It's done, second year of university is officially finished - all exams are finished and all assignments are handed in and it's time to enjoy the sun! Well, if there was any... currently Kingston is rather grey and wet. However I have three weeks of China to look forward to in August, so I can't really complain.
It seems so long ago since I was in my house in Germany, packing to go to Kingston university. I can remember I was excited, slightly nervous, and also a bit sad to leave behind my "school era", as although it was packed with work and many subjects I wasn't too keen about, it was also a time I met a lot of amazing friends. If you're getting ready to come to university and you feel the same way, let me offer some advice and reassurance.
Besides figuring out what to take (anything from a laptop to dishes) if you're moving into halls or accommodation away from home, you might be wondering which new challenges student life will throw at you. I often get asked by prospective students about dealing with workload.
Firstly, don't panic. Yes, the first year of university can be a step up in terms of workload. Naturally it depends on which subject you're going to study, but I assure you, you won't be awake each night frantically typing up assessments. There are always some students who complain about work "killing them" (I'm guilty from time to time) but in all honesty, that's down to bad time management (unless you're in third year, then you're allowed to complain). The university knows you're only human and trust me, they won't give you anything you can't finish in time or understand once you get your head around it. I did the International Baccalaureate and I found first year comparatively easy. So typically, if you plan your time correctly and don't leave things to the last minute, you should be fine. However if you're having a problem understanding the assignment or there is another reason why you think you won't be able to make a deadline or do as well as you want, don't hesitate to talk to your tutor. That's what they're there for! It is possible at university to ask for extensions if you have a good reason (no, being hungover doesn't count) and you have the feeling you won't be able to make it in time. Just make sure to get help from your professor, fellow students or services at the LRC if you feel unsure about how to handle assignments. Assistance is always available, you just need to ask for it! There is no need to be ashamed, university is a learning process. You're expected to try your best and put effort into what you're studying (after all, you chose your course and you're paying quite a bit for it) but no one will require you to be perfect.
Take care, if you have any questions, drop me a line!
In the last month, I've been starting to looking into my placement year. I have been wondering whether I wanted to do a one or pursue other things. However, I decided it can't hurt to look at what is available.
It's been hard to find one which really interests me as they all involve Information Technology or Finance, both of which I do not particularly enjoy studying! I think even though you can't be too picky when choosing a placement because they aren't really easy to come by, it's still important that you get one you're excited about because after all you will be there for most of the year. Also if you really enjoy it and the company likes you, it's not uncommon for you to get a job with the firm after your degree.
I have considered not doing a placement year and taking a year after University to work/ find an internship myself through my family as in someways I just want to do a three year degree and not return after having a year away from it. My Auntie in Australia said it would be possible to work out in Brisbane at her firm for a while before University so it has crossed my mind whether to see if the offer is still available. I really like Australia and think I'd really enjoy being out there.. however it would be half way around the world so would be a big move leaving home!
Even though it is banged into our heads how good placement years are, I often think you will have forgotten some material which could be important for your final year. There are probably pros and cons to both sides, so take time to think about what option would best suit you!
Now that I have officially finished all my exams (eek!) I'm having some 'down time' and casually (and I mean very casually) applying for jobs. For those of you that don't know, LinkedIn is becoming an increasingly popular way to get in contact with employers and network. Have a look at the following to see if it could be useful for you in the future...
1. Create a comprehensive profile. Make it visible to everyone. You are making no personal revelations here, only providing information that is available on your resume. You have already sent those out by the hundreds, haven't you?
2. Invite your college professors to connect and join your network. Not all of your professors are on Linkedin, but some undoubtedly are. Most professors will be eager for the chance to stay connected with you after graduation.
3. Ask your professors to write a Linkedin recommendation for you. The value of a positive recommendation should be obvious.
4. Invite your fellow students to connect and join your network. They are your friends now, and can be your friends for a long time if you nurture the relationship. More than friends, they form the core of your professional network. Years after college, they can be helpful with business referrals and help in locating new positions.
5. Make Linkedin the home page on your browser. Viewing your network activity makes you aware of what people in your network are doing. You should check it every day.
6. Update your profile URL to your name, if possible Put this URL on your resume and business cards. If you have a blog, add a link to your Linkedin profile.
7. Join Linkedin discussion groups related to your major and your school. Every college's business school should have its own group. Occasionally post a question or an update.
8. Always remember that Linkedin is not Facebook. You should not post personal photos, nor engage in unprofessional conversations. Remember, no one wants to know what you ate for breakfast, or what you did on Saturday night. They are interested if you are looking for a new position, recently found a new one, or acquired an important competency. Business people are busy, and will disconnect you if you send out too many or too frivolous status updates.
9. Include a professional photograph (i.e., business suit).
10. Always keep your e-mail and phone number current. Remember to change these after graduation.
11. Send a personal note to anyone joining your network. Saying thank you has never gone out of style.
You can create your own LinkedIn profile here -> http://uk.linkedin.com/ and make sure you connect with the Kingston Uni Linkedin profile!
Christmas in Kingston
Uploaded 22 Nov 2013
Keeping organised at Uni
Uploaded 22 Nov 2013
Finding private accommodation and university support.
Uploaded 21 Oct 2013