve your daily intake that don’t mean turning orange.

Start the day with a glass of lemon water – literally lemon juice in water, with optional salt. This morning tonic aids digestion and decreases bloating, energising you for the day ahead.

Always eat breakfast. Apart from metabolism and weight-control benefits, a 2013 study by the University of Minnesota indicated that people who eat breakfast have significantly lower risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes when compared to subjects who skip it.

Indulge in smaller meals at shorter intervals to keep blood sugar up, and try not to eat too close to bedtime – it could ruin your sleep. Lastly, caffeine takes eight hours to escape the system, so don’t drink it after 2 PM if you go to bed at ten.

 

Mr Popular

Did you know that the people you’re closest to may be a measure of who you are as a person? So said Jim Rohn, the businessman and motivational speaker who thought that everyone is equivalent to the average of the five people they spend the most time with.

Successful people know this. That’s why they cultivate friendships with other high-fliers – to maximise their environment. Just look at Taylor Swift, whose all-powerful ‘squad’ can be seen with her wherever she goes. Or any high-profile business couple, for that matter.

As Will Rogers once said: “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.” We’re guessing this goes for women, too.

 

As for two habits the successful few don’t boast about…

 

Trying to please everyone

The sooner you realise the impossibility of this, the better. Nobody can go through life pleasing everyone; there is give and take whoever you are, and what delights one person will find a more critical audience elsewhere. Don’t hold yourself hostage to other people’s hang-ups – do what you believe in, for the people you value most.

 

Comparing yourself to others

People progress at different speeds throughout life. Some make it young and burn out, some smash suddenly through the ceiling at 50, and some enjoy long-term, rewarding careers that, for whatever reason, invite few accolades from those around them. Whichever you are, don’t despair; you are not your peers, and never will be. Take joy in your own success, and you will be fulfilled.

 

 

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.

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7 Work Tips Nobody Tells New Graduates 

No matter how many supermarket shelves you stacked in your summer holidays, nothing quite prepares you for leaving behind your comfortable university life and being thrown into the world of work full-time.

Sure, you’ll figure it out eventually, but at first the whole thing can be scary, disorientating, and really, really confusing. To help you out, here are the seven things that all workers wish they’d known as new graduates:

 

  1. The Most Important Thing About a Company is Its Culture

You are going to spend 1/3 of your entire life at work. Consider that you’ll be asleep for another third of your time and you’ll quickly realise that unhappy workplace = unhappy life. Whether a company is a household name, offers a certain job title or pays a certain salary is ultimately not as important as finding somewhere you fit in.
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