Today I am going to talk about the do's and don'ts whilst at placement, which might help a lot of you if you decided to go on one whilst at uni.
I do understand how workplaces can differ, however there are some simple rules that you should always keep in mind during your placement. When I say simple rules it also means sometimes just using your common sense!!! This has worked perfectly for me. So, I will start with the list of Do's which I have been following since first day of my placement and have worked well for me. Here we go:
1: On your first day make sure you arrive on time!!!
Of course you don't want to be late on your first day as you can image it will give a wrong impression to the employer straight away and you will get your award i.e. lack of time management skill on your first day. I actually arrived an hour early which means employer was impressed straight away and I always try to get to work 10 minutes early. Also, when you are on your lunch break make sure you come back on time. It doesn't matter if you went late but if you come back late then it will be noticed.
2: Dress appropriately... at least on your first day.
3: Always offer to help others if you are not doing anything and be respectful of people around the workplace even if it is a cleaner. You should talk very politely as you are being watched every second and every minute. You should treat everyone the same way as you would like to be treated.
4: Smile. Having a smile on your face at your workplace makes you approachable. I am sometimes a bit shy so keeping a smile when I greet my colleagues gives an indication that I am not ignoring them.
5: Try to build a rapport with your manager. It will allow you to get to know each other. It will be useful when they are writing references for you. Also, be sensible when talking to them. Make sure you are using appropriate language even if the manager is very informal. Try not to cross the line.
Now, let's have a look at what you shouldn't be doing at workplace:
1: Eating all day. Well, in some organisation you might be allowed to have a tea or coffee break but that doesn't mean you should be eating all the time. It can be disturbing to others and quite annoying when they are trying to talk to you and you have a mouthful of food.
2: Not listening to your colleagues, and more importantly to your manager. If you need help from your manager then ask them very politely and listen to their advice. Never start saying 'I already know this' or 'I knew it but couldn't get it right'!!! Be a good listener or else they will refuse to help you next time.
3: Assume you know everything. Well, clearly you don't know everything hence you are doing the placement so always take permission from your boss before doing anything. This could also include going for your lunch and you don't just walk away. At least let them know.
4: Waste your time talking to your work colleagues: This is something I have noticed that most of the employees do at work without realizing that they are wasting their time and instead of talking they can use that time to learn something new.
Sometimes we don't realize that no matter how small the mistake is there will be someone that will notice it and it can have a negative impact on our lives. So be careful when you start your placement. Be yourself and try to learn as much as you can.
This month I want to talk about money as it's something I have to think about a lot because I'm rubbish at sticking to a budget! With Christmas fast approaching, gifts to buy for loved ones and the busy festive season in full swing I'm struggling to pinch the pennies and seem to be living quite far beyond my means. I love Christmas so it's really hard for me to not go too crazy and end up spending all my money in one go.
There are so many festive things to do in Kingston and the London area; the Kingston Christmas market, shopping in the Bentall's Centre, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, ice skating at Hampton Court Palace and much more! One way to help me fund this expensive lifestyle was to get another job as well being a student ambassador. There are loads of opportunities for employment in Kingston at the moment because shops, bars and restaurants are taking on extra staff over the Christmas period so check out the JobShop found on the KU website for an updated list of local jobs that are suitable for students. I managed to bag myself a shop job, I've found it really hard balancing my time between working shifts and all the looming deadlines I have this December so I've had to be super organised and work at times when I'd usually be chilling out. The upside is that I can party ‘till my heart's content and go Christmas shopping without worrying too much about the cost.
However, I am always looking out for a great deal or offer to take advantage of to make my hard earned cash go even further! I check sites such as Groupon daily and even get emails about their offers. I've found discounts of up to 50% at high street stores and purchased discount tickets to shows in London from the site so it's good inspiration if you're stuck for gift ideas.
As well as being a really fun time of year Christmas can be really stressful too as it's the final stretch before the second loan instalment comes in so if you're budgeting hasn't gone to plan, or like me you haven't budgeted at all, then you'll definitely be feeling it but try not to let it get you down and just enjoy yourself. After all, Christmas is about spending time with people you care about.
That's all from me ‘till the New Year so MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
During my first year I didn't really do Fresher's Week properly. I managed the Fresher's Ball (which is always great fun), and a quick whizz around the sports and societies at the Fresher's fair, but I didn't really follow through on anything that I signed up for. I was too busy to do societies and too nervous to do sports.
If there was one thing that I really regretted not doing, it was certainly a sport. In my opinion students who do a sport have a far more enriching time at university, whether you take it seriously or do it just for fun and social. You social network at university will stretch far and wide across courses and campuses. And of course you will be a lot healthier and fitter.
At the start of my second year I banished my nerves and tried out as many free sports club taster sessions as I could around my timetable during the first week of the semester. I managed to do two sessions of netball, a few hours long each, a two hour session of ballet and two hour cheerleading session. Cheerleading by far was my favourite! I'm really glad I overcame my anxiety to find out how much fun sports at university are. However Kingston University offers extracurricular like an all you can eat buffet, the only problem is that you'll only have room for so much. And that was my problem; I had to choose between cheerleading and doing a free language course in mandarin. In the end I chose to go along with the Kingston Language Scheme. Sometimes you have to know your limits as to how much you can take on and prioritise.
If there was one aspect of Fresher's week that I definitely wanted to repeat, it was the Fresher's Ball! That final night of Fresher's week where you can dress up and enjoy yourself without having to think about an assignment or set reading, because the following Monday is when the hard work begins.