Hi everyone! It's really nice to be back and to be able to share what I've been up to since graduation. This blog will concentrate on my new working life and how Kingston helped get me there. Hope it's useful and interesting...
First here's a little background information: I have just started a 'Higher Education Graduate Trainee' scheme called Ambitious Futures - so yes my job title is very long! This involves me carrying out three five month placements in two institutions. My first placement is back where it all began- Kingston! At the moment, I'm working on a number of different projects for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Penrhyn Road. It's all very exciting and new and I am learning a lot about what goes on behind the scenes at a university - trust me, it's more than you think! It's also really lovely to be back here as I loved uni and Kingston itself. The familiar environment was definitely helpful those first couple of weeks when I was settling in.
So how did Kingston help me get my graduate job I hear you ask?
Summer Boot camp session
After I finished my exams in May, I attended a summer graduate 'boot camp'. This was a one day course that covered everything you need to perfect for the graduate job market: CVs, cover letters & interview skills. I also had the chance to practise what I had learnt in mock interviews and presentations. The feedback I got was both encouraging and really useful for when it came to the real thing. It was actually a really fun day too and I got to meet new people who were in the same position as me. It was great to be able to share stories (and horror stories) about the graduate job search so far- highly recommend!
CV and LinkedIn workshops
There were always regular workshops at Kingston Hill for CVs and cover letters. I used the service a quite a few times to check the layout and grammar of my CV. The tips I got were only minor, but in today's competitive market, this could make all the difference.
KU Law Society
Having the chance to be a committee member of a society really improved my 'soft skills' of team work, effective communication, problem solving and planning. Above all it was a lot of fun and really made me feel part of the Law School and University community.
Last but not least is the amazing Ambassador Scheme! It was actually one of my previous managers that suggested I apply for my current job. She also really helped me with my application- for which I will be eternally grateful :) The scheme gave me the confidence to work and deal with a variety of people and improved my public speaking skills no end. In fact, the information I learnt throughout my time as an Ambassador still helps me now and I'm able to answer a lot of questions in my current job that I wouldn't have been able to without my previous experience.
To end, I'd like to say that although the job market is scary and extremely daunting there is help at hand. All you have to do is search for opportunities and make the most of the options given to you.
Well the time has officially come...I'm a Kingston University Law LLB graduate (2.1 :D)!
Those of you that follow my blogs will know that I was slightly dreading finishing uni and entering the ‘real world'. However, after a good few months celebrating with friends and reminiscing our times here, we decided that there are plenty more fun and exciting adventures ahead.
So... at the moment, my current employment status is FUNemployed (i.e. having fun but trying to find a job at the same time!) I know that I would like to further my studies later on in life by doing a Masters, but want to work this year to save money and gain that all-important experience.
In terms of traveling (which again, if you follow my blogs, you know I love) I've been on a girly holiday with my best friends from uni to Barcelona and am going to Alicante in August. I also experienced my first festival in Newquay at this year's Beach Break. We cheated a little bit, as we stayed in a caravan (being in a tent is just not my thing!) but it was fun to listen to new bands and meet new people.
We've also had Student Ambassador Events, such as the Awards Night and Dragon Boat race. Both were really fun and a great way to mark my amazing time as a Student Ambassador here. I've experienced and learnt so much from the scheme and would encourage anyone to join it! I was lucky enough to win an award for ‘Best Role Model', which I was so happy about. I'll definitely miss all my work colleagues and the fun we had working at different events together.
Finally, I had a touristy day in London and took some great pics (some of which I've shared on here). It was so nice to be able to appreciate these beautiful parts of our capital city which you wouldn't normally visit. I kept laughing at how much of a tourist I was being, when I've lived near London my whole life! Just goes to show how there are always great things to see and do here.
That's all from me for now! I'll be sure to keep you guys up to date with my life after uni. For now, I'll be visiting Kingston occasionally to work and see friends, before the big day of my graduation in November (and yes I've already bought the dress for it!) Bye for now...
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!
Course: LLB Law
Level: Alumni 2013
Other information: I came to University straight from school. I am a member of the Law society. I am part of the Kingston University Student Ambassador scheme.I chose Kingston because... The Law School has a very good reputation, with good facilities and the opportunity to study abroad as part of your degree. I also loved the location and Kingston town centre itself, as there's so much to do! I have got to where I am now.... I worked hard during my A-Levels to get the best grades possible, so I...