Things that school doesn’t prepare you for

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Hello again,

Just a little disclaimer: this is not an attack on the school system, but a list of things that I feel would be useful for schools to teach. I don’t think that schools should babysit us, it’d just be nice to be taught about life after school and not just about quotes from Shakespeare’s plays and how to use Pythagorus. I’m sure I could have written a list twice this size, but here are some things that school doesn’t prepare you for.

Being self-employed

Luckily my family have already loaded me up with information about expenses and tax and all of the wonderful things that accompany working for yourself. My mum even had to sit with me when I applied to become self-employed online. It’s a bit embarrassing that I got to being 20 years old without knowing the first thing about self-employment. It would have been so useful if schools talked about working for yourself as an option instead of banging on about uni all of the time.

Invoices

I didn’t actually learn what an invoice was until I got my first job in social media and my boss told me to sent him an invoice at the end of the month. Even now my invoices are the most basic things I’ve ever written. If you’re ever thinking about taking on some freelance work or running your own business, I’d definitely give ‘invoices’ a little Google because I’d barely heard of the word before I got to uni.

Jobs of the future

I don’t really know what to call this but when I went to school, only a few years ago, the only careers that were really talked about was teaching and law and nursing and all those other jobs that schools think are the best options. There’s no disrespect in working in those industries, but it would’ve been really nice to talk about jobs that are quite new or just different from the norm I suppose. When I told my teachers I was going to study journalism at uni, the only thing they’d talk about would be newspapers. Anything about blogging or PR or social media was dismissed despite school supposedly ‘preparing you for jobs that don’t even exist now’. Yes, they actually said that…

Politics

I don’t know if this is the same for all schools, but my schools NEVER talked about politics. I always remember teachers being fearful of revealing with political party they support. Although I wouldn’t have wanted to anyone to force their views on me, I would have really appreciated some information about voting and what each party stands for. It worries me that people are leaving school without knowing a lot about their own country’s political system and government.

Social media

In school social media was always talked about as if it was some form of evil. All that was talked about was internet safety and not talking to strangers. Whilst this information is useful and 100% necessary, it would be good to teach people about the uses of social media too. Social media is actually the reason I earn money so I find the thought of it being portrayed in a negative way in schools stings me a bit. Without Twitter a lot of people wouldn’t access news and without Instagram a lot of people wouldn’t know what a Boomerang is. Think about it.

Money

Managing money, earning money, the value of money, rent, tax, mortgages, savings… money in general needs to be talked about openly or people are going to leave school not having a clue. I appreciate that your teacher isn’t your mum but a little guidance wouldn’t hurt.  I’m really good at managing money and consider myself to be self-sufficient but I really wish that school offered me more support in that department – I don’t even have an overdraft…

As always, thank you for reading!

I didn’t have a bad time at school and in some ways I learned things that have actually really helped me. Maybe Theresa May will read this and realise that young people need to be more well informed before they leave school…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

 

 

5 Tips for Finding an Internship

Hello again,

I’ve just finished doing a social media internship for uni and thought I’d write something to help people that might be interested in looking for internships or work experience. These are a few of the things I did to find mine – hopefully at least one of you find this helpful…

Set up Indeed

I always use Indeed to apply for jobs and internships because it just seems to be where most of them are listed. Your recent searches save so you don’t have to keep creating new searches. Also, there’s an option to save the an internship for later so you don’t have to apply as soon as you find one that suits you. Afterwards, you can put the internship in the ‘applied’ section and can then move it to ‘interviewing’ or ‘offered’ depending on your success!  You’ll be able to apply for a lot of internships within the site but sometimes you’ll be directed to other sites, such as Internwise, which gives you access to loads more internships. The thing I like most about Indeed is that you can save your CV to the site. This means that you can literally just click ‘apply’ more some internships which makes the process so much quicker.

Build your contacts

Make a list of companies you’d be interested in interning for and contact them. Even if they haven’t advertised an internship online, it’s worth phoning or emailing them to ask if you can do some work experience with them. Showing an interest in working for someone for free makes you look really keen to learn and gain experience so it betters your chances. If they don’t have any room for you right now, keep them in mind still. They might be taking on in the future and may remember you.

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Say yes

When I first started looking for an internship I hesitated from applying to a lot that I saw because I didn’t feel like I was experienced enough because I hadn’t had a job in the industry or finished my degree yet. This attitude will only hold you back. Internships are about gaining experiencing and learning about the industry you want to work in. You don’t have to walk into an internship as an expert.

Don’t be picky

Everyone has their dream job role or dream employer in mind but it may not be possible to walk straight into an internship with that company. Obviously if you have the chance to, apply for the internships that are perfect for your interests and abilities. However, don’t be afraid to go a little out of your comfort zone. For example, most of what I study at uni is based around writing news stories. Instead of taking an internship in a newsroom, I started one involving social media and blogging. Sometimes it’s good to do something different. Also, it you only apply for the ‘perfect’ internships, you’re limiting the amount of applications you can make which obviously limits your chances of actually getting an internship.

Be proactive

Applying for three internships and then forgetting all about your search for a few weeks won’t do you any good. When I was applying I checked my searches daily so I could save the applications that I wanted to make and then actually apply for them within a day or two. Applying regularly will increase your chances of someone getting back to you. If you keep forgetting to look for internships then you’ll miss opportunities because the vacancies will be filled. Just be aware that hundreds of other students might be applying for the same internship – you’ve got competition!

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know if you have any tips for finding an internship/a job etc…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

2016 Highlights

Hello again,

Here’s a little reflection on some of my favourite moments of 2016. It was an amazing year so these aren’t all of the good things that happened, just some of the ones that stood out.

Finishing my first year of uni 

If you didn’t already know, I study Journalism at London Metropolitan University. In May I finished first year with a 2:1, which I was really pleased with. It’s a shame first year’s grades don’t count towards my final grade but it was still uplifting to finish with the grade all the same.

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A weekend in Paris

Me and Cem went to Paris for my birthday in November and, despite a bit of turbulence, it was a lovely weekend.  Our hotel was an hour’s walk from the Eiffel Tower so we got to see all the sights along the way. It was bitterly cold but I suppose it wasn’t far from London in that respect. I’d love to go back.   

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Getting back into blogging

Towards the end of this year, I started blogging again after quite a lot of time away from it. I bought my own domain name, started posting consistently, told my friends and family about it and started talking to a lot more bloggers and brands. This year was definitely a success for my blog, in my opinion. Although I want to learn more about them designs and the layout of my blog, I’m happy with how it looks for now. I also hosted my first blog chat on Twitter on The Bloggers Hub account, which was a huge step for me in my opinion.

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My first sponsored blog post

I was recently contacted by a company called Tekfirst who asked to collaborate with me. Long story short: I was paid to write a blog post. Hopefully this was the first of many blog opportunities. I really enjoyed writing the post and learning a bit more about working with brands on blog posts.

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Getting an internship

In 2016 I started my first internship in social media with Brain Füd, a startup drinks company. It’s a 3 month long internship that will come to an end at the beginning of February which feels crazy – I feel like I’ve only been doing it for a couple of weeks. I’ve learnt a lot from my time there so I’m really glad I’m doing it.

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As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know some of your highlights from this year…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

New Year’s Resolutions | 2017

Hello again,

Here are the new year’s resolutions that I’m going to be attempting to stick to this year.

No more fizzy drinks

I don’t drink fizzy drinks at home because I never buy them and would always pick iced tea or water over a Coke if I had the choice. However, when we’re in restaurants and Cem orders a Coke I always end up getting one myself. Bad life choices. I drink a lot of water anyway but hopefully buy cutting out fizzy drinks I’ll drink even more.

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Start assignments early

This is going to be the hardest one. I really want to start all of my uni assignments as soon as possible, preferably on the day they’re set, while I’m motivated and the information is fresh in my mind.

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Read more books

Throughout 2016 I didn’t read as much as I usually do because I have been a lot busier than I usually am. However, in 2017 I want to plough through my ever-growing reading list before it becomes unmanageable. I’ve been reading Dark Places on and off for months now so I really want to finish it. I used to read a new book every few days so I’m not sure how I managed to get so behind…

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As always, thank you for reading.

I hope you had a great new year! Let me know what your resolutions are…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

The Best Bits | December 2016

Hello again,

Winning a pug at Winter Wonderland

To be exact, Cem was actually the pug winner. He played a game where you just have to throw a basketball into a hoop once and you win a prize. The hoop was so so far away but by some form of miracle, we walked away with a giant pug.

Getting a first in the first uni assignment of second year

To be honest I didn’t expect to do as well in this assignment because of the lack of direction that our teacher gave us. A Christmas miracle maybe.

Ice skating at Winter Wonderland

This seems to be mine and Cem’s new favourite thing. We’re actually getting quite good. We can’t skate without holding each other’s hand yet but I’d say we’re getting close.

Handing in all of my winter assignments

As soon as I handed in my last assignment before the Christmas holiday, I felt a massive weight lift off of my shoulders. I am now in full Christmas mode and ready to eat all of the Celebrations I can get my hands on.

Going home for Christmas 

I went home for Christmas a few days earlier than I planned because I just couldn’t wait. It was well work the 9 and a half hour bus journey and the bad back I had from sleeping upright all night.

Decorating a real Christmas tree

It’s been years since we’ve had a real Christmas tree so this year’s tree was a special one. Showing my little brother and sister how Christmas trees are netted was also hilarious.

Christmas Day

Obviously.

Moana 

Me and Lily went to see Moana in the cinema and we LOVED it. The songs are really catchy!

Hosting my first blog chat

This month I hosted by first ever blog chat for The Bloggers Hub on Twitter. Everyone who took part was so lovely and we had a good old natter.

As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know some of your highlights from this month…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

Winning a Pug and Attempting Ice Skating | December 2016

Hello again,

This year me and Cem have probably spent a little too much time playing games and trying to win teddies at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. We’ve also been ice skating twice, so our time there definitely wasn’t wasted.

The first time we went ice skating it was raining and cold so I spent the whole hour shaking and trying not to slip over. My motivational for not slipping over was wanting to stay as dry as possible. Luckily, the second time we went there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and although it was still cold, it was an improvement from the first time.

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One of the best part of ice skating is probably watching over people fall over. I’m sure it’s not funny when it happens to you, but it’s nice to see peope laugh off their fall and get up and try again. Me and Cem didn’t fall over at all, seeing as we spent the entirity of each time clinging to each other for dear life. Also, if one of us was about to fall, the other one had to keep them on their feet. I will say that I had to save Cem a lot more than he had to save me, although he’ll probably say otherwise.

Maybe next time we go we’ll learn how to skate as individuals.

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As well as ice skating, we probably played every game they had: shooting targets, hooking ducks, smashing plates and basketball. After maybe two attempts at a basketball game, You only had to one ball into the hoop to win the biggest prize, but the hoop was far away and an irregular shape and size – it was a lot harder than Cem makes it look.

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Cem’s prize was a huge pug! It may not be a real one, but it still has it’s rightful place in my tiny student room. It’s so big that all the way home people were touching it and laughing at it.

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Another highlight for me was getting to drink tastiest hot chocolate in the world. Most stands there seem to sell it. It’s simply a ‘Luxury Hot Chocolate’ which consists of Cadbury’s hot chocolate, whipped cream and a Flake. Heaven.

As always, thanks for reading.

Let me know if you’ve ever visited Winter Wonderland. If you have, what was your favourite thing about it?

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

 

My Social Media Internship

Hello again,

Since I went back to university at the beginning of October I’ve been manically applying for internships. I’ve been looking at different areas such as PR, social media, journalism and blogging. I suppose that because I’ve only just started by second year so I’m still quite early in my Journalism degree and want to try different areas of work.

Although it would be lovely to be a full time blogger when I finish uni, I obviously need a back up plan.

At the moment I’d love to blog for a company or manage their social media. I love writing but I also really like the idea of helping a brand grow their audience and reach out to a lot more people. All I know is that my former dream of becoming a newspaper journalist is dying out more and more. I much prefer working online as everything is so instant and you can reach people that you wouldn’t necessarily reach via a newspaper.

Another reason I’m drawn to blogging and social media is because I’m growing up in a generation where technology is evolving in front of us. We don’t know how more advanced our laptops and our phones will be in a year, in five years or in ten years. By the time I graduate the way we use the internet and the way we seek journalism in all of its forms may be completely different.

Anyway, I recently applied for an internship with a start-up called Brain Füd. To cut a long story short, I got the internship!

The mains things that I’ll be doing for them will be managing their social media accounts, growing their following and increasing the engagement that their accounts receive. They’re launching their energy drink this winter so it’s exciting to be a part of something that’s so new. I’m really looking forward to see where the next three months take me and to meet a lot of new people who can pass on their wisdom to this young, budding blogger. I’m really hoping that I learn a lot and gain experience that will help me in the future either with my own blog or with my career.

Up until this week, I was feeling really down that I hadn’t found an internship. It’s so hard to find an internship that will fit around my lectures and will allow me time to finish my uni assignments. Obviously my uni work is my priority so there’s no point in me trying to juggle a full time internship along with my full time university course. Luckily, I can do a lot of my intern work from home and will only regularly be going into the office on a Friday. All I ever do on a Friday is stay in bed until 1pm and binge Netflix so I’m not exactly going to be losing out either.

I don’t know if anyone else in university feels like this, but I feel like my first year absolutely flew by and I’m running out of time to do all of the things I won’t have as much time for when I get a full time job. I’m going to make sure that I blog as much as possible and get as much work experience as time allows me. If I left university without having taken every opportunity that I can then I know I’d feel like I’d massively wasted my time. I’m aware of how competitive graduate jobs are, especially in London, and I want to make myself as employable and experienced as possible while I have the chance.

After getting this internship I’m feeling very positive. I feel like everything is falling into place perfectly.

As always, thanks for reading.

Please let me know if you have any questions about doing a journalism degree or finding an internship as I feel like these subjects aren’t talked about at all in the blogging world…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x