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Experience A Day in The Life of a Sales Assistant... HOT jobs this November! “I risked my life for £50”
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Contents Issue 001 NOVEMBER 2011
1 A Day in the life of a sales assistant Annabelle takes you through her day as a working student. 2 Best & Worst jobs we speak to you about your employment highlights and nightmares. 4 What employers look for hear what the employers have to say about what they want from you.
6 CV Tips improve your CV with this step by step guide
7 Hot jobs this month bag yourself one of Leeds’ best jobs with our top picks 9 Make a Stylish Impression the perfect interview attire for your part time job 11 Meet the Promo Professionals no strings attatched part time work 12 Don’t Get Conned if it’s too good to be true...it probably is 13 Money Making Schemes ways to cash in on whats in your bedroom
15 15 Real Life: “I Risked My Life For £50” hear Melissa’s terrifying ordeal 17 Placements...Whats Your Verdict? We get your say...yay, or nay? 19 An Interview With Prospects what the professionals have to say about your employment
TEAM SCOUT! ...by the students for the students A Note From The Editor’s... Hello guys and girls and welcome to the first ever issue of Scout! It’s taken a lot of hard word and effort but our vision is finally real; a fun, free and informational magazine to help you; the students of Leeds support themselves through University. Jessica Irwin
Annabelle Rosario - Tulloch
20 Full time student Part time sales assistant at Hobbs.
20 Full time student Part time sales assistant at Phase Eight.
“Always look into future prospects with part time work”
“Get a good balance between part -time work and studying to maintain a stress free life”
We ourselves have suffered the struggles of an empty piggy bank when the heating bills due and there’s drinking to be done. We think that part- time jobs are not only important just to keep you out of your overdraft, but they also provide valuable experience for your CV, to help you get that all important job after you graduate. This issue will let you know the skill sets needed when applying for a job, whatever the field, as well as tips on how to be CV savvy.
21 Full time student Part time sales assistant at Jaeger.
20 Full time student Part time promo girl.
“Sign yourself up to online job alerts to keep ahead of the game”
“Always be on the look out for new companies and be persistent”
For job advice, helpful hints and tactful tips contact us:
This is a magazine for the students, by the students; who are just trying to make your life a little easier, and your bank balance a lot bigger.
!t T U O SC x
Annabelle Rosario - Tulloch
A Day in The Life of:
Sometimes working part –time while study- Our team is small and consists of a maning can be very stressful and it can leave ager, a supervisor and 3 other sales assisyou very stretched for time. It can stand in tants, working as part of such a small team means there is a real sense of support, the way of your university work deadlines team work and friendship, this creates an and can prevent you from having a social ideal work environment. Every day there is life. As nice as it is to have a little bit of a new challenge we have to face but with spare cash after the food shop or a little extra money to treat yourself, working part excellent communication we tackle it as a time while studying can be hard work. Most team. Communication within the team and university careers advisors suggest that full clear communication with other stores is key to ensure the best for the customer. time students should work no more that 20 hours a week. I find working 16 hours is a perfect amount. I love working for Phase The store opens at 9am and closes around 10pm, because of the long opening hours Eight as it is a busy, fast paced environment. But, working in retail can mean long we usually do staggered split shifts, which means we get to work with a few different hours, a lot of standing around and some rude, hard to please customers, but all jobs people throughout the day. There is a very determined ethos within Phase Eight which have their downsides. means everyone is eager to meet deadWhen I’m not in university I am a sales lines and maintain the high standards of assistant based in Leeds City Centre. customer service. Working as a sales assistant requires being pro-active, flexible and confident in Working in retail can be very stressful and giving style advice. I spend my days time consuming but there are also great helping people to look glam and feel opportunities and rewards and excellent positive – it’s a hard life! Interacting with bonus schemes for hard workers. the customers and helping them to find the perfect outfit is the best part of working in The feeling of satisfaction when we have retail. worked together to style a customer for an I enjoy working in retail because I enjoy event is incredible and I feel privileged to styling people for special occasions, be part of such a team. mmaking them feel confident, and introducing them to new looks that they may never
Although I would love to be able to study without having to work part time I find having a job that I enjoy and that I am passionate about to be a great motivation. I think it is essential that you enjoy part time work whilst studying otherwise you wont be stimulated to work. I benefit from working part time because it means I’m not struggling to pay my rent and my bills. It also means I have some money to buy myself a treat or money to go out with my friends. Working part time can be a daunting task if you don’t manage your time well, but with a little preparation, planning and perseverance you can find you actually enjoy working part time and it is very beneficial for you. Even when I’m tired after a long day I like to make an effort to go out with my friends, I find that having a good balance between working, studying and socialising helps me to maintain a stress free life.
Best job: Working as a barman was definitely one of my best jobs. It was a great atmosphere, I got to mix with loads of students, and the hours fitted around my university timetable Worst job: Working in a fish and chip shop. The customers were rude if we didnâ€™t serve them quickly, and I used to go home stinking of fish and chips.
an, BA H Age:2 ons Histor 1 y
Best Job: Definitely working for New Look. I love fashion, so working in retail was the best. I could shop whilst I worked, great discount and short hours so the shifts went quickly. Worst job: Working as an assistant in an accountancy firm in the shed sorting through files and making more space in the shed. The job was very monotonous and did it all day every day for a week. It was un-motivating as I only worked with one other person. ss
o ash, BA H Eve Sham Studies Age:21
Best job: Working as a receptionist for Audi. This was the most relaxed company, I was Able to do university work when it was quiet, there were a variety of people to speak to and I was always taken out for test drive in brand new cars
Worst job: Working as a junior in a hairdressers. It was really bad pay, long hours and i felt under valued the whole time. i couldnâ€™t wait to leave
A Ho Desig ns Fashion n Age: 2 1
&Worst Jobs Best job: Working in Morrisons on the check out till. The job gave me stability with a regular and secure pay check, as well as good prospects and opportunities, such as graduate schemes. Worst Job: Ticket seller for a club. It was commission based, there were limited opportunities and extremely unreliable. m
ou ons J H A mb, B e: 22 d Do i Ag v a D
Best job: Working as a dance teacher for young children. It’s a lot of fun, whilst getting exercise. It’s really rewarding and flexible too Worst Job: Working in the call centre for Leeds Met. I had to call graduate students for information. They weren’t very friendly,. It was hard work, and bad hours 5-9 in the evening Franc
haw, B A & The Hons Reli gion ology Age: 2 0
Best job: Working as a DJ in student clubs. It was great fun, the hours were suited around university, and it was great to perform infront of my friends
u BA M , n o ars on e Pe ti Shan Produc 20 Age:
Worst job: When I was working in a cafe. It was hard work for little money, long hours, which interfered with my university work and there was a copious amount of grease which was hard to take out!
W hen looking for a new job, we all want to please our employers - to
- be, but knowing what exactly will please them is often something we all get a little bit stuck on. All employers have something different that makes them tick, something that pushes their buttons and makes them think “this is who I want to hire”. This makes the job of knowing what they want in an employee that much more difficult! SCOUT! have tracked down three Leeds based employers across some of the most popular industries for student jobs; retail, customer service and hospitality and have put them through their paces to help you score a job and charm your interviewer into being their ideal candidate. Not forgetting of course, to answer the ever illusive question of...what exactly do they look for?
WHAT I LOOK FOR: Jess Mawson, from Wakefield, works at Hobbs. What personal qualities do you look for in employees? Passion is the key! The job can be hard, both when it’s busy and quiet, so as long as the candidate has passion for the brand or fashion/ clothing they are more than likely to enjoy it. Flexibility is very important, we have to work early shifts, late shifts and of course weekends. Sales experience is a bonus or again that passion for fashion! What qualities are important in retail? In retail, having passion for the job is one of the best qualities to have, loving what you’re doing means you can sell products with enthusiasm. Product knowledge is also important, revising key looks and keeping up to date on fashion means you can be confident in selling products and answer any customer questions. Last but not least customer service skills are a must, employees need to be friendly and approachable and make sure that every customer has a fantastic shopping experience and leaves the store feeling happy and satisfied and wanting to come back! What would your worries be with hiring a student? Flexibility and availability, especially during busy periods like sale and Christmas. Also, since the job is not their main focus, I may worry about commitment. Having reliable staff is absolutely paramount! What are the advantages of having a job in retail?
You gain interpersonal skills and it really helps with confidence. The hourly rate is good (with us especially) and you get free or discounted clothes! The customer service skills you learn can also be transferred into a multitude of roles in the future and can help you build fast relationships with colleagues. There is always prospects to progress in retail and the option to move through the ranks. Retail is a great industry to get into as there’s always going to be jobs available because people love to shop!
WHAT I LOOK FOR: Donna Jones, from Pudsey, works at the customer contact centre for ShopDirect What personal qualities do you look for in employees? Enthusiastic, motivated, good communicator. Understands good customer service and has a desire to help others and goes the extra mile for people. What qualities are important in a customer service role? That you are able to quickly build rapports, easily establish relationships and deal with the enquiry quickly and to the customerâ€™s satisfaction. As well as this it is important to show skills in problem solving and the ability to resolve issues quickly. You must also be able to use your intiative in making decisions without referring to others. In customer service, probably the most important quality is that you are able to be resilient and remain calm under pressure. Some customers can be very difficult and aggressive so taking criticism well is key. What would your worries be hiring a student? The main worry would be that the student would be unavailable for work during holidays as well as term time. In some organisations, such as the contact centre at ShopDirect, peak trading is over the Christmas period, some students will return home at this time of year leaving the organisation short staffed during its busiest period.
WHAT I LOOK FOR: Callum Stewart, from Kirkstall, works at Dry Dock.
What are the benefits of having a job in customer service? Being in customer service can be very hard work but very rewarding. A person who is motivated by helping others will find great job satisfaction in a customer service role.
What personal qualities do you look for in employees? Someone with a positive attitude who is approachable and friendly is usually the first thing I look for. A great sense of humour is also a plus! Reliabilty is probably the next best quality to have, you canâ€™t go wrong with someone who you know is honest and you can trust with working alongside you. What qualities are important in a hospitality role? Being confident and energetic is a must for working in hospitality, especially bar work. You need to be confident enough to chat with customers...sometimes the drunk ones! Again, being friendly is key, service always needs to come with a smile. What would your worries be hiring a student? The main concern would be if they could manage work alongside their studies and that we wonâ€™t be left short staffed at short notice. They also need to be able to handle the varied shift patterns. What are the benefits of having a job in hospitality? You get to meet lots of really great people and there are so many different areas to work in, like bar work or kitchen, it can be challenging but never dull.
How to be...
Your CV could be your ticket to a new job, so here’s how to make the best first impression and bag yourself an interview.
Personal Pointer Of The Week.
Last but not least; refrences. You should include two refrences, and at least one should be from a previous employer. Remember to keep the whole CV under two pages long though.
The Obvious. Every CV should include personal details, e.g name, address and phone number.
A strong sub heading should sum your working persona up in one sentence and make you stand out from the crowd.
Try and include at least two or three hobbies and interests, just to give your A4 sheet of paper as much personallity as possible, even ‘socialising’ counts as one.
Always start with a personal statment in one paragraph. Include a brief summary of the kind of work you’ve done, skills you have which are relevant to the job you are applying for, and how you feel you would suceed in that role.
Remember throughout your CV to relate experience and responsibilities back to the role you’re applying for.
Interview check list...
Your education should come before your work experience, and remeber to keep it brief; where you studied and your achieved or predicted grades will be sufficient.
- Research company including date founded and important mile stones. a
- Take with you a copy of your CV and any other relevant documents. a
When writing up your work experience remember to incude your top three most relevant jobs. For example Sainsbury’s probably doesn’t care about your two stint as a paper girl in 2002.
- Practice interview questions with friends and family. a
- Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer. a
HOT Jobs Th L
eeds is a big city with lots to offer, you just need to know where to look. To help you find the perfect part time job, SCOUT! has scoured the streets of Leeds in search of the hot jobs on offer. We know that fitting a job around your university timetable can be quite tricky and the hours that come with some part time jobs aren’t practical for everyone. SCOUT! have uncovered the ideal jobs for the bright eyed early birds and the perky night owls, to find something for everyone! It’s our mission to nudge you in the right direction to keep you out of the ever so tempting overdraft; we’ve found the jobs now all that’s left for you to do is apply!
Azendi Sector: Retail ( footwear and accessories) Salary: £6.00- £7.50 an hour. Role: Part time seasonal sales. Is this right for you? If you have a flare for fashion and are a people person who thrives on meeting targets then you need to look into this job! This is great for any keen sellers who love a challenge and aren’t afraid jump in with both feet.
Topshop/Topman Sector: Retail Salary N/A Role: Christmas staff
PC World Sector: Retail Salary: N/A Role: Part time sales assistant. Is this right for you? Feel like a challenge? PC World is great if you’re interested in learning all the technical know how of laptops, cameras, televisions and more (as well as having a tempting 10% staff discount off everything in store) then PC World is for you.
Is this right for you? This job is perfect for anyone who is just looking for some temporary work to gain a bit of extra cash over the Christmas period, when you’re student loan is dwindling and you have mountains for presents to buy. This would be great for anyone who loves fashion and is always following the trends!
Gala Sector: Leisure and Hospitality Salary: ÂŁ6.08 PH Role: Team Ambassadors Is this right for you? Donâ€™t fancy the regularity of retail? Then look no further! Gala is offering the opportunity of part time work in all aspects of the company from receptionist to bar staff, for anyone who likes to give anything a go, then this is ideal for building up a varied skill set (that will look fab on your CV!)
J.D Weatherspoons Sector: Hospitality Salary: N/A Role: Part time bar staff Is this right for you? For those who enjoy a pick and mix of shift patterns to fit around your university timetable, Weatherspoons can offer you the best of both worlds from the quieter morning and lunch time hours serving food to the hungry customers to the more active night time shifts behind the bar.
Tiger Tiger Sector: Hospitality Salary: N/A Role: Part time bar staff Is this right for you? This job is definitely for the social butterflies, who enjoy the fast paced environment of bar work and busy student nights. If you have the gift of the gab, a nights work at Tiger Tiger will go down a treat.
Make A Tailored shirts are everywhere this season and can be spotted on the likes of Fearne Cotton and Kelly Rowland. This is a great investment for a sophisticated interview look as well as a vintage glam style in the day. This Miss Selfridge floral bow shirt is a must have for putting a quirky and feminine style on a corporate look and would team up great with your favourite pair of black skinny’s for a more casual look! The black button front skirt is a perfect contrast and tones down the outfit to keep it professional yet playful.
So, you’ve received the ever awaited phone call back and found out you’ve been lucky enough to take part in an interview, but this is where the next challenge begins...what to wear! Finding the perfect interview attire can always seem a bit daunting, it’s always the same questions; am I going to be too smart, or not smart enough? Do I go corporate savvy or catwalk trend?
Miss Selfridge £30.00
Finish the outfit off with a pair black tights with a subtle black seam to complete the pin-up look.
Miss Selfridge £35.00
Miss Selfridge £42.00
In most cases, shorts would not be considered appropriate interview attire, and in most cases, this would be correct. However, there is a garment that has now allowed us to do this…the playsuit. Playsuits are a firm favourite for fashion icons Kate Moss and Rihanna and are a key item to have in your wardrobe. This chic piece from Miss Selfridge is a daring look for an interview but the long city-short style teamed with the beautifully tailored lace cream shirt means this playsuit can be transformed from a flirty night time look to a sophisticated interview sensation. Team with a pair of burgundy peep toe heels to inject some subtle colour. New Look £19.99
Top Tip Apply some “Berry” lip marker to compliment your shoes.
Impression! Topman £12.00
Guys; if there is one colour you need to own this winter, it is without a doubt; burgundy. The dark red is a great alternative to black and these trousers in “wine” from Topman are perfectly suited to interview attire. Contrast the burgundy with a plain black shirt to keep it smart and simple. These trousers are great for casual wear too and should not be left hanging in your wardrobe for your next smart occasion. Pair them up with a white graphic tshirt to brighten up your look but keep it playful with a graphic design.
It’s important to make sure that whatever your interview is for; you maintain a degree of formality. Show them you’re the professional they want who understands the importance of a good first impression. Don’t morph into the same forgettable suit and tie and don’t be afraid to put a twist on the traditional and show you’re aware of your own style. As students, we all survive on a limited bank balance and we have to choose all our investments wisely and there is no reason why interview wear only has to be worn once. Well fear no more, here’s the know-how on how to re-wear and re-style your interview gear!
Break up the outfit with a plain black belt for smart or casual wear.
For most of you, when you think of interview wear you think “shirt and tie”, this next look also proves that a tie isn’t always necessary to dress yourself up. This grey shirt from H&M is a bargain for under £15 and makes a subtle change from a crisp white shirt. Match them up with these smart blue trousers instead of black for a unique colour change and transforming your standard work-wear into a fresher, more modern look.
Try layering the shirt with a charcoal v-neck jumper for any day time look.
Meet the Promo Professionals!
As a student myself, I found myself struggling to keep the balance between saving money and spending. Many of my friends introduced me to the idea of promotion work. At first, I felt I wasn’t confident enough or had the right look to go and promote products, speak to the public and demonstrate or sell various commodities. However, a job had come up to work for a day for £90. It was to hand out samples of the new Heinz salad dressing and I knew I couldn’t refuse it. Less than an hour into it, I got the hang of it and loved it, now I would hate to go back to working with a contract, with set shifts and mediocre pay. Natalie Lever, 20 studying at Leeds University is a big fan of promotion work “I study in Leeds, but live in London and the companies I’m with have work in both areas. The pay is amazing, the lowest I’ve been paid is £7.50ph which is still great. Once I did a sampling job from 9-6 but finished early as we sold out so it worked out i got paid £28ph. It really is the dream job whilst I am a student’. One group on Facebook ‘Promo Fos’ allows members to join to find work, as many agencies write work available on a daily basis. Many cater for a variety of talents, including face painters, jugglers or actors. This group had a wide range of opportunities for active job seekers out there.
However, of course there will be downsides to this. As there are in any field of work, you can end up calling ten times a day, or a few times a week and there could be no work available for you. The only other downside is it takes 6-8 weeks to be paid. The money is amazing, and it does eventually come through, but you may have to be persistent to certain companies. Nevertheless, the benefits outweigh the negatives, and promotion work really is simple money; fast. To sign up, go on the internet, type in ‘promotion work’ or ‘field marketing promotion’ and a number of agencies will come up. If you call first to check they are legit, sign up online and then keep calling them to find work! Some of the most popular agencies include Link Communication, N2o, Kreate and Engage. Promotion work can be seen as a very feminine job, but there are many opportunities for guys as well. Jason Handlesman,22, has been doing it for the past two years, he said ‘my girlfriend does promo work, and through that I got jobs. It is harder if you’re male because most want pretty young girls, but there are still great opportunities, and the pay is amazing. Whilst graduated and looking for a job, this filled the time and paid well’.
Types of Promotion Work Leafleting
- Hand to hand leafleting in your busy local area e.g. shopping centres - Door to door leafleting around your area
- In local stores usually in supermarkets/cosmetic shops new products that brands are testing out - Easiest promotion work, everyone loves free samples! - Great for students who want to work in the evenings e.g. shot girls, waitress/waiter, bartender
- New products, like sampling, that need to be tested out to the public. - This type of promotion work usually involves meeting targets and selling a certain amount - You will have a sample of the product that you use on the customers and using personality and knowledge sell the product to them
- This involves testing out shops to see if they meet certain requirements. This method tests the staff, the shop/products available to the public - You will have a sheet with certain criteria’s that need to be met. It is your job to mark them on certain areas, such as number of employees front of house, how long it takes them to greet you, friendly, types of products used etc. - You may be asked to buy a product, or seem to be interested to get the staff to then explain it to you, to test their knowledge/techniques.
Job Search Site
Some times you have to go further a field than your local high street to find yourself a part time job. So what better place to browse your local vacancies than the World Wide Web? We tried out some job search websites to find out which are most suitable for part time work...
3/5 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪
Positives: Very easy to use, simply enter a job field or in our case “part time” and then the location you’re looking for, and it brings up all the jobs that match, and from there you can narrow down your search.
Negatives: The site is more targetted at
professionals looking for full time work, and a lot of the jobs appear with annual salaries rather than £ per hour wages.
4/5 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪
Positives: Lots of part time jobs suitable for
students, includin things like promotion work and other casual jobs that are suited to student life.
5/5 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪
Positives: Has everything that a student would
Negatives: It isn’t a specialist job site, so there
be looking for job wise, from placements, to graduate schemes and from voluntary work to part time shop jobs.
isn’t as much selection as other job sites. Also a lot of suspicious job advetisements for example “ man seeking a female massuse twice weekly...” So be careful, and never apply for anything that seems dodgey.
Negatives: The only downside is if you were
looking for a part time job, you may have to look through all the other vacancies.
And The Winner Is... E4s.co.uk is our job search site reccomendation. It’ s a one stop shop for all your student job search needs. So you can use it to find your cash injection part time job, as well as searching for your future career prospects after university.
s e m e h Sc
This week SCOUT have investigated the best money making schemes for you to gain some extra pennies (legally) without having to actually get a part-time job. All of these schemes can fit in with your studies, so you can put in as much or as little effort as you like.
Become a University Ambassador for your University.
Work as a university ambassador on Open Days and events. Events don’t take place very often so it won’t hinder your studies and you aren’t contracted to this type of work so if you have plans you can always say no. What’s involved: Telling potential students and families about university life and giving an honest opinion about your university and the course you are studying.
There are many websites that pay people to take surveys. All you need is some basic knowledge of the product. They can be a great way to give your opinion and it isn’t very time consuming. Just beware of scams & read the small print.
Benefits: Well paid and Universities are always looking for student reps so you are guaranteed to get a job. It looks great on your CV and it is a great way to make new friends.
Market Research Sessions
Complete online Surveys
Sell old mobiles, Games and DVD’s.
Sign up with an agency such as Roundhay or DJS or better still sign up to a few and get invited along to focus groups. Benefits: Good pay, meet new people, find out about new projects, you can help to shape marketing decisions.
This is simple; all you need are old games, DVD’s or an old phone that you no longer use. Then you simply pop into Leeds City Center and head to CeX. At CeX you can trade in your old unwanted electronic goods.
Car Boot Sale
Gather up all your old, unused tat and clothes from around your house and head to Leeds City Center car boot sale. It takes place at Elite Parking, 5 mins from the train station, every Sunday. Get there at 7am and pay £8 to set up a pitch and then simply work your magic.
Write Online Content
This one is great for students that are passionate about writing, if you are confident with computers and the internet then it is a great way to make some money from the comfort of your own room. Companies such as BloggerJobs are always looking for students to help them write content to populate websites. What’s involved: You can be asked to write up to 30 short pieces of content a week, this can be on a range of topics such as gardening, shopping, clothing, beauty, and sport etc. so it may requires a small amount of research beforehand.
If you’re good with children then why not babysit for friends and family. Advertise your services in local schools and nurseries. This is a hard area to work in as you need to gain peoples trust which is why it is good to start of looking after children of people that you know. Once you have gained a reputation as being responsible and reliable the offers should fly in.
Do you have a natural talent in Math’s or English, why not tutor those that are struggling. Advertise your services online and in local schools and eventually you will begin tutoring. Benefits: very good source of income, a few hours a week, very rewarding. You can tutor any age, a good place to start is to help foreign students to learn better English.
Sell unused clothes, games and books on eBay.
Do you have boxes of clutter taking up space in your room, in the bottom of your wardrobe and under your bed? Well why not use it to make some money. Set up an eBay account and get selling. It’s very simple and it only takes a few moments. What’s involved: All you have to do it take a photo of what you are selling, describe it in a few words and stick a price on it.
Keep a Coin Jar If all else fails this is foolproof. Every time you return home, simply flip all the change you have lingering in your pockets, purse or at the bottom of your bag into a jar and forget about it. You will be surprised at how much the change amounts to in a short period of time.
Sometimes students fall on hard times whilst living away from their parents for the first time. Although most employers are genuine some try to exploit first time students; desperate for cash. 20 year old Melissa talks to us about her chilling experience...
Starting university can be a difficult time for most students, especially once you realise the bank of ‘Mum and Dad’ is not as readily available as it once was. The most obvious solution to money matters is to accept responsibility for your bank balance and find a job.
“I can’t believe o nearly cost me
When 20-year-old Leeds Metropolitan student Melissa Lloyd stumbled on hard financial times, she started her search for a part time job. Mel couldn’t believe her luck when a night club promotion company got in touch with her, less than 24 hours after she’d emailed them, asking if she’d be available to start work the next night as a dancer for a new club night. “ I was really flattered; they thought I was pretty enough to be a podium dancer. It took me ages to get ready the next night; I really wanted to impress them. But when I got there the girls had barely anything on, they looked like strippers, it just wasn’t what I was expecting, but I needed the money so I just got on with it. ” Mel spent the night being fed free alcohol by the team mangers and dancing on a small stage in the corner of the club, the ideal job for most students; getting paid to have a good time; but was it too perfect? The night flew by and before she knew it the lights went up and the crowd of punters dispersed. “I’d had such a good night I couldn’t believe how quickly it had gone. I hadn’t spent a penny, and I was plus £50.” When Mel asked the promotion manager about her pay he told her that he kept all of the money in a safe at home, if she wanted the money that night she would have to go back with him to get it.
Mel shouted upstairs for help as she started to become more and more concerned about the way she was feeling, but as the manager came downstairs his intentions soon became clear. “ I thought he would run in and ring an ambulance or something but he didn’t, he told me to calm down and relax, he started stroking my arms and telling me not to worry.”
“I really wanted to impress them”
“ I guess it didn’t really click, to me it made sense, to keep money in a safe. He even offered to pay for a taxi back home after I’d collected my money.” When they arrived at his house her manager offered her a drink whilst she waited for him to go upstairs to collect her wage. It was then that the night took a turn for the worse. “ I started to feel really weird, the room was spinning and I couldn’t stand up. “
Melissa was terrified she could barely stand up and didn’t know what this man she barely knew was capable of. She tried to move away but given her state, was easily pulled back into her seat. “ He started to get angry and told me to shut up. He said he was going to get something and to stay where I was, but then he started laughing, saying not like you could go anywhere.” As he left the room Mel managed to drag herself up and stumble towards the front door. She then battled with the lock as she tried to free herself from the house.
one nights wage e my ”
“ They are so professional; I had a proper interview and proper uniform. If I work till late at night they pay for my taxi home, and my manager insists all members of staff text them when they get home, so they know we’re back alright.”
Mel during her shift at her new job.
“ I had no idea the danger I had put myself in, I’d been so stupid. I finally managed to open the door and down the driveway. I remember typing The lesson to be learnt from Mel’s is to make sure you put your 9-9-9 into my phone, but that is my last memory of the night.” After Mel made the emergency call, it was assumed she walked around 50 yards down the road, where she was found collapsed by the ambulance service 7 minutes later. She was rushed to hospital where they made the decision to pump her stomach. “ They did a blood test on me, to find out why I’d ended up the state I did. When the results came back traces of Rohypnol were found in my blood stream.”
“I had no idea the danger I put myself in!”
safety before money. Luckily Mel was not harmed, but the story could of ended much differently. If you want to get a job in a bar, make sure you check out the job description and what it entails, This meant that Mel’s drink had been spiked, whether it was in the club and meet with your potential employers before agreeing to work or at her managers house is still unknown. However what is known is for them. that Melissa put her self in grave danger. Firstly by not researching the company she agreed to work for, and secondly by putting her trust in a “ My biggest regret is taking that job, I literally risked my life for man she had only just met. £50, which I never even got!” Luckily Mel made a full recovery and these days Mel has a new job, she Make sure you don’t make the same mistakes as Melissa, beworks for the bar Players in Leeds, but things are a lot different from her cause if job sounds too good to be true, it probably is. night as a dancer.
Placements... Whats Many however, as part of their course, need to find work experience modules instead. Benjamin Turgel, who studies at Leeds College of Art, explained that his course there is an enterprise module which has to include experience. Many students can chose to do placements abroad. Many courses actually cater for this, for example if you were to do a French degree, it is mandatory to study in France for a year. However, of course the student can chose to study abroad, through programmes such as Placement Finders (http://www. placementfinders.com/). The best way to get what you are looking for is to speak to the career advisors in the university, or go to the helpzone who can direct you to the placement office. There are many advantages to doing a placement, primarily it allows you to see what you are working towards in the future, what you want to achieve and give you a taste of the opportunities available to you when you graduate. The skills and knowledge that you gain from a working environment you will not gain through just studying as an undergraduate. The biggest advantage to students who complete placements, are that they often earn up to £5000 more, as they have gained the relevant experience. Through a placement, this leads to other potential work offerings, such as a graduate scheme or a full-time job after you graduate. Many however, as part of their course, need to find work experience modules instead. Chaya Beri, who studies at Leeds Metropolitan, explained that her course entails a 6 month placement, where she chose to do it at BBC Leeds (pictured above). This applies to a range of courses, including Journalism, where it is expected that the students gain a minimum of three weeks work experience. This is an alternative route, so that you get the experience, just in a shorter more condensed time.
“If you sign up, then they email you with constant updates to suit you, about your chosen field.”
Throughout the year there are numerous placement fairs, as well as career and graduate fairs for students in Leeds. They are usually done twice a year, once in November/December and then again in the spring. In the fair they have numerous companies advertising stalls for their brands. One that stood out to was ‘Rate My Placement’ (http://www.ratemyplacement.co.uk) which is full of opportunities for students, including placements and graduate schemes. If you sign up, then they email you with constant updates to suit you, about your chosen field. It is a free which is a bonus, seeing as some online charge for you to be a member. The search bar on the home page gives you a number of options what to chose to look at first. What is different about this website is that the placement is rated on a scale of 1-10 to show their members review from other students who have carried out placements and what their verdict was. A number of questions are asked and the student has to answer it by a number of stars, starting from 0-10. Questions include how much the student enjoyed it, if they felt valued, how they were supported and guided, responsibility and what training was given. For students, it is one of the best websites and strongly recommended. To find out more about the type of placement that it suited to you, go on www.leedsmet.ac.uk, www.leeds. ac.uk, www.leeds-art.ac.uk, www. lcm.ac.uk, www.leedstrinity.ac.uk or www.leedscitycollege.ac.uk for more information, The next page shows two conflicting views from two students at Leeds Metropolitan about placements.
your verdict? I study International Business at Leeds Met, however I wasn’t satisfied with being ordinary and just completing the same 3 year course as everyone else. I hugely believe having a placement is such an integral part of my University experience and would offer me many opportunities in the future. Having been involved with many experience and achievements within University, such as: being accepted on the StudyChina, StudyIndia and Xpedition trip which then led me to study in China and America, as well as being a IBM Business Team leader, raising £2000 for Cancer Research and a student class representative. I am able to see the various skills that can be gained throughout.
My placement consists of events management, marketing, fundraising, advertising, and managing my own team for this sector of the business. I am working for a charity company, who are raising money for disabled children to have sensory rooms. Through speaking to a young boy, his idea to sell wrapping paper, as so much of it gets wasted, as well as including games, so I made this idea turn into a reality, and now we are at the stage where it is going to be sold, it’s an amazing opportunity, one I wouldn’t get just by studying at university all day.
Marc Cowan, 19 Natalie Parry, 21
I study Events Management and although it’s mandatory to do a sandwich year, I don’t think it’s beneficial to me, and I’m trying to get out of it. I feel that it is too long. I don’t want a placement for a whole university year, 3/6 months is enough, otherwise that’s another year of university I have to do. Getting experience in the summer, or in Christmas is primarily what I want. Not only about time, the issue of doing it so early in my course is a big factor. Doing it in second year is pointless, by the time I graduate in the fourth year; they would have hired other students and probably forgotten about me doing it two years ago.
“Not necessary” I have also had a bad experience with a placement opportunity. It was only a summer thing, but I couldn’t wait to leave. I didn’t feel valued, and they made me do mundane jobs, like sweeping up areas and packing bags. This wasn’t what I signed up for, and was deeply disappointed. It has put me off wanting to find a placement.
An Interview W
Prospects.ac.uk is the UK’s leading graduate careers website. The site offers information, opportunities an journals designed to help you find the right graduate job for you. Alongside information about what’s on off from the crowd. Last week at the Ethnic and Diversity Jobs Fair at The University of Leeds I met with Pros studying. “When looking for part-time work it is important that you don’t give up! Keep making changes to your CV’s and cover letters, change your approach to searching for work, if your having no luck handing out CV’s then try online or get help from your university careers advisors. Don’t let it get you down or affect your studies and if all else fails volunteer. The skills you gain from volunteering can be put onto your CV and can help make all the difference when you are looking for part-time work.”
Once we have found part time work many of us will be struggling to manage our time, struggling to balance our studies and our social lives whilst working. Fateha explains how one of the main stresses of working part time whilst studying is making time to fit everything in, she talks about the importance of time management and how best to handle your workload. “It is essential that you organise your time -this will help to make sure you have a good balance between work and studying, you should create a timetable include social time on this timetable but don’t over do it, be careful not to over do the social side of things if you are struggling with your studies. It is important you don’t over work yourself and rest is vital! Most importantly get help if you are struggling, don’t leave it until the last minute.”
We are all trying to find the right sort of part-time work; we all want the perfect part-time job that is going to help us to develop our future career. But this doesn’t have to be the case as the skills gained from working part-time can be transferred to any job sector. “The skills you are gaining while working part time are vital when looking for a career after university. So many people leave part -time work off their CV’s when applying for graduate positions and placements as they don’t feel it is relevant but they couldn’t be more wrong. For example working in a supermarket can improve your negotiation skills, your confidence, and even your numeracy skills and these are the basic skills people don’t recognise and in turn they leave them off their CV’s. Don’t under estimate your CV, include every little detail.”
Many of us are so stressed out about trying to complete our final year at university that looking for graduate jobs isn’t on our minds, we don’t know where to look or who to speak to.
nd advice to students worrying about the next step. The site contains a wide range of directories and fer, prospects.ac.uk contains information to help you improve your CV and make sure you stand out spects Product Manager -Fateha Khalik to find out how to make the most of part-time work whilst “Graduate services at your university offer loads of advice and help and the majority of grad services are open all year round, some university’s will even offer you advice and guidance 5 years after you graduate, make the most of your careers services the help is there so go and use it! The internet is another good place to look, try prospects.ac.uk we’ve got loads of help and advice, jobs opportunities, and advice about how to fix up your CV’s and cover letters. Also, research; if there is a particular sector in which you want to work then research that sector, find out about the job market in that sector, find out what the jobs are like and find out what you can expect. See what companies are out there and write prospective letters to people who possibly aren’t recruiting but they might take you on regardless, send CV’s to companies that aren’t advertising, that might have roles that you don’t know of, put yourself out there. Most importantly; up your knowledge on a certain company this will help to put you in a better position than the other candidates.”
Great, now we are ready to start applying for graduate jobs, but what exactly are employers looking for? “Generally employers are looking for someone that is going to bring value to their company. Ask yourself what you can bring to their company. All graduates with the same degree are looking for same thing so you need to make yourself stand out, part time work can help you do this because those vital skills that you learned while working can put you one step above everyone else. Go to careers fairs and talk to employer’s face- to – face, sell yourself, try and impress them and they will remember you. But don’t just turn up, you need to go prepared, they love someone that is prepared, you need to show a keen interest in their organisation, but you really need to show how you’re different, share your passions and interests. There is a lot of competition at the moment with graduate jobs and people aren’t recruiting as much so you want to make sure that you stand out from the crowd!”
Ok, Any final tips? “Keep focussed, attend careers fairs, network and meet people, somewhere down the line you will meet someone that knows someone who can help you with that first step in your career and you will end up in a job soon enough.”
If you are struggling to find part time work then maybe you should take Fateha’s advice and change your approach to looking for a job. If you are struggling to see how your current job is going to benefit your future careers write a list of the skills your part-time working helping you to develop, remember all skills are transferrable and no skills or previous jobs should be left off your CV. If you are in your final year it is time to start looking for graduate jobs, it is time to get active with your future.
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