Have you tried Pinterest for your job research? It’s not just for girls!

Just a blog entry with some tips:

Being the annoyingly keen little intern I am, I have been swatting away on employability and careers related things for Management School students. On a day when I don’t have much on I spend some of my time researching social media as a tool for recruiting and to be recruited. I have a Scoop.it board  (http://www.scoop.it/t/careers-and-employability-esea) and a pinterest board (http://pinterest.com/eemaa27/employability/) as well as the facebook and twitter pages. 

I use Hootsuite to manage the Facebook and Twitter pages but you can also use Hootsuite to conduct a job search for you (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFOVTE7RtEw – make your search tip the geographical area you are interesting in finding jobs in e.g. Southampton, UK)   

Pinterest has some really helpful boards with infographics about employability and careers. Some of it comes from the USA and refers to resumes as opposed to CVs but it is all really helpful stuff! This is a link to job search infographics http://pinterest.com/tfsullivan/job-search-infographics/ its a more interesting means of looking at what you will be faced with come graduation. 

I hope you’ve found some of these things helpful 



Recording hate crimes against groups such as goths and punks.

Totally not about my internship but:

Just a quick blog to acknowledge the move to record hate crimes against groups such as moshers, goths, punks and metallers. This has come about 6 years after a girl was killed when attacked by people because she was a goth. She was in the park with her partner and some other people and some people decided to act out because she was different. I found this story to be incredibly sad. I was just growing out of the phase of dressing in dark clothing, listening to rock/metal and being mad or sad at the world in 2007 but I know what it is like to have been shouted at and made fun of for dressing differently. There were a couple of minor instances where people lashed out at me as well (not that I didn’t fight them off). This is nothing in comparison to being killed for looking different but I am glad to see there is SOME action being taken to tackle this issue.

Lifetsyle and dress codes are a choice and in a society where we are free in our ability to express ourselves why shouldn’t we? I find it bizarre that there are people who take it upon themselves to abuse people either verbally or physically because they stand out from a crowd. BBC news acknowledged that some people are scared to come forward and speak out against these idiots who have nothing better to do with their time than be violent and ugly towards people they don’t understand. And I think this points to a lack of trust in the police from the victims and a lack of respect for the police from the perpetrators. The people who do these things see little or no consequence for their actions so what is the point in reporting it? I think the problem is also different for different people, for example some people wouldn’t dream of starting on a punk or metal head because they look scary whereas moshers or emo kids might “attract trouble” because they just look like moody teenagers. Just like there  is a difference (duh!) between inciting hate by shouting abuse at someone and kicking someone to a pulp in senseless violence.

I know the entire goth/mosher/rocker/metaller community will probably disagree with me but I somehow knew that I would grow out of the phase I went through. When I went into the world of University and being an adult social groups and subcultures no longer mattered among people who are thrown into a melting pot. Some people still cling onto the “metal head” identity and will carry the whole image with them most of their lives, but I think I just stopped being angry at the world and so got rid of the Slipknot hoody I lived in, didn’t put on quite as much eye liner and became more open minded about the music I listen to. Completely invite comment and debate on this.

Furthermore (to stick a spanner in the works) SLAYER!! And gutted!! My chemical romance broke up.


Feeling 22

Taylor Swift has bought this song out. About being 22 and feeling care free and having a good time with your friends. But I’m 22 and feel super old before my time and can’t remember the last time I stayed up all night and furthermore I wouldn’t see the point in doing that now even if I could. I feel strange for liking one of her songs and also because working in a Uni with people who will soon be leaving who have been in the bubble that is University and then they have to grow up, it’s sort of sad the feeling of being carefree, or seemingly carefree is so fleeting. I definitely felt like I had to be an adult as soon as I graduated! I think maybe people who are rich enough to have their parents support them won’t know this feeling yet. But it’s out there alright!

Along the same lines of “growing up” I know quite a lot of people who are getting married at the moment. Some are friends, some aren’t and they all have a range of reasons for doing it. For those who I don’t count as my friends, some seem to have got engaged and started to plan their weddings with the frame of mind that “now I am going to be married – that makes me an adult now” showing that there has been a change in the meaning and motives of marriage….maybe? 

See this link for the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=E-0oPrvMlNM

 To end on a lighter note I have noticed that she is putting two fingers up to the camera for pretty much the whole video. 

Unpaid internships&Job search

As I am embarking on my job search once again, I find myself filled with dread. I would like a full time, permanent job in the Southampton/ Hampshire area. Within education (non-teaching), HR or the third sector. These are a rarity. And when I do find something it is so way above my head, I just don’t have the experience to do it (woah is me, being so young) It’s funny, even though I read careers advice every day. I go along to careers events and career panels etc

Anyway, seeing as I am looking for work soon I find myself being drawn in by employment related news even more than I usually am. Unpaid internships are being debated in parliament  http://ow.ly/iklk4

I have seen a lot in the news recently about unpaid internships and how they shouldn’t be allowed. Being a paid intern I feel bad that some people are out there doing the work that I get paid to do. In a lovely fluffy world where money doesn’t exist I would do my job for free. But seeing as moving back home is not an option for me and I have to support myself then unpaid work is just not an option I have. I wonder where most of the unpaid work is, if it’s in London then you have no chance of being able to support yourself on no wage.

I wonder whether unpaid work is actually making people more reliant on partners, parents, loans etc. I have no idea how prominent this is but it would be interesting to know.

This article tells you all you need to know about whether or not unpaid internships are worth it: http://ow.ly/iklfz

Any unpaid workers out there! Let me know! Is it really all that bad?

“Yeah, but what do you DO?”

I know I don’t post that often, but I had to write about this.

“So what is it you actually do?”

This is a question I am used to hearing on a regular basis. I hear it from people I network with, from employers and from friends who want to know what the flip “Education and Student Experience Adviser” means. I avoid going over the particulars of my position not out of embarrassment for my job but for fear of boring the socks off someone who just came over to be nice. I could stand and talk about my job all day. I am shamelessly enthusiastic about it and  I am such a keen bean that being the loud person I am I could drone on and on at someone for ages. Unfortunately being short, succinct and to the point is not one of my strong points.

First of all my role is a mouthful. It’s easier saying “I work in Education and Student Experience”…or is it? A second of all I work in a situation where I can make my own projects.

For anyone interested I was originally tasked with running the Management School’s buddy scheme running from September to November. I had to assign over 200 new students to 20 buddies whose job it was to create an additional network of support for the students, be that pastoral or academic. Imagine the admin that involved because I shant bore you with it.

I have been able to make my own projects to busy myself with. Ranging from work with schools, conducting focus groups, setting up meetings with people internally, setting up meetings with people externally (name drop : Deloitte) I analyse qualitative data, I collate data, I analyse spreadsheets (SO MANY PIE CHARTS), I summarise and report on a range of things going on around the University. The list goes on. I have my fingers in many pies.

Mainly I liaise with staff and students to determine initiatives that will help improve the Management School and help implement them wherever possible. Wow. So I can do it.

Social Networking; The good, the bad and the annoying

People seem to get annoyed when they see me on Facebook during my 9 to 5. So I’d like to clarify a couple of things;

1) Yes, I use Facebook and Twitter for work. Terrible I know but my job requires me to use it to communicate with students in an informal way.

2) I also use Hootsuite to schedule posts, so you may find from time to time there is post pinging up from me when in fact I am not at my desk or on my phone.

3)I use Social Networking sites to communicate with students as best I can and am admin, or help contribute, on a total of 2-4 Facebook groups each day. To maintain activity and membership I have to make regular and relative posts every day.

Up until very recently I was not utilising Hootsuite (http://hootsuite.com)  properly and so I was posting several things within an hour which drove people crazy. During this time I really was “on Facebook a lot”. I have now made it so that I can set things up to go out to students which helps them in their job searches while I am away from my desk (@SotonManEmploy on Twitter and http://www.facebook.com/groups/SotonMangEmployability/ on Facebook). I am not a careers adviser but I can research and provide advice with proper referencing  and can refer students to the people who can help them which, you know, they can take or leave.

I used to think when I was a student that Facebook was an excellent means of keeping in touch with people. Now in both a professional sense and a personal sense I have been able to appreciate it’s flaws or limitations. I am not about to now talk about the “evils” of Social Networking, neither am I going to address the idea that people get addicted to it. But I will talk about the fact that Facebook is both a convenience and an inconvenience.

First of all, communicating with and being able to help students effectively is a daunting task. Even though I studied here. I thought that,as I had once been, students were engaged and interested in what is going on in The University. Especially efforts to support them such as the buddy scheme for undergrads, the PG Peer advisers for the post grads and the recently launched employability resources available to them on Twitter and Facebook. I do not mean to tar them all with the same brush. There is a resounding feeling that it is very easy for people to click “like” or “follow” or “agree” or “attending” and then to be able to avoid engaging with the content and activities completely. It feels as though I am shouting, or rather typing, into an empty tunnel or cave. Like Gepetto standing at the edge of the whale’s mouth screaming “PINNOCHIO?!” a nicer analogy than banging ones head against a brick wall.

I don’t think this just applies to students but social networking and the nature of sharing information is intriguing. It astounds me that as a student and now working with them they don’t seem to want to help each other out. They have a common interest but seem to loath group work or any form of collaboration. Many taking the stance that their colleagues aren’t as clever or hardworking as them. Why?! They’re all in the same boat!

Finally, I want to talk about social networking and the nature of the 24/7 office. Now as I previously mentioned I use social media as part of my job but I do so when I am comfortable. Social media sites are now so accessible I don’t mind if a link pops up on my phone and I can pass it on to people. I’m happy to do that. But in some cases people who work for some companies (and I shall name no names) are expected to be constantly plugged in. To respond to customer or clients Facebook messages or tweets. With the whole team being logged in and the first member to see the post to respond. This means people can never switch off. And should therefore not be allowed. Unless they like it.

International Students and Integration

First of all I want to give a little context to this post. I graduated from the University of Southampton in 2011 with a degree in Sociology. I am now working in the Management School as an Education and Student experience adviser  I am passionate about education quality and deliverance and have interests in politics. I work closely with students every day on a range of projects. I am currently assisting in the buddy scheme the School of Management is running where 20 “buddies” or mentors are looking after over 200 first year undergraduates. I also work with the Post Graduate peer advisors and so get a wide spread opinion of experiences that international students have. While running the buddy scheme the discussion of international students and integration has been mentioned to me as an area that needs addressing properly.

After speaking with students, buddies and reading some media resources online I have decided to make a blog post about this. I would love to get students reactions to this so please post comments below with your reactions either within the blog or on Facebook. Please tell me if my notions are ill-conceived, patronising, offensive or short sighted. Equally, if you think I am right in what I am saying and can think of ways to better the lives of international students within the University of Southampton– I would also love to hear from you! I want to know student’s opinions on this so don’t hold back! I do not claim to hold all knowledge on the ups and downs of life as an international student in Southampton.

International students make up a large percentage of the Management School’s population but their view-points are not always represented adequately and I have had both international and home students suggest means of tailoring for international students within the buddy scheme that is currently running. This is difficult to do without further separating international from home students.  A large part of this debate is difficult to discuss and separate the matter of race. This topic is sensitive and I do not write about it with the intention of insulting anyone.

Having spoken to students from a range of cultural backgrounds as a student, in my line of work and in social settings it has occurred to me that there may be a problem with the integration of International students with Muslim and Chinese students being particular examples mentioned to me. This is not due to the international student’s reluctance to meet people, it is mainly to do with societies, socials and the perception that British students just want to go out and drink alcohol.  Before I go any further I would like to add that I am not trying to paint British students in a negative light, and much of the evidence for this is purely anecdotal either from conversations I have had with students or that colleagues have relayed to me. There is an element of respect for British students from international students, for example some international students have said they think that British students are mature, independent and capable as they are able to study and maintain a part time job.

Equally home students have expressed their admiration for international students who come to the UK to study stating that they could never make such a brave leap to leave one’s home country in search of a bright future. This mutual respect does not seem to match the contention, frustration and negativity many students, both international and local, have experienced. Many induction sessions are aimed at integrating international students – I have attended some of them. They are informal, friendly and meant to ease you into life at the University. So how come things turn sour?

When looking at the variety of socials and the prevalence of alcoholic socials I have observed that most events made available by one of the societies are alcoholic and gain the most advertising and therefore eminence. This is not the case for all management related societies, as many of them try to maintain a business like appearance and hold career events. I believe while alcoholic events may appeal to the vast majority of home students, there is little thought towards the fact that by having an alcoholic event or even having an event somewhere where they sell alcohol, some students from other countries may not even want to set foot in the venue. Societies effectively cut themselves off from a large cohort of students who want to meet people from England and other countries. There seems to be Miss-matched expectations of social interaction.

This is however, not completely the fault of the societies. There are few communal areas on campus which do not have either a bar attached to them or they are used primarily for academic events (thus making them unavailable out of hours). It is difficult to see how this could be improved without significant investment on the University which is already spending vast amount of money on building improvements.

It is interesting also to note that many events that are intended for integration, language development etc. are run by the Christian society (Christian Union) . This means that many students from other cultures may feel reluctant when attending. Although these events may have the best of intentions and be completely innocent in nature, having the religious attachment means that some people call into question whether they will meet people there who want to “convert” them.

There has also been some anecdotal evidence, all be in from post graduates I have spoken to, that British students they come into contact with have expressed their distaste at communicating with some international students because they “do not want genuine friendship, they only want to improve their English”. This is a disappointing attitude for British students to have and one I hope is uncommon. I would be interested in conducting focus groups to find out how widespread that opinion is.