BSc Sports Science with Psychology

June 2013



Where did you Study?

University of East London

What did you Study?

BSc Sports Science with Psychology

What year did you Graduate?

2009

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Short, smiley, sporty

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

When I finished Uni I was in the process of finishing off ideas I had for my business. At the same time I was job hunting because I still needed a way to financially support myself.  This period was probably one the toughest yet exciting parts of my life. Mainly because it was a new transitional stage in my life, where for the first time ever I was out of the routine that being in full time education gives you and that I really had to get my career and my life started. The first few months were so hard and I lacked a little confidence because job hunting was not going well. However, it spurred me on even more to ensure my business worked.

What are you doing now and how long do you see yourself doing it for? Are you in your dream job? If not yet, what is this?

Now I am running a sports company. I see myself doing it for the foreseeable as it takes time to set up a business with substantial success. I do have an exit plan but I’m nowhere near done. I am definitely in a dream job because I am leading a great team and enjoy what I do. I am working in my favourite field – sport.

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

I think it has. If I did not go to Uni I probably would not have gained the depth of knowledge I have about my field. Neither would I have the confidence to run a sports company and the environment of Uni contributed to this – I met so many great people at Uni who inspired me. I know that there are many that had the complete opposite experience.

I think the use of Uni is really what you make it. In some industries it is much harder after you have graduated but the key is to make it work for you. Uni is not necessarily for everyone but the key is to understand that it doesn’t guarantee you success nor failure. In this economic climate having a degree might not make the world of difference so it is up to you to ensure you stand out whether you have a degree or not.

Any advice for graduates who aren’t yet in their dream jobs or still battling against this rubbish economy for just an interview?

I would say never give up. Be open minded about your options as you might discover another dream job that you didn’t think you would like. Be ready to prove yourself to employers as they are looking for people who go over and beyond expectations.


Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

My day ahead will consist of heading down to watch a lunch time footy competition in South East London for our customers. From there I will go on to a meeting with my colleagues. Then in the evening I will be hosting and delivering a Sport Up Net session; a monthly networking event for businesses and entrepreneurs who will be connecting through use of our sports games/activities.

That’s it. Amie, you have been wonderful.

Find more about Amie’s business, Run Fun Starz, here.

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BA Social and Political Science. MA International Relations.

June 2013

Where did you Study?

I did a BA at Cambridge University and an MA at the University of Sussex a few years later

What did you Study?

The BA was in Social and Political Science and the MA was in International Relations

What year did you Graduate?

2003 from my first degree

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Big smile, ‘stocky’, ballerina feet

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

I went to Romania to help run a volunteer Teaching Programme. I had been a teacher on the Programme myself the summer before. I then travelled quite a bit around Europe before going to Japan to be a teacher on the JET Programme in a Japanese State school. I lived in a city between Kobe and Osaka for two years.

What made you start Young Charity Trustees? How did you go about forming this?

A few years ago I was finding it hard to find full-time work (at least, in something I really wanted to do). I was working as a private tutor in North London, mainly for the Tamil community. I saw an ad in the paper for committee members at a charity called Centre 404 which supports people with learning disabilities and their families. After a number of months to my great surprise I was asked to be a Trustee. Up to that point I hadn’t realised that younger people could be Trustees, I thought it was for retired people. I attended a national conference for Trustees and almost no-one there was my age. As I was really enjoying my role I wanted more young people to be able to experience it so I initially set up Young Charity Trustees (YCT) as a LinkedIn group to see if there was any demand. I was also interested in charities having a wider pool of talented people from which to draw. Over time interest steadily grew and I got a few volunteers, a website and became active on the topic on social media.

Why should a graduate become a trustee?

There are so many reasons. One is that it is a great opportunity to ‘give something back’. Whatever your passion it is likely that you will find a charity that will match it. Charities really need good people with a range of skills to support them and get involved. Also, being a Trustee looks great on your CV. As there are currently very few young trustees and the average age of Trustees in the country is 57, you are likely to stand out. Being a Trustee exposes you to a wide range of situations that will develop your skills. For example you might be doing things like helping to set the Budget for the charity you are working with, helping to develop their strategy, publicizing the work of the organisation etc. It is also likely that you will have responsibility at a higher level than in a graduate job. So for example even if you are in a job that you don’t enjoy or doesn’t utilize your skills, you can stop them from become rusty via a Trustee position. Of course the most rewarding thing of all about being a Trustee is seeing the real difference the charity makes.

You got the position of Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition late last year (Congratulations!) – can you tell the process you went through to get this?

Thank you! My aim had been to set up YCT as a fully-fledged charity. I wasn’t looking for other jobs and I was about to move back to my home town of Brighton to live with my family as I couldn’t survive in London without a regular income. I actually heard of this opportunity through the outgoing Chief Executive. As I had spoken at a Small Charities Coalition event via YCT, I already knew a little about the organisation and felt that my skills and interests would compliment it. I would have been thrilled just to get an interview, I didn’t expect to get the role. As I was preparing to apply, the more and more that I read made me more convinced that I would fit in well here. The Trustees who interviewed me, the Chair and Chair-elect, were good enough to see my potential, even though I am very far from the finished article and still have a great deal to learn.

Are you in your dream job? What are your future aspirations?

I am! Well, I suppose my dream job if I could imagine one from scratch would be a chocolate or wine-taster. But in this role I pretty much couldn’t think of something that more closely aligned with what I believe in and how I would prefer to spend my working day. I love being able to help small charities and small charities trustees, they do work which inspires me every day. I’m finding it fascinating to be a Chief Executive, it has been a steep learning curve but I’ve appreciated all of it. As for future aspirations: nothing concrete I’d mainly like to be able to keep learning as I have a very curious mind, and to be able to champion people who I think are doing a great deal of good and who deserve more recognition.

Do you think Uni has helped you to be where you are now?

Yes, definitely. For me, Uni was never a stepping stone to someone else, it was an opportunity to expand my mind. However I was luckier enough to have lower (but still high) fees when I attended. One of the things that I think graduates should be aware of/try to relax about is to realise that just because some of the things that they learn at university may not seem directly relevant in the first part of their careers, as they progress this will change. For example, I’m now 30 years old and I think some of the research and debate skills I picked up on my Cambridge degree are only now becoming useful for me professionally. I also think that many of the extra-curricular things I did at Uni- chiefly student politics- have helped me in my career. University exposed me to a much greater diversity of (brilliant) people, which certainly helps me with networking for my current role.

Any advice for graduates who aren’t yet in their dream jobs or still battling against this rubbish economy for just an interview?

Yes, a few pieces of advice. The first one is that trite as it sounds, don’t give up. It is easy to look at people in work or in jobs that they enjoy and think that things have always been plain sailing for them. In the case of some lucky people it may be true. In the case of the majority though, including myself, it hasn’t been. When I first lived in London I didn’t have enough money for a travelcard at weekends. I filled my time with as many free things as I could. I nearly gave up and moved away but in the end I got a regular job and things started to pick up. The second is to try doing something outside of work which enhances your skills, (like Trusteeship) and crucially, allows you to meet a wide range of people. Young Charity Trustees gave me a legitimate excuse to contact all sorts of people and go to all sorts of things. Finally I’d say that one of the best practical things that you can do to inspire you is to get a mentor. I have a mentor and a leadership coach, both of whom are brilliant and I am also a mentor myself.

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – or the day that you have had – just in case we might want to change our career path.

Today so far I have: – spoken to a BBC journalist who wants our help with a story.

– liaised with the Charity Commission about a quote for a press release.

– arranged to meet a number of people from other charitable organisations.

– promoted a few initiatives on social media including a ‘Women in Public Affairs’ network event I will be speaking at.

– replied to my mentee, who is on the Charityworks Programme.

Tonight I am off to City Hall for an NCVO event for Volunteers’ Week. If you would like to read a bit more about me, this is my blog alexswallow.wordpress.com

That’s it. Alex Swallow, you have been wonderful. 

Find out about Young Charity Trustees & how to become a Trustee, here: youngcharitytrustees.org

 

Business and Marketing Management

June 2013

Where did you Study?

Oxford Brookes University

What did you Study?

Business and Marketing Management

What year did you Graduate?

2011

So we can feel more intimate, three words to describe your physical appearance.

Long blonde hair

What did you do when you left Uni? Be brutally honest! If you cried into a bowl of cereal every morning & treated your local pub like your favourite Uni nightclub, say so.

I turned 21 straight after I graduated so spent a good few weeks celebrating! After moving back home I spoke to a friend’s parent who owned a marketing agency. As luck would have it they were looking for a marketing exec and after a successful interview I was offered a 3 week paid internship, which I began a week later. By the end of July I had been offered a full-time position with them. I was so grateful to have landed such a great opportunity so soon after graduating and I stayed with the company for 13 months.

How long have you been at Inspiring Interns and why did you choose to intern there?

I finished at my previous position as I decided I wanted to take some time out to travel whilst I still had the opportunity. I wanted to experience working in central London, and hadn’t previously taken any time off so that seemed like an appropriate time to do so. I spent four amazing months in South America and returned home with the hope of finding a job and moving into the city. My main priority was finding a position and company that I really loved. It was not easy, and I spent a couple of months searching for something to no avail, until I was recommended Inspiring Interns. I applied for a couple of marketing opportunities including this one, and thankfully I was invited to interview. I knew instantly that this was the position for me.  I’ve been with Inspiring Interns for nearly 12 weeks now! Next week will be the last week of my internship, and the start of my full-time job here!

Can you highlight five things that experience as a Digital Marketing Intern with Inspiring Interns has taught you?

The key thing my internship has shown me is that it is possible to enjoy working life! ‘Work hard, play hard’ is a key component of the Inspiring ethos. My time here so far has allowed me to gain a wealth of experience in the industry whilst having a great time doing so.

The second thing would have to be all the things I’ve learnt, broadening my knowledge of digital marketing to cover new social media platforms and strategies.

Thirdly, the opportunity to experience new things and test myself. I hadn’t previously had any experience in writing for a company to a large audience and found the thought of doing so completely daunting. I now write weekly blogs for Inspiring and guest blog on behalf of the company, and what’s better is that I actually enjoy doing it.

Fourthly, the importance of communication. Whether it’s between teams, ensuring you communicate and work together to get a job done, or speaking up and asking your mentor for help.

And finally, to have confidence in my abilities!

Any advice for graduates who aren’t yet in their dream jobs or still battling against this rubbish economy for just an interview?

Firstly, stay positive! I think that was my biggest downfall whilst job hunting. It’s difficult not to get down when you spending every day looking for something that doesn’t seem to exist!

Job hunting is all about strategy. Every CV you send represents a small opportunity to catch an employer’s attention. Differentiate yourself as much as possible, demonstrate all the skills and experience you have, and the things you have achieved so far. Be creative; your main aim is to create a (positive) lasting impression.

Another thing I would recommend is utilising your connections. Granted, I was very lucky to have had that opportunity to interview so soon after graduating, but I wouldn’t have done so if I hadn’t asked. Your parents, siblings, aunties and uncles, mates and their mates; it all comes down to networking. Don’t be shy, if you know someone who works in an industry or position of interest, ask them for help or advice. There’s no harm in trying, plus it demonstrates initiative and determination! You can also network online – don’t hesitate to send employers and hiring managers messages on Twitter or LinkedIn. Innovate!

Finally, if you would be so kind, tell us briefly about your day ahead – just in case we might want to change our career path.

Next up on my agenda today is a Facebook post to promote one of our latest vacancies, before lunch in the park across the road! After that it’s back to the office to check on our social media activity, checking my emails and smoothie-drinking (Innocent stopped by this morning and kindly gave us a load). There’s a blog to be written about student accommodation in London as part of our SEO link-building strategy, sourcing of funny gifts to share with the team and thinking about new Google Adwords campaigns. All that mixed with a lot of coffee, singing along to the new Daft Punk album and polishing up a few internship specs to go on our site! All in the name of helping students and graduates to find internships in London and the UK.

That’s it. Hannah, you have been wonderful. 

Find out about Inspiring Interns here: inspiringinterns.com