The importance of getting out of your comfort zone and diving into unknown territories.

Bbc radio 2

I had never really given radio a second thought before I got into journalism. Back home, as soon as someone starts speaking on the radio, we change the channel — radio news and talk radio programs aren’t a big thing. So it was a shock to me when I came to the UK and learned of so many radio programs listened to by so many people, like the Today Programme and 5Live to name a couple. It was an even bigger shock to me when I got work experience for the most listened radio program in the country, the Jeremy Vine Show. I had worked in television before, and I’d done some freelancing in PR, online journalism, and writing articles for print — but I didn’t have the slightest idea where to start when it came to radio.

The two weeks I spent at BBC Radio 2 wasn’t like your usual work experience. I didn’t spend the week making tea and photocopies, or sitting around watching others work — I spent my two weeks at the Jeremy Vine Show doing the same kind of work that was expected from producers on the team. I pitched and helped develop stories, did background research on stories and typed up any relevant info for Jeremy to know on the show — including profiles on celebrities like Prue Leith, whose life story I had already googled months prior thanks to my obsession with the Great

British Bake Off. I was in a work environment with people of all ages and from all backgrounds, but all of the like-minded. From the first day, I got along with everyone so well and enjoyed so much of what I was doing that the long, arduous shifts seemed to breeze by. Amidst jokes about Greggs sausage rolls, laughing with a caller who had a blender from the 1950’s, and taking pictures with the Jeremy Corbyn 2018 annual, we were covering serious issues like Mugabe’s resignation in Zimbabwe and the Argentinian submarine that went missing. And not only was I interacting with all the brilliant journalists in the BBC offices but because the Jeremy Vine Show is a phone-in show, I got to speak to a few incredible callers as well. One woman told me her father had served as Mugabe’s lawyer for years. Another man phoned in and told the story of how having to shower after PE in school gave him years of struggling with anxiety.

I learned so much from not only what I did in those two weeks, but from everyone, I spoke to, and I cannot wait to have the opportunity to go back upon graduating this week.

Oh, and I got to meet James Blunt too, so that was a bonus.

The advice I would give to other students? Do not reject an idea only because you haven’t considered it previously. My work experience at the radio, which was by far one of the best professional experiences I have had, illustrates accurately the importance of getting out of your comfort zone and diving into unknown territories.

– Berni Botto is a 3rd year Journalism and the News Industry student

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


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

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.

Pick up a copy any time you choose

Over the Easter break I undertook a four week placement with my local paper and news website back in Devon. Although being close to home, I still had to travel by train each day to the head office in the city of Exeter. Even with the short journey time the prices of rail tickets soon added up and without the University’s Bursary there is no way I would have been able to commit to such an extended period of time.

The placement itself – with – the new “digital first” online approach of numerous Devon papers including The Express and Echo and The Herald Express was incredible and completely invaluable to me in regards to my future career plans. Wanting to go into journalism a placement of this kind showed me the practical basics of how to find a story, research it and put the copy together. I also got to interview members of the public on local issues such as bus prices increasing and on charity events (skydives, bake sales, sunflower growing competitions) that they were planning. This improved my confidence and communication skills as I no longer hesitate to ask difficult questions or push for more information. I also got the chance to write for different sections of the publication ranging across news, property and events. For example, I compiled a list of places to find cheap prom dress and even bargain Easter eggs! This was amazing as I got to combine my love for fashion, chocolate and writing – the dream!

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Top 5 Benefits of Starting Your Career at a Smaller Company

Over the past few years there’s been a noticeable shift in the type of jobs that graduates apply for after leaving university – over 50% now say they would like to work for a startup or SME (small and medium-sized enterprise). Working for a smaller company can be a great way to kick-start your career; startups and SMEs can offer first jobbers opportunities that simply wouldn’t be available at a corporate. Here at TalentPool, we’ve rounded up the top 5 benefits of working for a smaller company to help you decide whether it’s the right decision for you.

The ability to have a true impact on the business

You can really see the impact and value of the work you’re doing when you work for a smaller company. This is both exciting and incredibly rewarding. The fast-paced life of a smaller company means that things are changing all the time, and your ideas and hard work definitely won’t go unnoticed.

The opportunity to develop a wide range of skills

Working as part of a small team usually means that you’ll be involved in several different functions within the company where you’ll pick up a whole new set of skills as you’ll really be expected to get stuck in and contribute. You’ll receive a huge education about how a business truly operates, which is harder to grasp when working in a single department of a larger company.

The chance to work closely with entrepreneurs

Particularly at a startup, you’ll most likely be sitting across or even right next to the founders of the business. This gives you a unique opportunity to soak up all their knowledge and experience. This kind of exposure is especially valuable if you think you might like to start your own business one day.

The high levels of responsibility you’ll be given

From the word go, you’ll be given levels of responsibility which you simply wouldn’t have at a corporate. Working in a small team means that there’ll probably be nobody else in the company with the same skill set as you or doing the same thing as you. With little time for micromanaging, you’ll really be expected to take your own initiative!

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Top Tips for Acing That Big Presentation


Whether it’s as part of an interview, or you’re simply delivering information to your colleagues, presentations are an almost unavoidable part of modern working life. If you’re a student, delivering presentations may also form part of your course. Either way, presenting can be a nerve-racking experience.

Our biggest piece of advice is to prepare as thoroughly as you can. We can’t stress enough how helpful it can be to simply read through your presentation out loud before you deliver it. It’ll help you notice any woody wording or lengthy areas, and will help you establish a flow, which can help your audience better understand what you’re saying. It’ll also help you include natural pauses in your presentation, which is important for helping your audience retain the information you’re presenting.

Thankfully, giving presentations is something that gets easier with practice, and each one offers you the opportunity to learn from the experience. Remember: everyone gets a little nervous when giving a presentation! It’s perfectly natural to feel a little worried before and even during your presentation. Try to remain calm and concentrate on what you want your audience to learn. Thorough preparation is also key to increasing your confidence before the event.

We love a good presentation at Viking, so we thought we’d put together a little guide to help out anyone planning a presentation. Take a look and see if it helps you ace your next presentation:

Do you have any top presentation tips? Get in touch and let us know on Twitter at @viking_chat.