Work, work, work, work, work

HAVING A JOB AT UNIVERSITY

  1. Each situation is different:
  • Getting a job works differently for everyone, but I found that having a permanent University job wasn’t for me. During my first year of University, I felt quite home sick, and the idea of having contracted hours during term, that could potentially prevent me from coming home as often, put me off. I also didn’t ‘need’ the job to survive at University, so I decided to focus on getting used to University, before getting a job.
  1. People that do have Jobs Term-Time:
  • Many of my friends had term-time jobs and absolutely loved it. Some situations rely on having a job to finance, some people need the extra little bit to make finances easier and others just like the structure of work and the extra money goes a long way.
  1. University Blogger:
  • Though I didn’t have a job during my first year, I did become a University of Warwick Blogger, which I shall be carrying on into my final year also. This meant I had to blog twice a month on the University Blogger Page, and I would receive £25.00 at the end of the month. This does not sound much, but it really helped me. Plus it looks good on a CV and is relevant to my future career.
  1. Having a Job out of University Terms:
  • This is something I highly recommend. During University, people go on so many awesome trips, but this requires £££.
  • Temporary Work: you can pick up seasonal work at Christmas, Easter and Summer, relatively easy. Places such as retail are often looking for temporary workers. Plus, once you’ve worked for them once, and hopefully made a good impression, they often ask for you back next time you’re between University terms.
  • When you can’t find a retail job: this happened to me last year, where I couldn’t find a job and I started to panic. But don’t.
  • Total Jobs: I used this to get the newest updates on jobs. A few examples of what pops up here are: hairdresser assistant, nursery assistant, administration based jobs, receptionists- different from retail, but none the less well paying and frequent work!
  1. Bonuses of having a Job:
  • The obvious thing is MONEY.
  • But putting that aside, employers love CV’s with jobs on, whether that during University or out of term, or even just summer. It shows commitment, work ethic, organisation and the capability of juggling a busy schedule.
  1. Suggestions: there are so many jobs students can apply for during University:
  • On campus: restaurants, coffee shops, admin, cleaning and tour guides.
  • At Warwick University we have the Welcome to Warwick Scheme, these are the people that wear bright yellow tops, carry out the tours, answer prospective student questions and show you what the University is all about. They work about 3 times a year and get paid over £10 an hour.

wws

  • Department representative: there are so many opportunities within the departments. You can be a researcher, an assistant, a representative and a blogger.
  • Blogging: I am not sure whether Blogging is more specific to Warwick University, but it is such a good opportunity. There are places such as Campus Society that offer platforms for students to share their blogs. Though you don’t get paid, there are excellent rewards offered, such as vouchers. If you want to give blogging a go, Campus is an excellent place to start.

 

My Article Got Published in a Magazine!

About a month ago, I entered a competition to have my work published in a Warwick University Law Magazine: Obiter Dicta, in their lifestyle section: ‘Chill Zone’. It has now been published in the Winter Edition and I will have more opportunities to publish my work. I am pretty excited! Here is my work 🙂

University Realities – What you weren’t told about before coming to Warwick

University life isn’t always what we expect it to be, and some things can only be learned by experiencing them first-hand. Here a few Warwick uni experiences to be warned about for unsuspecting freshers and tips to help you make the most of your time in the Bubble.

‘Adult-ing isn’t easy’

One of my favourite quotes is that being at ‘University is like losing your Mum in a supermarket for three years’- and this is so true. It’s undeniable that University is one of the biggest learning curves. Before I started at Warwick, I knew nothing about bills, washing machines or even how expensive it is to buy fruit. But it’s certainly a giggle figuring these things out- once you’ve put a red sock in the white wash, you probably won’t do it again. But hey, pink is the new white. Likewise, with the buses you only put a ten pound note into the money-sucker once before realising they don’t give change.

‘Who took my milk?’

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to set up hidden cameras in University kitchens, I really do think it would be like Big Brother. Living with a group of people, from a range of backgrounds, with a variety of personalities, can be unbelievably fun, but equally challenging. Being a student is very much like being a detective- who took my milk? Who left the kitchen unlocked? Who’s that sleeping on our kitchen table?

‘I like going home and picking up a tea towel, knowing I won’t catch a disease’

One of my top tips to any Fresher is to befriend the cleaner. Nagging your flat to keep the kitchen tidy, in fear of a fine, is the bane of any Fresher’s life. Last year I had a friend over to visit, had just cooked a typical University meal (probably potato waffles) and was starting the washing up. After a few weeks at University you adapt to the environment, for example you never lean on a kitchen surface, unless you, personally, have cleaned it. Less than 5 minutes prior. My friend, with good intentions of course, picked up a random tea towel from the side and started drying my plates. I don’t like to think what was being smeared over my undeserving tableware. Another University hack is never to venture out your room without some form of shoe or slipper- it’s not worth the risk.

‘Student Union + Sticky Floors = Trainers’

In my first year I went shopping for the perfect Freshers outfits and the best shoes. By term two, I was wearing trainers to go clubbing. The Copper Rooms are perfect for singing to cheesy music, being dragged into mosh pits, making friends in toilets and ultimately getting your footwear covered in some sort of sticky substance that eternally swamps the floor. In a way, it’s a beautiful thing- no need to worry about blisters from 5 inch heels, people jumping on your feet is blooming irritating, but not excruciating, plus there is no need to take your shoes off on the walk home.

‘University Food Favourites’

Cooking for one is pretty limiting and, having come to University with several Cook Books I hoped to use, it is quite easy to fall into eating unhealthy and convenient foods. During my first year, I found a few ways to make maintaining a healthy lifestyle easier. One thing that surprised me was the expense of fruit and vegetables, which is an immediate deterrent to eating healthier- but persevere, there are ways around this!

Firstly, I found that cooking a decent meal for one is difficult and time consuming when you have deadlines and general university pressures. I found that making food in bulk is a good idea, which means you need loads of Tupperware. Examples of foods to make in bulk include; spaghetti, chilli con carne and breakfast muffins. Breakfast muffins are a particular favourite of mine, once they have all cooled out of the oven, put them into plastic bags individually and put them in the freezer. Then, when you are rushing to get out the door, put one in the microwave for a minute and eat it on the go. Top tip- careful, berries can explode if they’re microwaved for too long!

Secondly, after a long day, I just want to eat. I’m not fussed with faffing around. So I love the weight watchers meals, they take a maximum of 8 minutes in the microwave and are truly delicious. There are lots of variations such as; Thai green curry, sweet and sour with rice, risotto, carbonara, tikka masala and salmon with potato wedges.

I have never been a breakfast-lover, and at University, there is so much temptation to skip the meal, but it really isn’t worth the embarrassment of a tummy rumble in a lecture theatre. So, I make sure I buy the pots of fruit from the Supermarket, often there is an offer and they are so convenient to make porridge or Weetabix that bit more exciting. Likewise, I had never tried avocado either. Now, I would have half an avocado on toast for breakfast every day if I could. I even have them as a snack (they’re even better with Nandos piri-piri salt on top). It is just about what is best for you and your diet.

Finally, I absolutely love the phone app Life Sum: I never particularly liked calorie counting but nothing was working and it is hard to keep up a diet when you’re at University and on a budget. With this, I try to avoid lactose and gluten, which makes the diets even more difficult to follow. So LifeSum really does make me feel more in control of my diet, and is really flexible with the foods I can and can’t eat- I eat what suits me, unlike strict diets that give you recipes for each day. I don’t feel like I am constantly thinking about what I am eating, but I feel like I have a plan that is sustainable.

The Worst Interview

I have been getting pretty desperate for a job recently and so signed up to indeed.com after a friend recommended it. Considering I had been applying to the typical retail and restaurant jobs, the website gave me loads more options in my area, and they all sounded way more exciting.

So I applied mainly to nurseries and a few hospital positions. I liked the sound of them as they were constantly with people and were temporary contracts, most employers don’t like the University students as they often can’t drop down to 8 hours after the summer.

When I got the response for a job as a Ward Host at the local hospital I was really pleased. I don’t actually need the money, I’m pretty lucky in that I don’t pay rent or really have any responsibilities but I have been counting my pennies and would love to have a few nice pieces of clothing for my holiday coming up.

I got to the Hospital for my interview and managed to navigate my way to the office. From there I was taken to another room to have an interview.

Now, this really bugs me, some job applications require the submission of CV’s, but not always in the shop, sometimes online.

Bugbear 1: why can’t it be a universal thing- we either do applications totally online, or keep handing them to managers. Because I print out loads and people never want them.

Bugbear 2: if you ask me to send over my CV at least read it. So I’m sat in the office and she asks me what college I attend, then the minute I said I was at University her entire approach the interview changed. I even filled out a form online for the job- stating what University I attended, the term times and the Degree I was doing.

But, if I’m honest- as a crazy sensitive person- this didn’t frustrate me the most. Her interview technique was horrendous, she was so rude. I knew my face was bright red and I could feel my eyes filling up. Which actually frustrates me more, I always feel people like that get kicks out of knowing they’ve got to you.

The irony being, of all the jobs I applied for, that’s the first I got an offer for!

I declined.