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

The Best Bits | January 2017

Hello again,

The first Best Bits post of this year is quite a simple one. Here are the three best things that happened this January…

Budapest

Me and Cem went to Budapest from the end of December into the beginning of January and had the best time. We split our time between walking for miles to see all the sights and unwinding in the spa. My favourite parts of the holiday were ice skating, walking up Gellert Hill and seeing the government building light up at night. If you were wondering what Cem’s favourite part was, it was probably the GIANT pizza that he ordered…

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Passengers

I’d wanted to see this film for a while and I’m so glad that we got to see it in the cinema. It’s essentially about two people being stranded on their own in a spaceship. That’s a really boring description but if I say anything else about it then the story will be spoiled. I’d highly recommend it anyway!

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Getting a job

I finally have a job! I haven’t had any paid work since the summer because I’ve been focusing on uni and finishing my 3 month social media internship. My internship didn’t quite end because I now have a proper job there and couldn’t be happier. I genuinely love being there so being paid for doing it is just a bonus.

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As always, thank you for reading.

Let me know what happened in January for you…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

How To Increase Your Website Engagement | AD

Hello again,

Whether you’re a start-up business or a newbie blogger, the thought of having to generate traffic to your website can be quite daunting. Here is a bit of advice about how to deal with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if you want to ‘get your name out there’.

Facebook

On Facebook there are so many blogging communities such as Bloggers Get Social and Bloggers Worldwide that you can join. They allow you to share your blog and discover other blogs too.

If you have the money to do so, you can also advertise with Facebook to get your name out there. You can choose the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on your ads and target them at specific people i.e. people who you think will be interested in your site. If you’re not sure how to use Facebook to grow your social media presence, social media agencies like Tekfirst in Harrogate can be approached, which serves clients all over the UK.

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Twitter

There are so many blogging communties that you can join on Twitter. Most of them host chats at least once a week which allows everyone involved to share their blog link with others afterwards. I’ve found some of my favourite bloggers by looking through the threads of these chats and joining in when I can! I’ve seen so many chats for different topics: beauty, books, mental health – there’s too many to list but there’s something there for everyone.Tweet_ballonicon2.svg.png

If you don’t wait to pay for Twitter ads to boost your engagement, a lot of bloggers offer their own advertising packages. This involves them mentioning you on their Twitter profile, RTing your Tweets and even placing a link to your blog on their blog. This is a nice alternative to advertising as you’re also helping a fellow blogger earn a living, rather than your money going to Twitter.

Instagram 

I use my Instagram story to tell my followers when I’ve posted a new blog post. I find it so much more effective than using my Snapchat story as I have a lot more followers on Instagram. You can inform people that you have a new post up on your blog and encourage them to go and visit your website. Using an image based platform like Instagram is useful for driving traffic to your website as an image can spark interest, whereas a simple link to your site won’t.instagram-1581266_960_720.jpgAs always, thank you for reading.

Let me know if you’ve got any tips for growing your online presence…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

This blog post is sponsored by Tekfirst.

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

 

 

 

The Best Bits | October 2016

Hello again,

After thinking about all of the good things that have happened in October, I wanted to summarise the highlights in a blog post. I might actually make this a monthly thing, where I list all of the ‘best bits’ from the whole month. I thought that it would be nice to read about all of the nice things I’ve done in a few years time. Anyway, this is what I got up to in October…

Getting an internship

After spending hours and hours looking at internships, jobs and work experience I’ve finally found an internship that suits me perfectly. I’ve just started a three month internship with Brain Füd, where (in basic terms) I’ll be managing their social media accounts and thinking of new ideas to better their profiles.

Southend

At the beginning of the month I went to Southend for a night and a day with my boyfriend. We walked the whole of that huge pier, tried and failed to win a Squirtle from one of those God awful grabby games and won a ridiculous amount of tickets in the amusements. We traded our tickets in for a Secret Life of Pets mug and Batman ball.

Beating Cem at crazy golf

Despite feeling poorly and having a terrible cold, I was the crazy golf champion when we went to Southend. Despite Cem being over-confident and telling me how badly he was going to beat me, I beat him on almost every hole. At one point, he actually lost his golf ball…

Losing to Cem at Topgolf

It turns out that I’m not as amazing at golf as I thought I was. For some reason, I thought that Topgolf would be just as easy as crazy golf. As soon as I picked up my club and looked at all the targets, I knew that I was going to lose this one.

The Girl on the Train

I’ve been waiting a good year for this film so finally getting to see it in the cinema was a long time coming. I couldn’t put the book down so I was excited and nervous to see if the film would live up to my expectations. It did!

My own domain

Another thing that was a long time coming was FINALLY buying my own domain name. In case you haven’t noticed, my blog’s had a little makeover. Instead of cour10eynoonan.wordpress.com, we’re now a more professional http://www.courteneynoonan.com. Yaaaaaay!

Sharing my blog with my family

Why do I feel like everything that’s happened this month has been a long time coming? I wish I’d shared my blog with my family ages ago but that’s just how things work out sometimes.

Going back to uni

Unlike a lot of people I was actually really ready to go back to uni. I had a nice long summer from May until October and worked two jobs in Cornwall. I loved being at home but I missed my uni routine. I’m sure I won’t be saying all this in a few weeks when my assignments start creeping up on me.

The Great British Bakeoff 

Although this sounds really bitter, I was absolutely heartbroken when Candice won. I was really rooting the Andrew and cried my eyes out when he lost. Maybe I was a little over-invested in this year’s series…

Going on the London Eye

I saved the best for last. Although I’ve been on the London Eye before, for some reason I had the urge to go on it over the weekend. Cem came with me and although he wasn’t certain that he really wanted to go on, he did and we had a lovely time. However, when we were taking pictures together it took me saying “can you act like you love me in the photo please?” for him to smile in the photos… He’s also terrified of heights so the first two minutes were hell for him. He felt a lot better when he realised that the pods don’t rock side to side like a ferris wheel…

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As always, thank you for reading!

Let me know some of the things that you loved about October…

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x

5 Things I Don’t Have Time For

Hello again,

Today I’m giving you the pleasure of hearing me moan about all of the things that I most definitely don’t have time for…

Automated Twitter DMs

You know those annoying “Hi, how are you? Thanks for following me, check out my blog: ______” messages on Twitter? I appreciate that people want to increase their blog exposure but you may as well send me a message saying “I don’t really have an interested in talking to you but I really want to increase my blog stats” – at least then you’d come across as genuine.

Waiting for my hair to dry naturally

I used to always wait for my hair to dry but now I never seem to have the time to. I either was my hair before I go to bed, in which case I don’t want to delay my beauty sleep for the sake of my dripping wet hair, or I was it in the morning before uni, in which case I also don’t have time to waste waiting around for my hair to dry.

People stopping me in the street to sign up to things

Sky and AA, I’m looking at you. If I’m walking quickly then I’m quite possibly late for work and really don’t have time to stop at chat about an internet provider that I don’t need or car insurance that I already have. I know that it’s your job and you need to earn a living, but I don’t like being pressured into talking to someone I don’t know about something I don’t care about.

Getting up when my first alarm goes off

Everyone does this. Why would I get up to the sound of my first alarm when I can get up to the one that goes off 45 minutes later?

People on the tube that think their luggage deserves a seat

Your bag is not a human being so it has no business being on a seat. It’s rush hour and there’s barely room to stand on the tube, so why do you think that your bag has more of a need to rest its legs that an actual, breathing person?

Thanks for reading!

I’d love to hear about the things that you don’t have time for – let’s have a good old moan together.

Ways you can reach me:

Bye for now,

Courteney x