Let Sleeping Giants Lie

Having just completed my in MSc International Business Management, I had the opportunity to take a Digital Marketing module. Due to the intriguing nature of the subject I was curious to see the working environment at a digital marketing agency and broaden my career aspirations. Huge thanks to the B-KEW bursary, I had managed to secure work experience placements within the marketing field.

Sleeping Giant Media are a search and social marketing agency based in Folkestone. I came to realise the power of digital media such as, Search Engine Optimisation and Pay-Per Click and  using social media platforms effectively for different industries. Their business successes have been recognised and celebrated by winning multiple awards over the years. Recently, Sleeping Giant Media was awarded KEiBAs – Entrepreneur of the year surpassing 312 record entries and 50 finalists. The key to their success is maintaining an outstanding level of service to clients.

I assisted Giant Campus, who are sister company of Sleeping Giant Media, in coming up with marketing campaign ideas. I used my creative thinking and management skills to generate more realistic campaign ideas and pitch them back to industry leaders. This was a bit nerve-racking and very exciting at the same time, as I was curious to hear the feedback from experts. Spending time with both the Search Engine Optimisation and Pay-Per Click teams introduced me to tools and skills to help websites be more visible to potential customers and I learned there is so much to a website. I contributed in logistics where I updated the CRM system whilst working independently in my given tasks. It was interesting to see how industry leaders work behind the scenes delivering digital marketing to clients.

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The Sleeping Giant Media Team has clear devotion to their jobs and offered me help and guidance throughout my work experience placement. The experience has definitely exposed me to a real life agency environment. I also fell in love with their office floor which has amazing sea views and not to forget the pizza delivery. As I spent more time with the teams, I developed curiosity to learn more about the ever-changing digital environment, so I am currently in the process of undertaking Google Digital Garage and looking out for digital trends.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Sleeping Giant Media gaining valuable work experience in the area of work I always had hope I would find. Thank you to the team of Sleeping Giant for terrific experience. At the end of my work experience placement I realised that any business or brand can benefit from digital marketing in this modern world. Finally, Thank You to The University of Kent Work Experience Bursary for making this happen and I am ever so grateful of the support.

– Harigna Hinglajia undertook an MSc International Business Management.

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Crème de la Crème

Psychology is becoming an increasingly popular career choice with young people today. There are lots of keen applicants ready and waiting to pounce on any advert that could secure them their dream job. One of my colleagues recently advertised an Assistant Psychologist Job – the position I will be trying to compete for after I finish my degree – and they received over 140 applications. That is the fierce reality I am up against the minute I finish university.

I was fortunate enough to secure a year-long work placement in the NHS during my sandwich year at Kent and this has substantially improved my employment prospects. My placement year gives my job application something to separate me from the other 139 potential applicants, something that will hopefully make an employer take a second look, even invite me in for an interview. Today with such fierce competition one of my colleagues said to me the NHS will only hire the crème de a crème because with so many people competing, the industry can afford to be picky.

So far during my placement I have shadowed a Clinical Psychologist, gained an in depth knowledge about Autism, learned about the current treatments for feeding difficulties, anxiety and anger in children as well as being given the freedom to create resources for some of these children.

The bursary provided by the University of Kent gives me the chance to compete for my dream job by supplementing my funding on this amazing placement. It means I can afford to get experience that will benefit me in the very near future by making me a realistic candidate for highly sought after jobs, and for that I cannot thank the university enough. To make the most of my placement I am required to travel to different branches of the NHS trust in Kent. This week alone I travelled to Canterbury for a two hour sleep workshop on Monday, then to Ashford on Tuesday to help run a group for children with Autism, and back to Canterbury on Wednesday to help organise another group we plan to run next year all while I’m based in Folkestone. The bursary allows me to travel across Kent and make the most out of my placement. I have become better educated from the many workshops I have attended, I have become a better communicator through the groups I am able to help run and most of all I have been able to observe good clinical practice which will make me stand out as a job applicant, for that I cannot be more grateful.

– Samantha Bewick is an Applied Psychology with Clinical Psycholgy student, currently on placement.

Work Experience Bursary for unpaid work!

Have you found the perfect work experience opportunity, but it’s unpaid? Or are you hesitant to take up an opportunity because of the travel costs? Gaining work experience is a fantastic and valuable opportunity, helping you to get an insight into your future career, enhance your CV and build your skill set. However, depending on the sector you are looking to work within, finding paid opportunities can be challenging. To help you take on these rewarding work experiences the Careers and Employability Service offer B: KEW – a work experience bursary, for students undertaking unpaid work experience.

The bursary supports out-of-pocket travel expenses for the first three weeks or 120 hours of unpaid work of up to £100. This could be used towards the cost of petrol, bus and train fares or even flight tickets. You may also be eligible for additional funds to contribute towards costs incurred by undertaking work experience, for example childcare costs or uniform. If you are looking to attend a training event, which could help you in your future career, the bursary could be used to support this.

In the last year the bursary has helped towards students undertaking work experience at BBC South East, KM Media Group, NHS Trust, DSTL, as well as abroad in New York with Times Square Church and Sri Lanka with SLV Volunteers. The bursary is available throughout the year, to all current University of Kent students, but please do consult our terms and conditions before applying. You can apply for the bursary using a simple online form, available on our website: https://www.kent.ac.uk/ces/bursarykew.html If you have any questions about the bursary or the application process, please do get in touch at employability@kent.ac.uk.

Quote from a student who has benefited:

“The bursary that has been kindly provided by The University of Kent, has benefited me in being able to cover extra costs such as work appropriate clothing. Also, due to the nature of my workplace, several items of clothing need to be ‘sacrificed’ to be worn inside the labs, and are unable to be taken back out of the restricted area after the placement year. As clothes become extremely worn and destroyed due to the hot wash of clothes, replacements are required. Fortunately, the Bursary helped to cover these costs, and I am grateful that I do not need to worry about stretching my finances to pay for these items. My work experience broadened my knowledge of the research that goes on behind the development of novel vaccines for diseased livestock, as well as the diagnostic service that The Pirbright Institute provides for many external sources. I am gaining invaluable experience working in an accredited reference laboratory and the unique opportunity to be using top range equipment that are not available in many other institutions. Whilst undertaking the project of genome sequencing analysis, there are many steps that need to be refined and trouble-shot before continuing. This can be time consuming but is a very realistic representation how research unfolds. I believe I will be able to carry forward my skill-set of data interpretation and analysis, and first-hand experience in a professional laboratory, during and beyond university and will prepare me for the ‘real-world’ where biotechnology is advancing so rapidly. I also look forward to being much more comfortable with lab work when I return to university for my final year. Everyday, I am learning something new and facing different challenges that help me to understand the complex process involved research, and am very thankful I have had this experience.”

Together in electric dreams

Today I am going to tell you the story of how I got offered my dream job. But first a little introduction. My story starts two and a half years ago when I first came to the University of Kent. I was keen and passionate fresher that couldn’t wait to start learning about film, but I was clueless when it came to how I was going to get it and who was going to give it to me. It is basically the endless dilemma of the chicken and the egg; you need experience to get a job, but you get a job if you have experience, which you can only get if you have a job… You understand the problem, don’t you?

But that still doesn’t explain the dream job thing does it? Well, this is how I did it. A few years ago I watched a film, I enjoyed the film and googled the production company, I promptly foundthem on FaceBook and liked their page. (The seed was planted.) After a year I contacted the company for an internship, I called them up on the number on their website and got the email of a producer. I emailed them and told them who I was and asked if I could intern there. I was rejected. Obviously this seemed like the end of the world at the time, but as the world has a habit of doing, it kept going. My already budding love for documentary pushed me to go to a Documentary Film Festival, the largest in the UK; looking over the program I came to a realisation, one of the films being shown was from the production company I had contacted so many months ago. So what did I do? I emailed the producer, because rejection number one should never make you
lose hope. I asked them how they were and said that I was also at the festival. They happily set up a meeting; and I realised that employers are human after all. We had a great chat and they invited me to contact them after the summer to arrange work experience. I made sure to do just that. We set dates and I went off to London and had one of the best experiences of my life; learning the ropes, researching, pitching ideas, editing in mandarin and drinking strong coffee. I worked
on two inspiring projects and got the contacts that will help me out after I graduate. In fact, one week after I got back to ‘the real world’, one of the directors contacted me to offer me a place to work on their next film; It is still in very early stages, but this is how I got offered my dream job.

Who got me the job? Well, I need to thank my family and friends for always encouraging me. I need to thank the Careers and Employability Services for giving me the confidence, improving my CV, and giving me professional and caring help and advice, I need to thank BKEW, because travelling in London is expensive, and knowing that my experience was important enough for them to fund made me work all the harder. And finally I am the one that got myself the job. You are always the harshest judge of yourself, if you put in the work and demonstrate your passion, you can do anything.

– Elena Morresi is a final year Film student at the University of Kent

We are family!

I spent a total of 8 days with the Medway Social Support key workers. Throughout my time there, I met an amazing team of people who are passionate about making a positive change in someone’s life although it means giving so much more than what a normal 9-5 job would require. I learnt how a key worker works, how their schedules are and even how the whole department was run as a whole. I shadowed different people every day and I was fortunate enough to go on home visits and witness the practicality of delivering positive change.

In addition, the department also works closely with the Early Help team, which aims to intervene earlier on in a child’s development before it presents as a problem later in life. I shadowed an ADHD workshop which was conducted by a member of the Early Help Team for parents whose child had that condition. It opened my eyes to the vast number of free services available for vulnerable families and how this support is given by people who are truly passionate and willing to go all out to help others.

Another workshop that I was able to shadow was the One Stop Shop, designed to help abuse victims anonymously. It operated like a clinic and there were professionals present to offer advice on a one-to-one basis. This has really made me appreciate what I have and made me a more compassionate person, removing some of my ignorance regarding mental health support and help available in the community.

Thanks to this opportunity, I was able to expose myself to an array of professionals, for example a deaf-blind intervener, who provides one-to-one support to deaf-blind children; a therapist; school teachers etc. I was also able to pick up some “get better” strategies key workers use to help a family see the positive side to difficult situations.

All in all, this work experience has been invaluable as it has made me appreciate what I have and helped me realise the number of vulnerable families that are in need of support. This experience was extremely useful for me because I now see mental health issues in a whole new light, as in it not only affects the wellbeing of the person, but has the potential to affect the people around them as well. I aspire to be a speech and language therapist in the future and this experience has given me invaluable contact with mental health issues in the real world.

– Rachel Lee is a 3rd year Psychology student at the University of Kent

I believe that children are our future

The work experience bursary has not only given me an opportunity to gain valuable insight to the career path I wish to take in psychology, but also taken some financial stress off my shoulders.

Working at the Children’s Assessment Unit at the Hospital has broadened my horizon about how a clinical psychologist helps children with autism. I was able to observe the routine of autism assessments with a clinical psychologist and therapists, in which I understood the different ways of interacting with children. I learnt to be more observant, aware and patient. I also had the opportunity to improve my interaction and communication skills with children and adolescents of different ages. Observations have also taught me how different kinds of assessments work and how to conduct them, which is extremely helpful for the future.

Furthermore, I also had to organize therapy groups for children and their siblings. The aim is for children to understand themselves more and teach them how to manage their emotions. I have greatly improved my organization and team working skills, as well as enhanced my creativity thinking. I also learnt to think from different perspectives such as from both the children and parents’ perspective because it will be important in delivering an effective treatment plan.

I have already learnt a lot of transferable skills and have deepened my knowledge in clinical psychology. I am looking forward to doing assessments myself with supervision in the future and gaining more first-hand experience in dealing with different kinds of children.

My experience in this placement will give me a better understanding of what to expect in this field of psychology. Every step and decision I take will prepare me for any future challenges.

In summary, I am very grateful for the work experience bursary as it allowed me to get a taste of what the real world is like.

– Sally Yuen is a 2nd year Applied Psychology with Clinical Psychology student