Journalism work experience thanks to the BKEW bursary

As my MA Journalism degree requires us to study a number of modules involving law, our trip to the House of Commons and the Supreme Court proved to be an insightful experience. Alongside being able to see the day to day and inner workings of the House of Commons, the tour helped to solidify knowledge of various laws and political workings by seeing how they work in practice. For example, seeing how the House of Commons is organised before Prime Minister’s Questions, and how it works in practice proved particularly insightful. Similarly, seeing the House of Lords and how they operate proved equally helpful in solidifying knowledge in how they work.

The visit to the Supreme Court was also very helpful, especially as we were able to sit in on an actual trial that we had recently been following in the news. Not only did it provide a first-hand account of how a Supreme Court case plays out, it also provided insight in what might be expected of a journalist who has been asked to cover a Supreme Court case. All in all it was a very interesting and beneficial day, which has only enhanced my knowledge of journalism law and what is expected of an actual journalist when reporting.

– Daniel Otway is studying for an MA Journalism at the University of Kent

The trip to the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court on our class trip to London was very helpful as it further aided my understanding of law. I have a law essay and a law exam coming up within the next couple of months so it gave me insight that I can then put into practice within these tests.

On the trip, we managed to sit in a case taking place at the Supreme Court and got first-hand experience of what happens in such a trial. The case has been well documented in the press and so I was already aware of proceedings going into the trial which made it easier for me to follow and gave me greater understanding of what I was witnessing.

The trip to Parliament was exceptionally interesting as it was somewhere I had never been before. The tour guide gave us a thorough history of the building as well as of the various Members who have sat there throughout the years. It was also very interesting to see the House of Lords in person and see where many life changing decisions have been made.

Overall, the trip helped my understanding of English law and furthered my education on the history of the law itself.

– Grace Gausden is studying for an MA Journalism at the University of Kent

Have you found some unpaid work experience? You could be entitled to the BKEW bursary – apply today!

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Top tips for a great teacher training application from Ark Teacher Training

We often get asked ‘what makes a great teacher training application?’ While the experience and passion will have to come from you, we’ve come up with five simple tips to make sure you can avoid the easy mistakes and submit the best application you can. 

  1. Think carefully: Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers, but can also be incredibly challenging. We’re looking for people who are really sure this is what they want to do and know this is the right career for them, as well as being sure they support our mission. If you’re invited to an assessment day with us, you’ll need to be ready to talk about this clearly and passionately.
  2. Get some hands-on experience: The best way to prepare for a career working with young people is to gain experience of working with young people. Whether that’s securing some experience in your local Ark school, or coaching sport to young people in your community, it’s all useful experience which will help to strengthen your application.
  3. Do your homework:There are many ways to train as a teacher so we want to hear why you want to train with Ark Teacher Training in particular. As part of our recruitment process, we’re also looking for evidence that you understand Ark as an organisation and the context which we work in. We recommend taking a look through our website and watching this video to learn more about the work we do.
  4. Dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s:Read our eligibility criteria carefully to ensure you meet our requirements for the programme and be proactive in filling in any missing gaps, particularly if you completed your qualifications outside the UK. You’ll also need to complete a subject knowledge test if you pass our eligibility screening, so be sure to spend some time looking at the curriculum of your chosen subject.
  5. Practise and perfect:Alongside the subject knowledge test, you’ll complete a situational judgement assessment, which looks at how you’d react in different school situations. There are some sample questions for this on our website, which you can use to practise. We’d also recommend practising for your interview with us, if you’re invited to an assessment day, so you can answer our questions confidently.

Followed our tips and ready to submit your application? Apply  to Ark Teacher Training today and join us in transforming lives through education.

Work experience at a Solicitor’s Office

Having been fortunate enough to be offered a further legal work placement in a London law firm, the University of Kent Work Experience Bursary made it far more possible for me to take up the opportunity and commute in and out of the city. Living outside of London meant I had to look to means of transport in order to reach my place of work. The easiest and fastest being the train. The bursary allowed the train tickets to be far more affordable, as without the contribution from the scheme, it is unlikely that I would have been able to purchase the transport tickets for the 2 week period.

During my time at Darlingtons Solicitors I found myself completing work and tasks for a number of lawyers and partners in the firm over a variety of floors. I initially completed work regarding a probate matter, following this I had a meeting with the lawyer in order for me to explain and/or justify my findings and conclusions. Following on from this, I was taught by the conveyancing team and was given the opportunity to perform a completion, lease extension and a number of client letters. I was also given the responsibility of calling and emailing clients, other solicitors, estate agents and banks. Further to this, I carried out standard office admin tasks such as copying and scanning documents. I also worked within the litigation department, and the family matters team as I completed research for cases, prepared correspondence for court proceedings, and sat in on client meetings.

On a day to day basis I would arrive at the office at around 8.30am. I initially worked in the litigation area, then moved to conveyancing, and in my second week I moved back to litigation where I was stationed at a desk in the partner’s office. A usual day would comprise of being given a case, reading through the correspondence and document files, filing any addition documents, and then asking questions after the matter having been summarised to me. Following this, I would usually be given 3 or 4 tasks to complete for the matter, some with deadlines. I would work at these tasks as independently as possible and would carry on with them after lunch should I still be unsure of any issues. It was common that after lunch I would have another talk with a lawyer about what I had found or completed so far, I would potentially be given more guidance at this point or slightly different instructions. I aimed to complete all tasks within the working day, but some took a number of days to finalise. I would tend to leave the office at 5pm, at times 6pm if I had pressing work that needed to be completed before 8am. I would then commute back home.

I found this experience to be extremely genuine and an accurate and fair reflection of what life is like working in a small to mid-size law firm. I was given tasks that suited my ability, some of which were easier than others but I was always intellectually stimulated, sometimes returning home after work to continue researching matters. This work experience has therefore not only improved my legal skills and employability but has given me a real insight as to what I can expect working life to be like.

 

The most beneficial aspect of this experience has been the future career prospects that have arisen. Whilst undertaking my work experience, I was encouraged to apply for a training contract within the firm. I did so and within a few days was informed that my application had been shortlisted and I was to be interviewed with the idea of beginning my training contract in 2 years’ time after having completed the LPC. I was thrilled at the news and have yet to be interviewed but am currently preparing for it and am hopeful. Regardless of whether I am selected for one of the 3 available contracts, the process has provided me with further practical experience of legal interviews and applications that will undoubtedly be useful in the future.

 

 

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The office dog!

Had it not been for the Kent Bursary Scheme, the opportunities that have been a direct result of my work in the firm would not have presented themselves. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the firm and have learned a great deal about a number of areas of law, further aiding me in deciding which field to later specialise in.

– ALEXANDRA LIMA 3RD YEAR LLB LAW STUDENT

 

HOW STUDENTS CAN ACHIEVE MARKETING SUCCESS

Launching and growing a business can feel like a huge achievement, but graduates can still face an uphill struggle on the road to success.

Even the most successful founders have a tough time tackling managing a business when it comes to marketing strategies.

To help you tackle these challenges, Plusnet have partnered with Startups.co.uk to bring together some of the UK’s most exciting start-up founders at a round table discussion, where they offered students their tips to help sales and raise brand awareness.

The roundtable was held as part of our new Plusnet Pioneers campaign enlisting some of the UK’s top entrepreneurial talent to create helpful tips small business grow in competitive industries such as retail.

Read on for their dos and don’ts for marketing and funding, as well as advice on how to keep momentum up when the going gets tough.

Dos and don’ts for marketing success

  • DON’T expect your marketing efforts to bear fruit straight away
  • DO have a focused marketing strategy from the start
  • DO prioritise social media and make it a priority to your business
  • DO put the customer first in your marketing strategy
  • DON’T rush to get your product or service to market

DON’T expect your marketing efforts to bear fruit straight away

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Cathy White: founder of CEW Communications

CEW Communications is a PR and communications firm which works with growing tech and digital start-ups such as Blooming Founders and Gift Wink. Launched earlier this year, the start-up has grown without investment to date.

“A number of companies come to me and talk about a need for PR and needing the press to get their name out, but actually when you ask them what they’re doing with social, no one necessarily has an idea about what their strategy should be.

“Social media is generally considered low hanging fruit and low-priority, but it should be one of the higher priority marketing channels.

“Whoever takes care of your social media should have a really good idea of what they’re doing across each social media channel and have an idea of why they’re doing it. If you just fawn social media responsibilities off to an intern you’re never really going to see what that social channel can do.”

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Riya Grover, co-founder of Feedr

Feedr is an online marketplace that enables Londoners to order artisan food for delivery to their home or office. Launched in January 2016, the company now works with over 100 vendors and has raised significant funding from high-profile investors such as Wonga founder Errol Damelin.

“We’re a marketplace, so we’re placing other people’s products. And a big consideration for us is how we get out own brand presence on the site. We can wrap things physically, we can get labels, but actually what’s very effective is trying to use social media for people who are engaging with products on both sites to engage with us.

“Another realisation I’ve had is just how much content you have to do as a business for social media. There’s just so much to put out, whether it’s marketing campaigns or blog posts or website copy that needs working on – it’s something that we hired for much earlier than I would have anticipated.”

Welcome to the theatre

This work experience bursary not only gave me an insight into the career path I want to take, but also allowed me to spend 3 weeks with the fantastic theatre company, that is Fingersmiths. This theatre company creates unique, bold and incredible pieces of theatre, connecting with audiences through multi-layered approaches to language and physical expression, with the aim to attract new Deaf practitioners, audiences and participators.

Throughout my time, I was luckily enough to work with some incredibly talented actors and director’s who all have experience in theatre, TV and film. I was able to gain an insight into how the theatre company works when rehearsing for their seasonal shows, picking up on some British Sign Language, which enabled me to communicate with the deaf actors, which was a personal goal of mine. I was given the opportunity to shadow both the Company Stage Manager, in which I gained knowledge into all the ‘behind the scene’ preparation that was needed for the show, and the Director, acknowledging what rehearsal styles and techniques were used in order to create a captivating and unique performance.

This internship has now enabled me to come away from Fingersmith’s and given me the passion to research into the accessibility within theatres and find ways of how we can all make ‘theatre for the masses’ and without this bursary none of this would have been possible. This internship has opened my eyes to a new type of theatre, I only vaguely knew about, and this theatre has now become something I want to pursue in my future career.

– George Callcut is a 3rd year Drama and Theatre student

Advice on getting your first tech job – from an IT recruitment agency

This guest post was created in collaboration with Venturi Group one of the UK’s top IT recruitment agencies.

As an IT recruitment agency, we work with recent graduates everyday. For many students, getting that first foot on the career ladder after finishing university is a daunting prospect. While some nerves are unavoidable, fortunately there are things to can do to give yourself a headstart in today’s competitive job market. Below we have outlined some advice on what to do before beginning your search for your first role in the tech industry.

Get involved in projects outside university

You’ve probably heard this one a few times before. Employers look fondly upon students who are engaged in technical projects outside university. After all, it’s a clear indication of a genuine passion for technology. In a market saturated by graduates, having that extra something on your CV will inevitably make you stand out from the crowd. For example, being able to list coding projects you have worked on, hack-a-thons you have entered, or internships you have undertaken are all major advantages when it comes to applying for jobs.

“When looking through graduate Software Developer CVs, candidates that have a side project always grab my attention. Ideally, they’re doing some web development outside of the classroom to put in to practice the theory they are learning. Those that have pet projects they are really excited about usually perform better at interview and get placed sooner than those who don’t. It’s hard to fake that kind of enthusiasm and interest,” said Adam Ferguson, Principal Consultant at Venturi.

Work on your ‘soft skills’

Some may be rolling their eyes at the mention of ‘soft skills’. But in tech many employers put a premium on them. A CV that reads like a long list of programming languages is unlikely to engage a recruiter or hiring manager. This is not to say that technical skills aren’t important. Obviously, if the development job you are applying for requires a lot of Java-based coding, then you’d better know your Java. However, much of what separates average graduates from those that are truly outstanding is not their technical expertise – it’s their ability to work well with others. Tech companies now put skills such as communication, teamwork, and leadership on an equal footing with the amount of code you can write in a day.

Think of ways to demonstrate these softer skills on your CV by mentioning times you’ve solved problems through communication or detailing summer placements where you worked as part of a team. By putting an emphasis on communication and teamwork you’re showing not only can you master the “nuts and bolts” of the role but you’ll also be able to articulate why you’re doing what you’re doing to other departments and how that will ultimately benefit them.

Research all potential avenues for employment

The tech sector spans across all industries and includes a wide diversity of roles – from Big Data Analysts to Security Architects. As well as deciding on which roles and industries are a good fit for your skill set, you should give some thought to what sized company you would like for. The experience of working at company with more than 10,000 employees is very different to working for one with 50. Do you want the structure and support of a large corporate company? Or the freedom and responsibility of a tech startup?

Always be open to learning new skills

One thing all hiring managers like to see is a candidate who has a demonstrated ability to adapt to new challenges. The pace of change in tech is relentless. Therefore, you need get comfortable with the idea of continual learning after graduation. A programming language that is a hot topic now could fade into obscurity six months later. Keeping up to date with the latest trends and developments in the industry will come in handy at interviews. Hiring managers are always impressed by graduate with an eye toward the future.

– Find out more about Venturi .

Work experience in Property Law

I found this experience to be extremely valuable in helping me to determine my future legal career path. Prior to undertaking this experience, I was unsure as to whether I wanted to be a barrister or a solicitor. This was my first experience within a solicitor’s firm so it helped me to understand the type of environment I would be working in, as well as the type of work I’d be expected to carry out. This allowed me to draw a comparison with the mini-pupillage I undertook earlier last year. Additionally, the firm I chose specialises solely in Intellectual Property Law which relates to the optional module I chose to study this year. I could therefore apply my existing knowledge and develop a further understanding of this area law in practice.

I sat within the secretary and paralegal department which allowed me to learn the mechanics of the office. On my first day I was introduced to everyone in the office which was effectively a great networking opportunity, particularly as I followed up by making connections via LinkedIn. I was given current case files to read in preparation for client phone calls, where I shadowed Partner’s advising their clients and discussing plans of action. I was also given the task of researching for various cases, for example comparing client and competitor patents in order to establish whether there had been infringement. In addition, I drafted a client’s cease and desist letter from scratch for trademark infringement, which was accepted with very minor amendments.

Overall this experience will prove to be invaluable, particularly as it demonstrates my interest in the field, and will ultimately be a significant addition to my CV when applying for Vacation Schemes and Training Contracts this year. The skills I have learned will put me at an advantage when applying for further work experience in the legal field too. Finally, it has cemented my desire to go pursuing a legal career and given me an introductory insight into the profession. I have also made very useful connections, should I decide to pursue a career in Intellectual Property Law specifically.

– Emily Morgan is a 2nd year Law student at the University of Kent