University

Does my Placement Year have to end?

After quite a few busy months settling into my Placement Year I’m back blogging! So far I’ve completed nearly 5 months as a Marketing Assistant at No1 CopperPot Credit Union and guess what…I love it!!!

So, what’s my job like? No1 CopperPot is a credit union exclusively for the Police. Not only has it taught me about the financial world but it’s let me take a peak into the world of the Police too. My job is to spread the word of the credit union to Police Officers and deal with the promotional material/gifts we give away, create the adverts, develop/work on the website, travel to different Police events/dinners/conferences and be the face of No1 CopperPot…and I’m sure there’s more than that but you get the picture! I don’t work on my own though, I have a partner in crime…Helene! Helene and I make up the marketing team since we said bye to the last placement student Hass, who has now gone back to Uni to finish his degree.

20140919_191354The past 4 and a half months have already flew by and already taught me so much. My confidence has grew and grew, especially when it comes to meeting new people, presenting and well, just communicating in general. Already in just over four months I have travelled all around England to places such as Lincolnshire, Hampshire, Crewe, Suffolk, Harrogate, Leeds, and even up to Glasgow in Scotland! One of the most amazing nights so far has to be the Charity Dinner I went to in Harrogate to raise money for COPS UK charity. Dolled up to the nines with my fella looking dapper as ever we danced the night away after a lovely 4 course meal and stayed in a gorgeous hotel, it makes me wonder how that can be considered work?!

 

Here’s a snap from Suffolk…

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Working for the Police has given me such an insight into such a unpublicised world. Ok… it may be publicised in the news every now and again when an Officer makes a mistake but when do we see an unbiased view of what the Police do for society or how hard there job actually is? That’s it. We don’t. Going to Police conferences and hearing them speak has made me have so much more respect for Police Officers and less respect for the media.

Police: 1 – Media: 0

For anyone who may be contemplating the possibility of doing a placement year in the future I hope this blog persuades you to go for it. You learn real skills that Uni doesn’t teach you. You learn how to deal with real people in the world of business (not just chat to hungover students), and you learn how a business runs, and you find your part in that business. A Placement Year also looks so good on your CV, being able to prove you have the skills necessary to get a job is worth so much more than just saying you have a degree and assuming that makes you qualified. Plus…you get paid, if that can’t tempt you to do a placement year then I don’t know what will!

Anyway it won’t be so long before my next post, I’ll make sure of that! Laters…

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Onwards and Upwards

After spending my 2nd year at Uni trying to make sure I pass the year whilst trying to sort out my plans for the following year, everything has now fallen into place. Trying to balance uni deadlines and job applications/interviews/assessments isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it is necessary if you wish to succeed. Any student who has ever tried to get a placement year will probably be able to understand how frustrating the whole process can be. Application, hope, rejection, application, hope, rejection – it’s a vicious cycle really.

Anyhow, my 2nd year is officially over and the placement hunt has been completed – I have bagged a placement year (and a good one at that)!

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After waiting weeks without hearing any news, 3 job interviews/assessments came up in the same week. Unfortunately this was the same week as my final exam. The three days before my exam were each lined up with different interviews – not the best timing really. However, as it is now the week after my exam, I am now free from uni for approximately 14 months, and I have a job to look forward too in three weeks time at a credit union! So my future plan is looking like: 1 year marketing placement, complete final year, graduate, get myself a full time graduate job. It’s all coming together quite nicely.

And people think my generation is lazy?!? Think again!

So now I have a new job that’s not so far away I obviously have a long to-do list: buy a fabulous new work wardrobe, invest in some killer work heels, make sure my handbag game is strong and celebrate with Woo-Woo cocktails till I start? It’s a hard life, isn’t it?

And The Placement Hunt Continues…

Currently I am in the same position as many other 2nd year University students who have opted for a ‘sandwich year’ – forever searching for placement opportunities, then spending hours filling in an application form or writing the perfect cover letter. Then once we’ve applied for a placement that we’d kill for, we have the long wait to see what happens even though we may not hear back from most companies.

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Sounds like lots of fun doesn’t it? No, I don’t think so either. However once you do get a call back from a company you have applied for to find out that you have made it to the next stage, there’s no better feeling! I can only imagine how good it’s going to feel whenever I get the call to say I’ve been successful through all the stages and have bagged myself a year placement…

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed like hopeless failure may turn into glorious success.”

I’m sure this quote is quite relevant at this moment in time. It’s keeping me going anyway!

On another note, recently I came across quite an interesting article which told the top 20 list of pointless degrees – as they’re “most likely to leave you on job seekers”. Here is the list:

20. Psychology.

19. Religious studies and theology

18. Music

17. Sport & Business Management

16. English Lit

15. Advertisement

14. Business Management

13. English Language

12. Sociology

11. Events Management

10. Accountancy

9. Film Studies

8.Ancient History

7. Media Studies

6. Primary Education

5. French

4. History

3. Criminology

2. Sport Science

1. Geography (With an Employment after 6 months as low as 36%)

I don’t think there’s anything worse a student could read whilst stressing out over assignments and deadlines that they probably won’t even get a job once they graduate! As an advertising and brand management student it wasn’t great seeing advertising as number 15 (although I’m glad I didn’t see branding or marketing on this list so I’m not completely written off). I’m pretty determined to prove them wrong!

How Important is Picking Your Placement Year?

Manchester City

As a second year University student I’m about to make, yet another, big decision which will affect my future career. As I’ve chosen to do a sandwich year before I graduate – otherwise known as a year in industry – my second year is all about getting the placement. Most placement opportunities are based around the idea that you take your placement with them, learn the basics in that year, then come back to them when you graduate as your full-time career. But what if I’m not 100% sure what I want my full time job to be when I graduate?

As I’m studying Advertising & Brand Management and I am an intern at a digital marketing agency, I have a lot of different possible routes I could go down and all are very different careers. My options are so spread out it’s difficult to decide what’s right for me – especially in the areas where I haven’t have much real life experience in. So far all the huge blue chip companies are advertising their placement opportunities and almost ALL are in London. Great city but no thanks, not for me, I’d rather stay in Manchester! So all these available opportunities don’t apply to me, and I’ll have to wait till after Christmas to start seeing the Manchester based placement opportunities. Thankfully Manchester is full of great agencies and companies and is growing in becoming a major city for business.

Hopefully a placement opportunity comes up giving me experience in all different areas to give me a better idea about what area I can see myself working in, and is based in Manchester. If anyone has any tips or experiences on getting a placement year, all comments are welcome! I don’t really like the pressure of potentially picking my future job in the next few months, but I suppose nothing is set in stone. Things are still subject to change. Come on Manchester, let’s hope you offer the perfect placement…

(image from personalcareermanagement.com)

Epiphany Abroad

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After 2 weeks in sunny Costa Blanca – Spain, I’m now back in rainy Manchester, and of course – back to blogging! I thought my first blog post-holiday should be about what has been on my mind whilst in Spain.

toughdecisions (image from nightowlnews.com)

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my future and my career and what’s coming up in the next term of Uni. When I go back into what will be my 2nd year of University, I’ll be starting “Agency Life” (which is one day a week in an unpaid job in the industry related to your course – in which we get graded on), I’ll be going to my other lectures and also working. But another important factor will be applying for my Sandwich year – this is a year after the 2nd year and before the final year in which you can choose to work for a year in industry, to gain money and experience and maybe even use it to help with your final dissertation. Since my course is called Advertising and Brand Management I could take a number of different routes in choosing a job for my sandwich year. I could go into advertising, marketing, digital, branding – most routes I choose will be a guess if I’ll like them, as I’ll have had no previous experience – aside from marketing. Now for a lot of research into my possible choices.

I thought once you’ve decided what University you want to go to and what course you want to study the big decisions stop for a few years – but they keep on coming!

I would also like to thank Mama O for the Liebster Award she nominated me for http://gomamao.com/2013/07/23/virtual-hug-received-thanks/ – I didn’t know what this was when I first read it but after a lot of researching on Google I think I just about understand the concept. And a huge thank you to her no less. I’ll be replying back to this hopefully in a few week once I know who to nominate!

You Never Know Who’s Watching!

watching(Image from www.etftrends.com)

It’s true, you don’t! As most of us tweet, blog, and write stuff on Facebook without being aware of who is reading what we’re saying, we have to be careful because someone important may actually be watching you!

During the start of University I tweeted completely unaware people were even bothered about what I was saying, I just tweeted for me, forgetting that there was a whole world out there to read what I was writing – BAD MOVE! During a University project, where we used social media to make a video go viral (which we succeeded in doing), I had a direct message from a Lecturer at Uni telling to be careful what I was writing on Twitter as we ‘had a lot of eyes on us’. He was right! We ended up having 2 different interviews from that because they were following what we were doing and saying whilst we were all completely unaware of it!

Since then I have been careful about what I write on the internet – it’s a big thing you know and a lot of people can see you! I even had a e-mail yesterday from podium.me asking for an interview with me about my recent blog post about the “Rate My Shag” pages on Facebook. Just when I thought my blog wasn’t popular!

It’s an amazing thing the internet, be careful what you do with it!

Agency Life….What Should I Expect?

mmuAgency Life”

As I’ve just finished my 1st year at Manchester Metropolitan University, obviously the next step is 2nd year. Man Met have invented a unit for 2nd year student which involves going to a marketing/PR/advertising agency for one day a week doing unpaid work, all to give you a taste of what life will be like when you finish University. This carries on for 2 terms and at the end you get graded on it, also some placements could employ you for extra part time work should they want to. I have already sorted out my placement for that unit, so now it’s just a waiting game.

What should I expect???

In the 1st year of University I have learnt the basics of marketing, we learn theories and concepts and are introduced to basic marketing philosophies. But all this knowledge doesn’t tell me what I’m going to be doing on a day to day basis. Dealing with clients, handling business’s social media sites, maybe blogging – I have an idea what I may be up against but I won’t know till day one…

…and I can’t wait! I have a really dull summer in store for me, full of job hunting and handing out CV’s to take up some of these 3/4 months till I start back at Uni, so I’m just waiting for summer to be over so I can start the placement. Bring. It. On.

Do you have any tips or first-day-at-work experiences? Let me know!