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The End of a Term and Year

It’s comforting to end the first term on a high, with coursework done early and feeling like you’ve understood most of what you’ve done so far in the year. Making just the smallest start on a piece of work long before the deadline helps massively I’ve found – later down the line, when considering what work you want to do you can refer back to what you’ve done and have a better idea of what needed to be added on, additional plans and content.

Something that’s been on my mind is to venture beyond my own subject area, for Computing learning a new programming language outside of my studies would be fun, a good use of time and look good on a CV, however many businesses consider applicants for multiple divisions (HR, Tech, Finance) and showing that you’ve decided to do something outside your ‘area of expertise’. Writing (for example, blogs) or really any type of volunteering would be looked favourably upon employers as being well-rounded and a mixture of skills.

If you have the opportunity to, I’d advise everyone to visit a convention/exhibition at some point, if you’re into gaming/anime/comics there’s multiple Comic Cons throughout the year as well as other conventions catering to specific interests. You could also meet famous people/groups you’ve watched/listened to, when I visited MCM Comic Con in London last October I had a great time and met many awesome people.

There’s been some great movies in the past few months, Doctor Strange was another great Marvel origins story, and a return to the Harry Potter Universe with Fantastic Beasts, of course it’s entirely subjective, with some people disliking Hollywood’s big budget films, that said, there’s plenty of independent film-makers creating some quality productions.

Regarding budgeting I think one of the biggest factors in people planning poorly is that if you don’t budget before the time period (e.g. start of term) then you usually slip into some bad buying habits you can’t keep up through the term. With myself, I find having a rough idea of bank balances, rent and expenses I’m going to encounter in the year… making sure I can be stable financially. There’s rarely any need for specialist budgeting software/tools and if you do decide to use something such as MS Excel be mindful of security with bank details and your own account.

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A Very Merry Christmas

Hello and merry Christmas to everyone.

Most students are now back at home with their families engaging in the festivities. Below is my, not amazing, attempt at a gingerbread house. (If you look closely you can see that the back wall has fallen down!)

Christmas is my favourite time of the year; relaxing, snuggling up with a movie, and hot chocolate with marshmallows. There are assignments that I need to complete before returning to university in January, but for a few days it’s nothing but good food and good company. (University isn’t all about studying.)

Wherever you are, whatever you’re up to, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope you have a good one.

All the best,

Felicity

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Personal Statements and such …

Hello all,

These last few weeks have been a whirlwind, crazy, non-stop, action packed blur.

The difference between being a second year student compared to last year is becoming apparent, but in a positive way. We are starting to have more lectures on reflection on one’s self and one’s ability. For me this has never been a problem, as I tend to over-think everything. However, these sessions have helped me to do this in a healthy way. Plus, we have been assigned an online portfolio to create. We also did this last year, but it isn’t until now that I really understood why.

As a future health care professional CPD (continuing professional development) will be an ongoing process for the rest of my career. Just as many people are slaving away over their personal statements at the moment, I am creating a portfolio of my achievements online.

It is always difficult to sell yourself without sounding manufactured. “I am a team player”, “I am caring”, we’ve all written it on job applications or personal statements (guilty!). But what do we have to show for this?

What I have taken away from these lectures, and is my top tip anyone in the position of personal statement  writing, or portfolio creating, is back it up with evidence. How are you caring? Give examples. Have you done voluntary work? Were you a mentor for younger students at school? Once you dig deep you may realise that you’ve done so much more than you first thought.

It is a really positive feeling to reflect on your achievements. It makes selling yourself much easier when you’ve sold yourself to yourself!

I wish everyone applying for uni / jobs / anything the best of luck.

Felicity

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