Category Archives: employability

Career interview with the Head of Online and Digital at The Entertainer

This week we have been talking to Rob Wood, Head of Online and Digital at The Entertainer to find out about his career journey and what tips he would give to students who are keen to develop careers in ecommerce.Rob Wood

What did you study at university and what impact did it have on your career path?

English. I started my ecommerce career focussing on online content so it gave me a good grounding in how audiences respond to language.

What work experience did you undertake per landing a permanent position?

I did lots of odd jobs – silver service waiting, accounts payable, reporting on non-league football matches. I didn’t have a master plan for what I wanted to do but it gave me a good flavour of different workplaces and cured me of any interest in working in accountancy.

Did you take part in any societies while at university, and if so, did you learn any valuable skills from your time?

I played a lot of sport which develops great skills for most career paths – teamwork, communication, competitiveness.

What advice do you have for those who are just starting university right now?

You’ll never have so much spare time again so make the most of it. And enjoy yourself.

How important is a brand’s culture when choosing positions to apply for?

Really important and it’s definitely worth asking lots of questions about it when you interview. There are advantages and disadvantages of working everywhere – understanding what they are and adapting to them is the key to succeeding. So ask the person interviewing to talk you through the culture as it will help you decide whether it’s a place you will do well.

What is the most challenging part of your current role?

Deciding where the priorities are. There are 1000s of possible ways to grow our online sales and my job is to decide which ones are the most time and cost-effective. Because technology is changing so quickly it’s impossible to predict how customers will shop in a couple of years’ time, so our strategy is to find low risk projects that keep us up to date with the latest trends in online shopping and communication but allow us to react quickly if things change.

Has your role changed, or have your responsibilities evolved, as you’ve worked for The Entertainer?

My role has changed a lot. When I joined The Entertainer I was running a small online content team. Over the last five years I’ve gradually taken on responsibility for user experience, commercial performance and online marketing and I now lead a team of 15.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting career interviews with some of Rob’s colleagues: a  Copywriters, an Online Merchandiser, and a Content and Social Media Assistant. The interviews are all about what they learned at university, the impact it had on their careers and their advice for current students. Watch this space!

 

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Extracurricular activities and why you should do them

extra curricular activities

In the Career Ahead award it asks you to participate in and reflect on extracurricular activities. They are important. Not just as part of student life but going forward. So… this is my huge list of why you should partake in them.

  • Getting out and trying new things is good for you, even if you decide that a particular activity isn’t for you!
  • Meet people and networking. You never know what sort of interesting people you might meet: a new friend, someone who you may end up working with, a date for your house mate
  • Self-development, you are showing people that you spend time on yourself – you’re independent, you’re willing to learn and you’re open minded
  • Developing employable attributes and strengths like leadership, self-motivation and perseverance
  • Evidence for your attributes and strengths that can be used on a CV or interview situations that will be different and more interesting to those who don’t do extracurricular activities
  • They can generate great anecdotes for social occasions or can be used in presentations and interviews
  • Gain more knowledge, you never know when it might come in useful – even if it is in a pub quiz
  • Keep fit/active with sports and learn key-skills like team work
  • A change from day to day life
  • See the world, travel
  • Getting creative, help your mind develop new ways of thinking
  • Improve yourself, if you can already do something do it better – like a different style of cuisine or become more proficient at a language
  • An outlet for stress
  • Keep your brain sharp – metal agility keeps you young
  • Campaign and have your say with political and action groups
  • Get the feel-good-factor by raising money for a charity/charities you feel passionate about
  • Getting to know people in your community and local neighbourhood
  • Volunteer – it’ll make you feel great about yourself and the things that can be achieved
  • Extracurricular activitiesRight, here is my favourite reason to do Extracurricular Activities… This is a reasonably old picture of Sergey Brine and Larry Page, who are two guys that meet at university because one of them was a Student Ambassador. They went on to found Google.

 

 

Written by Sarah Burrough, available for all your guest blogging needs!

To teach or not to teach…

class-raising-hands

I’ve been advising quite a few Primary Education students recently who are coming to the end of their initial teacher training and are now uncertain about whether to continue on a teaching career path.  Teaching is a hugely rewarding profession, but it can be tough and is not for everyone.  It’s also perfectly normal to have a change of heart and want to change direction.

The good news is that there are lots of alternatives career paths to consider and some very useful information online.  If you are reading this, and have doubts too about whether teaching is right for you, the following articles and guides may well give you some inspiration. Don’t forget too that you can come and talk to us in UoC Careers.  Email us on careers@cumbria.ac.uk to make an appointment.

In the meantime, here are some useful resources that we refer students to and which may give you some inspiration!

Education Alternatives. This AGCAS publication (the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) is probably the most comprehensive resource for students who are still interested in education generally, but don’t want to work in a school as a classroom teacher.  The guide has been written by a team of experienced university careers advisers and covers two main pathways:  roles which involve teaching, but not in mainstream education; and roles within the broader education sector.

For a lighter read, Target Jobs has a useful article called ‘Alternative careers in education’. Their options include training and development, careers and education guidance, family support and advocacy, and adult and community education.

You may of course need to boost your career chances with a further qualification at diploma or post graduate level. Some options for further training or postgraduate qualifications which you can add to your initial teacher training are covered on Target Jobs.

For general research, Prospects has a list of Job profiles which you can browse by sector or job title. Each job role is profiled and gives some useful factual information about the qualifications, skills and experience needed. The National Careers Service’s Job Profiles is a good resource too, and has interesting job market information.

Finally, remember you will have developed a whole range of useful transferable skills all of which will be relevant to other careers. If you need some help identifying these, don’t forget you can contact Careers at careers@cumbria.ac.uk

 

 

Free Event: Social Enterprise Workshop

social enterprise event - networking

 

 

Want to have a positive social impact? Ever had an idea but not known where to start?

If the answer is yes, perhaps you should be thinking about starting your own social enterprise venture…

Unlike a business or corporation, social enterprise ventures are not profit driven; profits are usually reinvested into the organisation or community. The main goal of a social enterprise is to drive positive change; however this does not mean social enterprises are not financially successful. Social enterprises are businesses where society profits! There are many successful social enterprises in the UK and there’s more being brought to market every year.

If you have an interesting idea for a social enterprise and want to be an agent of change, we have the event for you!

On Tuesday 10th May at 2.00pm, we have a member of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School coming to the University of Cumbria to deliver a workshop about social entrepreneurship. The workshop will introduce students to social enterprise, motivate and inspire students to start their own ventures and will also act as a great networking platform (remember it’s all about who you know!). The event is two hours long, free to attend and will be held at the Fusehill Street campus in Carlisle.

Don’t worry if you don’t currently have any enterprising ideas, if you are interested in social enterprise you should still pop along to the Social Enterprise workshop. You never know, you may leave the event with an idea that could change your life; or more importantly – the lives of others.

We hope you can make it! Let’s help make the world a better place and drive positive change!

If you are interested in attending this event please book tickets through the following link; http://store.cumbria.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=59&prodid=513

For more information please contact Ben Parker via email at ben.parker@cumbria.ac.uk

TEDx is coming to the University of Cumbria!

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TEDx, an independently organised TED event, is coming to Carlisle for one night only!

Tickets available on the UoC TEDx website here.

 

The Theme

For the first ever University of Cumbria TEDx event the theme ‘Progression’ has been chosen, this ties in nicely with university life and can have a broad interpretation. Expect talks on career progression, the progression of ideas and much more. The event speakers really have had some great ideas on what progression means to them and the world.

 

The Speakers:

  • Andy Beeforth – Chief Executive Cumbria Community foundation
  • Jacqui Filkins – Honoury Fellow, advisor to EU on health matters – Sustainability Strategies.
  • Brenda Crossley – Graduate – Aging & Adapting With Technology.
  • Nathan Roberts – Zoo Keeper – Conservation and Effective Communication.
  • Phillip Wilson – Musician. Making Music Accessible For All.
  • Annie Weir – Self-published creative writing graduate – Age Is Not A Barrier.

Developing a great line-up for this event has been tough, there are just so many talented people with great ideas! There will be something for everyone with six super talented speakers all with unique ideas to share from varied backgrounds. Be sure to check out the event blog here for updates on speakers with details about them and their talks.

 

When

Thursday 5th May 2016 at 18.30 until 21.30

 

Where

The event will be held in the University of Cumbria’s Fusehill Street campus close to the centre of Carlisle in the Learning Gateway Lecture Theatre.

University of Cumbria, Fusehill Street, Carlisle, CA1 2HH

 

Tickets

A ticket must be purchased to ensure attendance. Just to make it even harder to resist temptation you will get a free beer and a burger with each ticket. Now that’s food for thought…

Tickets are £8.49 per person (including booking fees)

Tickets available on the UoC TEDx website here.

 

 

About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

Find out more on the TED website.

New to TED? Here’s 11 must see TED talks.

 

This event is being organised by Ben Parker (University of Cumbria Events Management Student)

 

#UoCMedia Industry Day: Why Work Experience is Important and How to Get It

 

media city 2

There are many ways to gain relevant work experience in the media industry and they don’t all involve traveling to London!

I recently represented the University of Cumbria at a BBC Digital and Creative Careers Day at Media City in Salford. One of the biggest things I took from the day is the need for graduates applying for training schemes, jobs and freelance work to have relevant work experience.

 

How much experience should I have?

As a current student or recent graduate you are not expected to have years of experience in the sector you want to work in. Instead, you need to demonstrate that you are committed and interested in working in your intended field. You can do this by attending relevant work experience, reflecting on what you have learned and asking for a letter of recommendation from the employers you work for.

Work experience opportunities can range for a day’s shadowing, a week or two, a few months or a longer-term internship. With such a wide variety of opportunities available it is important to focus on the quality and relevance of a work experience placement rather than the amount of placements you do.

 

How to get relevant work experience:

  • Send a CV and covering letter to companies and ask for shadowing/work experience
  • Make your own content
  • Volunteer for university or community radio and TV
  • Apply for advertised work experience

 

It’s all about the money…

Some work experience opportunities will be paid, others may not be. If you are planning to take part in unpaid work experience I suggest deciding (before you apply) under what circumstances you will work for free and for how long.

Think about: what benefits you will receive, what skills and experiences you will gain, if you have done the same thing or something similar already, how much it will cost you, when you are available, if you can get funding and how it will benefit your career.

When thinking about if you should take part in an unpaid placement consider:

  • Are you being asked to do work that you would usually be paid for?
  • When you are on placement are you doing the same work as paid staff members and are you being given responsibility for work?
  • Are you being asked to take on an unpaid placement for more than 6 weeks?

If the answer to any of the above is yes the placement offered should be a paid one.

Note – we know it can sometimes be difficult to judge whether a work experience placement should be paid or not. If you are unsure you can e-mail careers@cumbria.ac.uk for advice.

 

I have included a list of work experience opportunities below and some information on the upcoming Media Industry Day on Wednesday 13 April 2016.

 

Good Luck!

Kathryn Jones

Careers and Employability Coordinator

University of Cumbria

Careers and Employability Service

 

 

#UoCMedia Industry Day

Wednesday 13 April 2016 – 9am to 4.15pm – Brampton Road Campus (registration at main reception)

Find more information here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/media-industry-day-tickets-23238632375?platform=hootsuite

Registration has now closed but UoC students are welcome to just come along on the day.

 

 

Media Careers – Work Experience Opportunities:

 

BBC Work Experience

There are four application windows every year and each one will last two weeks.

Various Locations

www.bbc.co.uk/careers

 

ITV Insight

There are four windows of opportunity to apply each year, with the Insight Programme open in January, April, July and October.

Various locations

www.itvjobs.com

 

Discover Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife welcomes work experience students for a period of one week throughout the year.

www.discoverwildlife.com/work-experience

 

C4 Pop Up Events

C4 Pop Up is a day of industry talks, creative workshops and down to earth careers advice and support from Channel 4. Dates for the London, Belfast and Cardiff events are already up with more to follow.

http://4talent.channel4.com/4talent-days

 

Event Volunteer Quays Festival 2016

Quays Culture – North West England

Deadline – 30 June 2016

www.artsjobs.org.uk

 

Volunteer Venue Assistants and Festival Runners

Bradford Literature Festival – Yorkshire

Deadline – 6 May 2016

www.artsjobs.org.uk

 

Event Steward

Wild Rumpus – Staffordshire

Deadline – 18 April 2016

www.artsjobs.org.uk

 

Treasurer

Lake District Summer Music – Cumbria

Deadline 25 May 2016

www.artsjobs.org.uk

 

Volunteer media opportunities at the Animal Refuge and Carlisle Youth Zone

Cumbria

Contact Max Evans-Kirkman – mekmedia@outlook.com

 

Mullholland Media

Cumbria

Contact David Mulholland (Company Director) for potential work experience opportunities

david@mulhollandmedia.co.uk

07770 676766 / 07879 444443

www.mulhollandmedia.co.uk

www.monsteraerial.com

 

Cloudscape Studios

Cumbria

Contact Lou Kneath Gibson (Company Director) to find out more

lou@cloudscapestudios.com

07521 295534

www.cloudscapestudios.com

 

 

Useful Contacts

 

Careers and Employability Service

Contact us for CV, application and personal statement feedback, careers appointments, career planning, help finding placements and graduate jobs.

www.cumbria.ac.uk/careers

careers@cumbria.ac.uk

 

Student Enterprise

If you are thinking about starting your own business, whether it’s for profit or not, we can help and support you all the way.

01228 888734

Sylvia.grainger@cumbria.ac.uk

www.cumbria.ac.uk/studententerprise

 

5 Common Regrets of University Graduates

two paths

When a major life chapter comes to an end we often find ourselves in a state of reflection. What went well? What would I do differently, if I had the chance?

Ideally, we would soak up wisdom from those who have been there, done it and got the t-shirt and do things differently as a consequence.

This post by Francesca Turner is about just that! If you are a prospective or current university student then read on to find out what graduates are saying they would do differently if they could do it all over again.

1) Network more; we are all potential work colleagues

This is simply about getting to know the people you are studying with. They are quite possibly entering the same field of work as you and could help in the future by;

  • Introducing you to employers and job openings
  • giving you a personal recommendation on Linked In

That guy you don’t speak to in your Global Business module might be the CEO of that company you really want to work for in 10 years’ time. They won’t have a great impression of you if you blanked them for 3 years!

Plus, getting to know new people is actually fun! University is a chance to mix with people you might not normally meet and this often leads to lifelong friendships.

2) Spend more time with peers sharing good practice and learning from those with experience

 Many tasks in the real world require team-work so university is a great chance to learn about your strengths and developmental points in this area.

We all process information differently and a classmate might be able to describe Contemporary Social Theory to you perfectly in a way you understand, whilst you pick out holes in the arguments in their Human Rights essay.

Maybe one of your peers has relevant real life work experience in the field you are studying and could add a lot to your understanding of a topic area.

3) Get stuck into some voluntary work

Research shows that students are more engaged with their studies if they are applying knowledge alongside academic work.

Don’t worry if your course doesn’t include work experience as there are loads of volunteer opportunities out there (try www.do-it.org) and local companies are often happy to hear from students willing to offer their skills.

Even if you are unsure what you want to do in the future then any work experience which interests you can build your transferable skills, open you up to new career areas and provide you with a bank of examples for interview situations.

4) Realise what a privilege it is to be able to study a subject you love

Many students report they feel that they rushed through their degree’s and wished they had taken more time enjoying their subject.

Only once the experience was over did they wish they had viewed their degree as a chance to read a subject they loved rather than a means to an end.

Think about the following (avoiding career/ salary related reasons) and write down your thoughts;

  • why did you choose your subject?
  • what do you love about it?

Pin it up somewhere you can see it every day. This can help you re-connect with your subject and reignite your passion.

5) Find out which support services are available

Many students report they discovered these when it was too late but recognised thier value.

Services usually on offer are;

  • careers and enterprise
  • disability
  • study skills
  • health and wellbeing
  • counselling

A search online on your university website will provide you with further information and contact details.

 Reflections

  • If you are a graduate what would you do differently if you could have your time again?
  • Current students- has this changed your perspective in any way?

UoCCareers

5 Common Regrets of University Graduates