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My Work Placement

Posted 19 Aug 2014 by Abigail

 

I recently completed my editorial work placement with Hearst Magazines, so this month I'd like to let you all know what I got up to on my two weeks working at a real magazine. It is compulsory to do a work placement on my course as we have to reflect upon what we learnt when we return to Uni after summer.

Hearst MagazinesOn my first day the worst possible thing happened - I slept through my alarm! I had planned to be early to make sure I found the building alright and so that I could calm my nerves. I was grateful that I had been so organised and had laid out my clothes the night before. I managed to get up, brush my teeth, throw on my clothes and leave within ten minutes, grabbing my make-up and hairbrush to do on the journey. I managed to get on a fast train from Surbiton to Waterloo and followed my GPS to the letter. When I got the Piccadilly Circus I found the office block and by some miracle I had five minutes to spare!

In the end, this was probably a good thing because I didn't have time to be nervous, I just had to get on with it. The PA introduced me to the team which was surprisingly small, only about fifteen people to make an entire magazine. Then she sat me down at my own desk and gave me a list of my duties for the placement. The first thing was to read through the huge stack of the weekends supplement newspapers and make clippings from the stories that are relevant to the magazine. This took me nearly the whole day and by the end my hands were black with ink stains! I also had to sort the post when it arrived each morning which was a great way of learning everyone's names and having a peak at what they were working on. Other general duties were filing magazines in the archives and answering phone calls.

I was mainly working for the features editor and her deputy, I got to research and fact check for them and even got to write a few stories for their website. It was great to hear their feedback and know that what I was doing was actually useful to them.

By the second week, I would come into the office and know exactly what I needed to do that day. I made lists of tasks I had toDesk do and only stop briefly when the post arrived. My confidence grew in this short space of time and I found it hard to switch off thinking about it. One evening after work I was wandering through the Kingston night market and I found a stall that sold products which looked perfect for the magazine so I took a business card. I pitched the idea the following day to the feature's editor and she later told me the deputy editor was keen to use the idea for a feature - this was definitely one of my highlights!

There were two things that happened during my placement that I was really lucky to have been a part of. The first was taking part in their first ever live twitter chat - I actually had a better idea of how they are carried out from my KUSA work than they did so they were happy to take my advice.


Lunch BreakLastly, I got to go to a breakfast launch of their new website. It was held in the office and I had to help prepare the croissants and bucks fizz beforehand and then everyone gathered round. The editor said a few words and we toasted to the launch of the website and then there was a chance to mingle. I found this quite daunting at first but luckily one of the subs came over and we got chatting. I was able to ask a few of my burning questions and she gave me some great advice. She told me that in order to break the industry I need to write lots about what I know and go away and pitch as many articles to as many of those niche publications as I can.

I had a great time and will be able to ask them for a reference in the future. I thoroughly recommend anyone on any course to get this kind of hands-on experience - even if it isn't a course requirement.

 

 

Summer is Finally Here!!

The sun is shining today, and whilst it isn't guaranteed everyday we seem to be having an excellent summer so far! Summer is by far my favourite season! Summer also marks the end of another University year - it's crazy how fast they go! And it leaves me thinking that in twelve months time I'll have graduated, which is extremely exciting but also so scary all at the same time.

Knowing how fast the last twelve months have gone makes me realise that the next twelve will definitely fly by and whether you are starting your First, Second or Third year, or you're starting a completely different challenge all together, the next year is going to go so quickly no matter what, and it's up to you how you perform during them. I can't believe how much my placement year has made me appreciate my time - in my first two years I university I don't think I realised how much free time I had, and how much I could achieve with my free time. I am so glad that I have been on my placement year as I feel much more prepared for my final year university now, and can't wait for September to come around so I can use my time more wisely and achieve my potential.

 

Jobhunting

Posted 13 Aug 2014 by Tamara

 

So...It's finally come to that time I've been dreading throughout my whole three years of university....I've finished and now need to get a job and start my many many years of working life! Ridiculous to think three years has gone so fast, in some ways I still feel like the eighteen year old nervous wreck who first arrived at University, but on the other hand how much these three years has helped me to mature is unbelievable!

 As I'm hoping to eventually get into medical school and become a doctor, I want to obtain a job that would work as a stopgap between now and hopefully eventually getting into medical school. A job that will also help further my application not hinder it, and be something I am interested in possibly taking further if medical school does not work out!! So not much to ask for...

I thought I'd just write a few tips for obtaining a job, whether it be a part time job or the big graduate job at the end! Happy Hunting...:

1. Update your CV continuously

May seem pretty simple, but the amount of out of date CV's is ridiculous, and you're chucking away a valuable opportunity to show off all that you've done recently! Furthermore, not as important for small part time jobs, but crucial for the big graduate jobs, is to tailor your CV to each job, sometimes even starting a completely new one, to ensure it is relevant for that employer rather than just being generic!

2. Ask for help!

Writing a CV is a lot of hard work and quite tedious at times, no matter which way you spin it! But by using the amazing facilities that Kingston University provides, such as 'KU Talent' to help build on your application, or by simply sending it round your (trusted) friends and family, you can get a whole new perspective on how to write it and what bits sound effective and the bits that definitely need to get deleted!

3. Your CV is a reflection of you

Time and time again you're trying to sell yourself so much and had that many people edit your CV that it sounds nothing like you!! Ensure it still has you personality in it as that's what employers want to see, and above all else - Don't lie!!!

4. Ask around

Someone in your circle of friends and family will most likely have connections to an area you want a job in, so ask around!! And to help further this, as early on as possible networking is key!

5. Read job descriptions

Actually know what you're applying for, as it's absolutely gutting spending ages working on an application form for something you want, then finding out you're not even eligible for it!

6. Sign up to services

For me this is so important!! KU Talent are amazing at sending out opportunities and will help you up to three years after you graduate, and websites such as Milkround are constantly posting jobs. There's bound to be a job for you on there!

So there you have it, any questions feel free to ask!! :)

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