Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

(How to dress for work!)

Knowing what to wear to work can feel quite stressful, especially if you are new to an organisation. The reality is that as long as what you are wearing is similar to what your colleagues wear, then you will be dressed appropriately. Different businesses will have different standards of dress code and formality can vary enormously from one organisation to another. Some organisations will have a uniform or a dress code policy. Make sure you to have a look at what people in the organisation are wearing when you go along for your interview.

Generally speaking you should dress business formal if you work with customers in a professional setting, such as a bank or office. Business formal usually includes a suit, tie, shirt and smart shoes for men and a trouser, skirt or dress suit with smart shoes for women. Business casual can vary enormously but should always look smart. For men think blazers, chinos, v necks, preppy shirts, loafers, dark wash denim (for some inspiration visit the Slaters casual dress blog post ). Have a look at this Pinterest board for some business casual inspiration for women.

Our top tips below will help you to understand the rules of business casual.

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He lives in a house, a very big house in the country

As a third year Comparative Literature and English Language and Linguistics student finding work experience has been a challenge. With all the endless essays, presentations and pressures of third year, I did not think work experience would have been possible before graduating university. However, I was given the opportunity to undergo work experience for Marsh & McLennan Companies for two weeks. For those of you that do not know, Marsh & McLennan Companies is one of most successful worldwide insurance firms.

During my two weeks I was based within the International Property Sector at Barry Marsh. Within the insurance world I was informed that June is one of the busiest periods in the business, in terms of binding contracts and renewing clients. Therefore, by working throughout this period gave me a great insight into how the company functioned day to day.

My role consisted of various tasks which included basic admin roles, helping organise meetings, researching information, creating opening memos and also creating pie charts for client data. During this busy time I felt that my assistance was of great help to the brokers. By working closely with the international property team I was able to have a closer insight into the role of a ‘broker.’ One of the most important skills I have learnt is how to use Microsoft Excel to a higher standard. Whilst working at Marsh I realised how fundamental Excel is for a successful business.

One of my favourite tasks was aiding one of my colleagues for a client presentation. I introduced the team to a presentation software called Prezi. Prezi is an alternative to PowerPoint that engages the audience by using dramatic zooming and panning to bring a presentation to life and avoids the classic ‘death by PowerPoint.’ My expertise within Prezi really impressed the team and they insisted that they would try to incorporate Prezi instead of PowerPoint when possible!

Another aspect of my role included going to Lloyds Market to shadow the marsh brokers and the underwriters of the market. This gave me the opportunity to meet various experts of the insurance world. I left my placement feeling a sense of accomplishment. The placement has helped me narrow down what sector I would like to pursue within the future. Most importantly during my work experience I improved my interaction skills, organization skills and has helped build my confidence.

The B-KEW bursary was essential for my work experience at Marsh. It allowed me to travel to London for two weeks instead of one. Without the bursary, I would have missed out on a whole week’s worth of work experience due to the travelling costs. The extra week really helped network within the insurance world and I have received further work experience by another insurance firm since. Finishing university isn’t that bad after all!

– Katie Penn was a 3rd year Comparative Literature and English Language and Linguistics student at the University of Kent.

Why don’t you want to meet me anymore, in museums full of culture

IMG_3095My placement at the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery was an great experience that opened my eyes to the complex operations involved in museum collection management. It gave me the opportunity to consider the various ways in which my academic knowledge can be put to use in a professional environment.

While interning at the museum, I was given a number of responsibilities. I had to verify the validity of the online costume inventory, handle costumes and accessories dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, carry out quality control checks, photograph the artifacts according to museum guidelines, and address inconsistencies in the electronic record (Modes). On one occasion, I also assisted the collection manager on the installation of art works for an upcoming exhibition at the museum. The work consisted in photographing the works and filling out quality control reports for each work according to museum protocols.

As a history and philosophy of art MA student, the opportunity to assist the Collections Manager of the Tunbridge Wells Museum with cataloguing and inventory work was the ideal occasion to apply my theoretical knowledge of museology to a concrete curatorial task and understand the extent to which such knowledge can meet on-ground practicalities. At the time of my internship, I was enrolled in a Masters-level curating module at the University of Kent. Having the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience at the Tunbridge Wells Museum in tandem with the theory I was learning in my seminar significantly enhanced both aspects of my training, theoretical and practical.

I am sure that the knowledge I have acquired during this experience will be of relevant  value in my future, especially in the event of pursuing a career in an art institution dedicated to the curatorial  artistic practice.

– Gloria Bisello has recently completed a Masters in the History and Philosophy of Art.

Why I got you on my mind

I was lucky enough to do a placement year as part of my undergraduate course and I chose to do a psychology research placement at the University of Kent. It was an outstanding experience for me and it taught me a lot about my options and more specifically, what it is like to be an academic conducting research which is what I want to do in the future.

My placement provided me with a lot of opportunities to work on a wide range of research projects and I was able to work with some amazing researchers at the University. When I had my first meeting with some of the researchers, I was so nervous because I was worried about making a good first impression. I had nothing to worry about, everyone was so nice and helpful which has been my experience since the start of my placement.

I had many tasks during my time on placement but the one that I most enjoyed was the time I spent helping with data collection as this gave me the opportunity to interact with participants and other researchers. This helped me to develop key skills such as communication and interpersonal skills that I could add to my CV. Additionally, I developed my research skills by being able to conduct more advanced data analysis techniques, gain more experience of creating surveys and learn what it is like to apply for research ethics.

I was surprised by how quickly my time went and how much I achieved during my time on placement. At times, I was really thrown in at the deep end but that made it all the more rewarding. For example, I was asked to code qualitative responses which is something I have never done before. However, this is another skill that I now have which I can apply to my future research projects.

Overall, my experience on placement was amazing and I learnt a lot not just about the research processes but also about myself. I now have so much more confidence in myself and my abilities and that is all because of what I have achieved during my placement. I recommend that anyone thinking about taking part in a work experience or a work placement should do it. You will gain so much from the experience and the University of Kent Work Experience Bursary makes it easier to cover some of the potential costs that you may have. I feel like I have a better understanding of my future career path and what I need to do now to achieve it.

– Christie Marsh is going into her final year of Applied Psychology.

Get Qualified For IT

…Your Roadmap to your Career in IT

IT jobs are becoming increasingly popular, and increasingly complex. Whether you want to work in IT support, become a software developer, or work as a data scientist: the world of IT is infinitely versatile. Here are some key facts about the IT industry, focusing specifically on careers as well as training and professional development.

What jobs are there in IT?

The IT industry is huge!  And not all IT jobs involve picking up a ringing phone in a basement somewhere and asking a frustrated caller to turn their computer off and on again…

There are loads of interesting IT career options, some of them lurking in seemingly unrelated sectors; Prospects.ac.uk recently reported that “around half of graduate employers offer roles within IT and finance, irrespective of the organisation’s main purpose”. An IT role might be your ticket into a high-profile graduate industry, or your chance to work with some of the world’s leading brands. IT is a growing industry, rapidly expanding especially on the high-tech and cyber security side.

Some popular IT careers to consider:

  • IT Support: IT Helpdesk Manager, Third/Second and First Line Support Engineers, IT Consultants
  • Developers: Software Programmers & Engineers, Web Developers
  • IT Analyst/Scientist
  • Information Systems Support Officer/Manager
  • IT/Cyber Security Officers
  • Ancillary Services: Technical Support, IT Training Facilitators, IT Procurement Managers

Remember: There are many jobs that require solid IT skills; industries like engineering, finance, manufacturing and public services all need highly-IT literate individuals.

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I love rock n roll…

…Put another dime in the jukebox baby!

Last year I ventured off to Bangkok, Thailand and found myself deep within the music industry, interning at an orchestral recording studio. The experience was incredible and allowed me to become much more diverse within my field. Being at the studio allowed me to have a great hands-on experience working with professionals who were happy to share their knowledge. It was also great to be able to apply many things I had learnt in University and demonstrate it through my hard work on various projects.

Last year’s amazing journey has inspired me to come again this year, which is a decision I am very glad to have made. I feel much more confidant and in control this year. My people skills have developed hugely thus improving my workflow and my quality of work. At the studio I have developed a trust with all my colleagues, which has allowed them to give me bigger responsibilities, such as teaching other interns the basics of the studio, or working directly with clients and working with they’re needs. I’ve had the chance to run my own sessions and work privately with musicians without supervision, which allows me to feel confident that my level of musical/engineering skill has risen over time, which I give total credit to my University for giving me those key skills to be applied into a workplace. This year for me feels like I have taken another huge step in the ladder to success. My thinking is much more different and I am think much bigger than last year, in terms of my future prospects.

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It’s in the photograph

In the month of April 2016 I was grateful enough to attend work experience at a photography studio on Tottenham Court Road; it was a company by the name of ‘Curious Productions’. It was a vibrant, trendy setting filled with passionate, creative individuals – and I felt as if I fit right in. Basically, my overall aim right now is to obtain as much work experience as I possibly can so I hopefully have an idea of what I want to do with the rest of my life, once I’ve completed my degree.

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My work experience at Curious Productions more valuable than I ever thought it could be; it ultimately made me realise that I perhaps was not cut out to be a commercial photographer, but I discovered that I was interested in becoming part of a photography studio team in general. The role of the studio producer most intrigued me, as there is a lot of organisation and problem solving involved.

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