Ones to watch: Kelly Wragg

Here’s the fourth (and final – for now) part of our new ‘Ones to Watch’ series, in conjunction with the University of Cumbria’s Alumni team. We think all University of Cumbria graduates are amazing, and are proud of each and every one of you. Occasionally we get to hear about certain individuals who are already making a huge impact, despite only graduating recently. Those who have really applied themselves whilst still a student; taken advantage of every opportunity and worked exceptionally hard to get where they want to be. 

KellyWraggCircle

Kelly Wragg

BA (Hons) Performing Arts

I first became aware of Kelly when I heard about an exciting new shop opening a few miles outside Carlisle in the market town of Brampton. I then read a story about the shop in the local paper and it mentioned that the owner, Kelly, was a recent graduate of our university! I was SO excited to visit the shop and it did not disappoint. Wish Strings .Co is the most beautiful shop I have ever seen! I cannot believe that Kelly is so young and has only just completed her degree, what an achievement. 

I am a huge fan of Kelly’s signature bracelets Wish Strings (I currently sport four of them on my wrist!) and the fact that she is an alumnus all the better as I get to interview the lady herself and share her amazing and inspirational journey so far with fellow alumni and students.

- Joanne Lusher, Alumni Office

Course: BA (Hons) Performing Arts

Campus: Brampton Road

Hometown: I am originally from Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Prior to attending the UoC, I attended the stage school Cathedral Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) in Wakefield.

Current job: Owner and proprietor of WishStrings .Co, an online and high street store selling jewellery, vintage delights and WishString wish bracelets.

What made you choose the University of Cumbria?

When I attended my audition at the University of Cumbria I was overwhelmed with how welcome they made me feel! Compared to auditions at other institutes, the UoC audition was warm and welcoming.

Why did you choose your particular course?

The course offered many possible career options and the ability to acquire a wide range of skills. The course allowed room for creative freedom and personal growth. This is one of the reasons WishStrings was born!

What did you like most about your course?

I enjoyed the help and support from the tutors. I found that throughout my time at university, as I began to grow and learn the tutors were always on hand to help and guide me in the right direction. The support from the Performing Arts team is overwhelming!

What was your favourite experience at university?

One particular of my many ‘favourite experiences’ at the UoC has to be the second year of my degree, the opportunity to work with professional directors and choreographers on fantastic full scale shows is an opportunity I shall never forget!

Do you have any particular memorable/funny stories to share?

I have too many memories from my time at the UoC! I have made lifelong friends and shared experiences with them that will last me a life time. Also many of the stories I feel are not suitable for this publication… students will be students… ‘club concrete’ I need say no more!

How did coming to university change your life?

The UoC has changed my life around completely! If you had said to me on my first day of uni I would leave a business woman, with my own shop, rental properties and have taken my first step on the property ladder, I would have probably told you to ‘dream on’.

The UoC provided me with a safe environment, in which I grew and developed myself as a person and in confidence. Whilst much of the business grew outside of university, I did carry many of the skills I learnt through my course over into my business!

University is the experience you make it! Everyone takes different things away from the experience. I used my course and the skills it taught me, in a different way to what many of my peers will. But I do not regret for one moment not choosing a business course as I believe the Performing Arts course offered me the creativity, skills and personality which I wholeheartedly put into my business.

Other than your degree what do you think you learnt and got out of your university experience?

Much valued life experience, amazing friendship and memories that will last a lifetime!

What were your career ambitions when you started studying and do you think that you have achieved them?

When I first started university, I was all set for a career in the Performing Arts industry, maybe a teacher? But as I grew and developed throughout the course and my different modules, the creativity gained lead me to creating WishStrings, and my business was born!

Would you be where you are today, without your degree?

No! Most definitely not! My degree and the experiences it has offered me has given me the confidence to be where I am today! Many people don’t think my degree has anything to do with my business, but when you look beneath the surface you can see the foundations are made up from elements of my degree.

For example – window dressing, comes from the techniques learned in set design and construction. Hands-on making of cushions and other textile items – developed from the skills I acquired in costume. Marketing – came from the skills I gained from marketing shows and other events we held at the UoC. Time management – is needed to ensure the survival on any degree course. Performing – everyday in my shop I see as a performance, I have to leave all my personal problems at the door and put my customers first for the day, no matter how ill or rubbish I feel!

What are your current career ambitions now and in the long-term?

WishStrings is growing day by day. I have huge ambitions for the future, maybe a chain of stores? A brand stocked by leading retailers? A wholesale company? I feel my opportunities for development are endless and I am extremely excited about what my future holds!

What are you most proud of?

Everything I have achieved coming out of the UoC. Owning my own business and property!

How did you stay motivated to pursue your dream when studying hard and enjoying the university lifestyle?

The balance between studying, personal life and having fun is one HUGE juggling act! Thankfully I had an amazing support structure through the UoC and my friends. I had a roller-coaster three years, including my father suffering a life threatening brain hemorrhage and my great grandfather passing away all within the same months during my second year of university! This time proved extremely difficult, but thanks to the AMAZING support of my tutors and my friends I pulled through with no major disruption to my degree!

What advice would you give to todays freshers and prospective students about making the most of their time at university?

Work hard and ENJOY what the UoC has to offer! Make the most of every moment as you never know what may lead to future opportunities! Even the times that feel unnecessary are important so make every second count, push yourself beyond your limits and reach for your dreams! If I had followed the flow I wouldn’t be where I am today!

WishStrings .Co is an online and High Street store selling jewellery, gifts, vintage delights and our WishString wish bracelets. WishStrings was originally founded by myself in 2012, as part of a new year resolution! Since then WishStrings .Co has grown with the loving help of family, friends and of course my loyal fans! WishStrings began life as a hobby attending craft fairs etc and then grew beyond my wildest imagination! Expanding into a full online store and now a high street store!

Find WishStrings .Co on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Wishstring

Free Download: Masters Application Tips & Advice

Are you looking to apply for a Masters? This FREE ebook download from jobs.ac.uk is for you!

MA-download

From the introduction: There are many motivations for undertaking postgraduate study, and many reasons that you might be thinking about applying for a postgraduate degree. In this increasingly competitive graduate jobs market, a postgraduate degree can give you a considerable advantage over competitors, while it can also provide you with the chance to explore a topic in more detail, extending your academic career.

Some postgraduate courses are very academic in nature, and often involve an extended piece of research and writing, whereas others are more vocational and will provide training for a particular career path.

This ebook takes you through every aspect of applying for a postgraduate degree, from your initial thoughts and motivations through to the research proposal and funding application. The
ebook aims to offer some advice and suggestions to potential postgraduate students from all backgrounds and disciplines, and to anyone at any stage hoping to undertake an academic career.  Along the way, the ebook provides an action plan for your next steps along your route to becoming a postgraduate student, and eventually an academic, and draws on advice from current and past postgraduate students. Happy reading… and good luck!

Download via this link: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/enhanced/careers-media/resources/masters-application-tips-&-advice.pdf

Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 21/11/2014

Widening Participation Retention Graduate Intern at UoC

Full time within Library and Student Services (LiSS) Lancaster. Fixed term until 30 September 2015, National Minimum Wage*

University of Cumbria

The University is looking for a motivated, and skilled graduate to contribute to the development and delivery of a number of initiatives and interventions targeting Widening Participation (WP) students. You will work alongside other colleagues on the implementation of the University’s new Office for Fair Access (OFFA) Agreement and post 2012 approach to Widening Participation.

The post of WP Retention Graduate Intern is located in the University’s Library and Student Services, within the Academic Engagement, Skills and Retention Team. The role-holder will work alongside the WP Retention Officer and the WP Learning Enhancement Adviser in the development and delivery of a number of pre-entry and on-programme retention initiatives in order to raise students’ awareness of university life and study, and to support their transition into Higher Education, through their programme of study and into employment.

The post offers University of Cumbria graduates an exciting opportunity to gain valuable work experience as members of a team with a strong commitment to supporting students at all stages of the journey into HE study and beyond. As part of the role, you will also have the opportunity to study a University of Cumbria Post-graduate Certificate qualification with fees waived and study time allowance for the duration of your contract.

Applicants will need to demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills, a positive and flexible approach to work, good IT skills, and the ability to work independently, as well as part of a team.
Informal enquiries should be directed to Jason Hettrick, WP Learning Enhancement and Retention Adviser on 01524 385682, jason.hettrick@cumbria.ac.ukApplicants also have the opportunity to contact our current Graduate Intern for an informal chat about the role at Lauren.millar@cumbria.ac.uk  in Lancaster.

The closing date for this post is Midnight on Sunday 23 November 2014. It is anticipated that interviews for this role will take place on Friday 28 November 2014 in Lancaster.

 

*Dependant on age

Please click here for the full job description and for details of how to apply.

Ones to Watch: Helen Statham

I bet you’ve been looking forward to part three of our new ‘Ones to Watch’ series all week, haven’t you? This is a (relatively new) series in conjunction with the University of Cumbria’s Alumni team. We think all University of Cumbria graduates are amazing, and are proud of each and every one of you. Occasionally we get to hear about certain individuals who are already making a huge impact, despite only graduating recently. Those who have really applied themselves whilst still a student; taken advantage of every opportunity and worked exceptionally hard to get where they want to be. 

HelenStathamCircle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Statham

BA (Hons) Events Management

Helen’s name constantly comes up in conversation regarding our fantastic students! Tutors have nothing but praise for her; she’s an exceptionally hard worker, very motivated and determined. Helen squeezed every opportunity possible out of her student experience and achieved excellent results in all her assignments leading to a first class degree and her dream job offer straight out of uni.

We are all so proud of Helen and rate her knowledge and experience so highly that we asked her to be part of our ‘expert’ panel in a recent creative alumni/network event alongside industry insiders who have been in the business for years! Helen is highly deserving of a place on our ‘ones to watch’ and we have no doubt that she will go very far! Here’s Helen in her own words…

 

Course: FdA Performance, Festivals and Events and BA (Hons) Event Management top-up

Campus: Brampton Road

Graduation year: 2014

Hometown: Northumberland, orginally, but I’ve lived in Carlisle for ages

Current job: Online project co-ordinator. I run the website Cumbria Live (Cumberland newspaper), writing stories, running the social media, interviewing musicians, artists and comedians heading to the region.

What made you choose the University of Cumbria?

I already live in Carlisle so it meant I would save on things like travel and accommodation. I couldn’t afford to go back to uni in a different city, so studying close to home gave me options of working and earning money around my timetable.

Why did you choose your particular course?

I’d got as far as I could in my previous job and wanted to study for a degree so it would help me in a change of career. My husband owns his own company which has strong connections to the events industry. The more I read about events, the more I realised it was a hugely versatile industry with so many different career options.

Although it’s possible to work in events without a degree, an event management qualification gives you more opportunities and the chance of faster career progression. UoC has a great reputation with a lot of links to local and national businesses, which are especially relevant to events. I knew that studying here would help me to make valuable industry contacts as well as learning from experienced people currently working in the events industry.

What did you like most about your course?

My personal tutor, course leader Laura Baxter, was amazing. She encouraged everyone on the course and it helped build our confidence throughout the three years. In the first semester of year one she handed round information on an internship opportunity and told me just to go for it. I did and couldn’t believe it when I got it. After that I applied for just about everything else I found out about which eventually led me to my current job.

What was your favourite experience at university?

I had an amazing three years studying at the University of Cumbria but my favourite experience was probably getting my final mark and knowing that it was all totally worth it. How corny is that?!

Do you have any particular memorable/funny stories to share?

I got married on a Friday and started uni the following Monday – coming to UoC was pretty much my honeymoon.

How did coming to university change your life?

I’d tried uni the first time around after finishing sixth form and it just wasn’t for me. Nearly ten years later I came to the University of Cumbria and it completely changed my life for the better. I studied the most interesting subject, with amazing people and I was taught by inspiring tutors and lecturers. After finishing my course I bagged myself my dream job – sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.

Did you make use of university career resources? How did these help your career?

I definitely made use of the university resources. I don’t think I would be where I am now without the valuable work experience I gained through the Unite Placements. The first one was working as an events assistant at the Whitehaven Festival (so hard, but so worth it!), the next with Lake District Hotels working as a digital marketing assistant (I learned so much there), I worked as a market research person with designer Lydia Leith (she’s the one that designed the royal sick bags!) and then I worked as a social media advisor with a local legal company. Even just applying for those jobs was great experience.

University was the perfect time for me to take part in a few work placements. I found out what I enjoyed (and what I don’t) which was so useful when I was thinking about what I wanted to do after uni. When I finished my events management degree and I totted up all of my work placements it came to a total of about two years worth of experience. That’s a huge advantage when you’re looking to apply for jobs.

What were your career ambitions when you started studying and do you think that you have achieved them?

When I started I thought I might work with my husband when I finished uni, but I soon abandoned that idea. Ultimately I just wanted to be working in a job that I enjoyed. I’m definitely doing that.

Would you be where you are today, without your degree?

No way. Although my job isn’t really to do with events, without my degree I wouldn’t have had the confidence to even attempt it. Having a degree has opened so many doors for me.

How did you get your current job?

In my first year, one of the events I helped to organise was a fashion show with some of the costume students. I was looking for a bit of press coverage and met Tom Little, who was in his final year studying journalism. It turned out he also did a student section of the local newspaper, the News & Star.

Well, the event wasn’t much to write home about but I kept in touch with Tom (see – I told you it was all about networking) who eventually went to run the business website incumbria.com. In the summer before I started my final year Tom told me about a blogging competition that was being held on the entertainment website Cumbria Live. He knew I had a fashion blog and asked if I fancied giving it a go.

I had to write about events and gigs happening in Cumbria with a chance win an ipad. I didn’t win (I think I came fourth – boo!) but I was asked if I wanted to do a bit of work on the website over the summer. Turns out that was way better than winning an ipad anyway. I worked on Cumbria Live all through my final year and I was lucky enough to be offered a full time position once I finished my degree.

What are you most proud of?

Cumbria Live is on the shortlist for an O2 media award this year – wahoo!

As part of my final degree I had to stage an event. I was working on Cumbria Live all the way through my final year so decided to tie it in with that. I was really interested in social media (which was the subject of my dissertation) and my editor and I came up with the idea of #cumbriaweekend.

We’d utilise social media to showcase the best the region had to offer with a huge ticket giveaway worth £5000 and encourage everyone to get out and about and share their favourite things about Cumbria and the Lake District on social media. It was amazing and worked really well.

You can read more about it here or see the tweets here.

How did you stay motivated to pursue your dream when studying hard and enjoying the University lifestyle?

The main thing that kept me motivated throughout the three years was thinking that I was so lucky to have the chance to study. I knew I wouldn’t have the chance to do it again, so no matter what, I had to study hard.

What advice would you give to today’s freshers and prospective students about making the most of their time at university?

Easy – say yes to everything.

 

10 Ways to be a superhero at work

I found this pretty awesome infographic last week and thought our followers would enjoy it too – loads of great advice on here for people just starting out in their careers as well as those who have been working for a while.

Be your own superhero!!

Super-Employee

 

Found here: http://ow.ly/E9MmP via Twitter – follow us for more like this!

Friday’s Featured Vacancy – 14/11/2014

Still looking for a temporary Christmas job? Why not apply for the ULTIMATE Christmas job as Santa at Center Parcs? 

santaman

We’re a hard working team with a passion for the natural environment

Center Parcs people have one thing in common: we come together to work hard and with a sense of purpose, bringing the best of ourselves to create wonderful and memorable experiences for our guests in the great outdoors.

Working in our Santa’s Woodland Workshop hidden within the Enchanted forest, you will help deliver a memorable and realistic visit to our Santa’s Woodland Workshop to all children and their family’s visiting Center Parcs.

Displaying an acting ability and jovial personality at all times to ensure everyone leaves with many memorable moments.

Greeting all families and delivering them to the land of make believe will be the key task related to this role

ABOUT THE ROLE

As Santa your main duties will include:

  • To deliver a memorable experience to all Center Parcs guests that visit
  • To ensure a good time managed approach ensuring all visits run punctually at all times.
  • To take a pride in appearance at all times ensuring all parts of the costume provided are maintained and are taken pride in at all times.
  • Good team work with and communication is displayed with all staff members in Santa’s Woodland Workshop
  • All Center Parcs Operational procedures are adhered to at all times.
  • To be a fun loving entertainer.
  • To meet & manage the visits of all children and other guests as a Santa.
  • To be jovial and happy at all times whilst acting as a Santa

Hours of Work                          

You will be contracted to work 160 hours per 4 week period, normal working days will be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

This is a fixed term contract ending 24th December 2014.

Essential Qualifications

None required.

ABOUT YOU

Santa is needed to put on a jolly performance with the support of a team of helpful elves in your Woodland Workshop. You don’t have to come from the North Pole (although previous acting experience would be an advantage), but you will need to be great at relating to children with a larger-than-life personalities and you will have a sympathetic, kind-natured approach

We will supply all costumes

Due to the sensitive nature of this role the successful applicant will be required to apply for disclosure with the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB).  This disclosure, together with other selection information, will need to be satisfactory to the Company for employment to commence.

Apply online: http://isw.changeworknow.co.uk/centerparcs/vms/e/careers/positions/aSzd7oXvPklyVoWg4sojPE

Ones to Watch: Scott Harrison

Here’s part two of our new ‘Ones to Watch’ series, in conjunction with the University of Cumbria’s Alumni team. We think all University of Cumbria graduates are amazing, and are proud of each and every one of you. Occasionally we get to hear about certain individuals who are already making a huge impact, despite only graduating recently. Those who have really applied themselves whilst still a student; taken advantage of every opportunity and worked exceptionally hard to get where they want to be. 

ScottHarrisonCircle

Scott Harrison

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Therapy

Scott’s tutor Dr Katie Small contacted the alumni office to tell us how proud she was of Scott after he secured an internship with Real Madrid Football Club (one of the best football clubs in the world!) working for their TV channel as a Sports Reporter and Presenter. 

Scott has been so ambitious throughout his studies and placements and worked so hard to secure this opportunity for himself, whilst also setting up his own clothing company! We have absolutely no doubt that Scott’s competitive and determined nature will get him far. We will be following your career with interest, Scott!

Course: BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Therapy

Campus: Fusehill Street, Carlisle

Graduation year: 2014

Hometown: Shrewsbury in Shropshire

Current job: Sports Journalist and Television Presenter for Real Madrid CF.

I also single handedly set up and run a small clothes company called Ropa de Calle Clothing. The idea came about in September 2012 and after creating a business plan and sourcing funding etc, I took the business live in March 2013.

I wanted to boost my CV in as many fields as I could and also my interest in current trends and fashion. I did all the designs myself, approached many manufacturers and other professionals within the fashion field myself, set up and run all social media sites myself along with the popular online store. The store can be found at www.ropadecalle.bigcartel.com and on both Facebook and Twitter.

What made you choose the University of Cumbria?

The proximity of family and knowledge of the local area.

Why did you choose your particular course?

Always been interested in sport and healthcare, however the main point was my father is a physiotherapist who helped me with the decision.

What did you like most about your course?

The vast variety of topics within the course and the friends I made along the way.

What was your favourite experience at university?

Playing for the University Rugby League team, great set of lads.

Do you have any particular memorable/funny stories to share?

None that are suitable for the readers… Ha.

How did coming to university change your life?

University really gave me the confidence boost to go for things in life. Improved my social and work skills, which have helped me going forward in my career in which confidence, writing style and technique are key.

What were your career ambitions when you started studying and do you think that you have achieved them?

Originally I wanted to go into the health side of sport and by gaining my degree, yes, I did achieve that. However, being made aware of other areas of sport throughout my time at university, my goals changed and I feel I really have met my goals by gaining this position.

Would you be where you are today, without your degree?

Not at all. It was key to have a degree for the position I currently have. It was even more beneficial that I have a sports degree with a 2:1 level.

What are your current career ambitions now and in the long-term?

I wish to continue in my current job, gaining more on and off screen experience, increasing my show reel and improving my current level of Spanish. Within this time, I hope to meet more people who could offer me further opportunities within in sports media field.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of attaining this position off my own back after working hard to meet the right people and sell myself well. I am also equally as proud of getting the necessary 2:1 grade in my degree and starting my own clothing business completely on my own.

How did you stay motivated to pursue your dream when studying hard and enjoying the university lifestyle?

Competition with friends and desire to meet personal goals. I am a very competitive person, as were my friends, so the healthy competition saw me through.

What advice would you give to today’s freshers and prospective students about making the most of their time at university?

It’s key to make the most of all your time at university. Make sure you have the best possible time socially, but remember to keep an eye on your studies.