Progression Question

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Photography by Daria Nepriakhina (via Unsplash)

Shall we have a guess on what excuses shall be used as to why I’ve been silent on the blogging front for the last month?!

Don’t worry I shall save you the time;

I feel that I am no longer best placed to be the person giving advice to Event Students. Or more specifically that I cannot focus the whole blog on just event degrees & students.

I’m not ignorant enough to think that because I’ve been a Graduate for 2 years, I no longer remember the pain & suffering of writing essays. That I cannot relate to the confusing nature of academic books & how little they relate to the actual industry.

I’ve been through the process, spent 4 years gaining an event degree & now work for one of the best experience marketing agencies in the world! I’m also not claiming I no longer have anything to say on this topic, but rather I have established my view points on so many topics relevant to Event Students that I’m now just repeating myself;

I fully support Event Degrees & how they build up and create a fantastic group of future Event Profs. Yet I stand by the statement there is a lack of connection between course, academics, businesses operating in the events industry and event professionals.

I recommend and encourage students to go out & get experience (Volunteering, interning, taking on a placement year or some work experience) within the industry BUT more importantly in different roles – not just looking at operations or on site logistics. Look at sales & marketing, venue side, catering, working in large agencies, small agencies, for event tech companies,  in strategy & planning, for experiential companies, at festivals, running B2B events.

I think there is still not enough women in leadership positions, that there is still work to be done to make the whole industry (and event courses) more inclusive – which is why I am so excited to see the introduction of Event Apprenticeships!

How amazing and important it is for students & anyone at the start of their event career to connect with other event professionals. How networking and becoming part of associations like ILEA can help you develop, connect with peers and grown into other roles!

All of these opinions have been shared on this blog. They are view points I express on regular basis, both online and IRL. And for now I think they are unlikely to change!

One of the biggest reasons as to why I have these feelings is because of my job as a Junior Strategist. I am moving further down a career path that, whilst sill events related, crosses many different industries and disciplines.

It is leading me to different questions and conversations that aren’t as relevant to what I originally set this blog up to cover. To topics that you might want to hear and engage in.

More than anything I want to talk about what I do. I want to share my thoughts, questions and experiences, but I also want to gauge if this would interest you?

Do you want to read more about what Strategy & Planning is, how it connects with Events, Advertising and Experiential?

*to be 100% honest I will props start writing about it anyway – but please feel free to express your opinion on this 🙂

I look forward to hearing what you guys think, please feel free to share your thoughts on any & everything I’ve said in this post – discussion and conversations are the best way to develop & progress!

I also wanted to share my appreciation for a few blogs & vlogs that I think are fantastic additions to the landscape of Event Students and degrees! 🙂

Event Student View by the fantastic Melissa (who is also great on Twitter) who has just finished her Event Degree!

Tori Bell’s blog – who is the 2016 Eventice winner & all round lovely person! (She wrote a great write-up here)

Phoebe’s Event Blog by *surprise surprise* Phoebe – a recent event grad working up North!

An Events Student’s View written by Francesca a final year event student.

& one I only found today – Harriet Rose’s Vlogging channel – who is a Second Year Event Student @ Bournemouth!

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@Imdamnstudent@blogbykobrakFacebook & Instagram

Guide for Graduates

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Photograph by Sergee Bee (Via Unsplash)

May. A great month where we *normally* move into the warmer weather, although living the UK it can’t be guaranteed! May is also the time of year where most University Students finish up their academic year!

For anyone in their final year this month obviously holds a lot of importance. Unless you are of to study a PhD or Masters, in which case, see you back in September! 🙂

However for anyone about to take the leap into being a Graduate and young professional I want to direct you all to a fantastic piece by Ad Week – a Graduate Guide.

Now before you dismiss this as something that is only relevant to individuals looking to enter the advertising world, take it from someone who has been through this experience – graduating is the same experience regardless of what you studied!

There is no clear or perfect way to leave Uni and land that perfect job, it was 6 months before I first started working at GPJ (which is nicely documented in my Graduate Journey series). But there are a few things that you can start to do to first obtain a job & a few things that are useful to know and anticipate once you actually start working.

So go ahead & take a look at the guides, let me know if it helped & feel free to add some additional points!

My personal favourite of the series is What you’ll learn from that 1st year in the Job

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@Imdamnstudent@blogbykobrakFacebook & Instagram

How to embrace the commute to work!

Train

Photo by Maria Molinero (via Unsplash)

Way back in January 2013 I wrote a post on ‘How to beat the boredom of the commute to work!‘ At the time I was travelling just shy of an hour each way to my placement office BUT if we fast forward 2 years I now spend 4 hours a day travelling to work.

Yes that’s right I did just say 4 hours.

2 hours in the morning & 2 hours in the evening!

I would also say that 40% of the overall 4 hours is spent standing up, pressed into strangers armpits. So excuse me when I step forward and say I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of ways to occupy time when commuting to work!

With this updated experience, and the fact we’re all now back commuting, I wanted to share a few ways that could alleviate the boredom of commuting.

Tracy Thomas

Photograph by Tracy Thomas

Catch up on catch-up TV

In 2013 I made the fatal error of making a ridiculous statement that watching TV on the commute to work just isn’t worth it. Today I would like to officially retract that statement!

Iplayer, 4OD & ITV Player will become your best BEST friend. I spend most mornings on the way to work either on Iplayer or catching up on the weekends F1 race!

The benefit I find to watching everything on my phone vs a larger tablet is that my phone is small enough to watch even when I’m pressed into a random strangers back on the tube! Something that unfortunately is a regular part of my journey to the office.

Jaelynn Castillo

Photograph by Jaelynn Castillo

Utilise the saying ‘There’s an App for that’ 

I fully fell in love with my iPhone when I realised I could read my kindle books & listen to audiobooks without having to reconnect to my computer or carry around extra tech devices! I was a few years late to the party but the amount of space you save from not having to carry about that brand new hard back copy of that best-selling novel has saved so much weight on my journeys!

sony headphones

Sony Headphone Advert (via Yosoh)

Invest in some good headphones

Please don’t be that person who watches something without wearing headphone and thus subjecting your fellow travellers to your terrible TV choices. Or even worst someone who listens to their music & full volume and with headphones that bleed sound!

A good pair of headphones will not only save your dignity when watching Rich Kids of Beverly Hills on the 7.55am train next to lots of people in business suites, but think of all the times you’ve been able to hear the base of a fellow commuters music. Nah mate not on!

Headphones also come in handy when you want to escape with some music (I was a previous Apple Music user – mainly so I could watch Taylor Swift’s documentary but have moved back to the ever superior Spotify!) Or alternatively listen to Stephen Fry read you the greatest book series of all time – Harry Potter (I’m current listening to the Prisoner of Azkaban as I type this!)

Kanken

Photo by Evgen Ivanova (via The Kanken Street Kreep)

Purchase a backpack!

Now whilst theoretically you only need your phone, headphones and wallet to get to work – I’ve no doubt you currently use a giant bag filled with all manner of things (most you might have forgotten about)  this is where a backpack becomes your best friends, mainly because you can fit close to a kitchen sink in most & they are one of the easiest bags to travel with on the tube. That is if you remember to take them off your back!

Okay so a backpack might not be your cup of tea – really it is about having a solid and reliable bag that works for what you need it for! I am a daily user of Fjallraven’s Kanken bags (of which I owe three – 2 Mini & 1 Normal) and the reason my brother has started calling me Dora the Explorer. Something to do with being really short, wearing a pink jumper & carrying a tiny backpack!

Patrick Tomasso

Photo by Patrick Tomasso

Just take some time.

For some the type of journey I do to make it into the office is a step too far in terms of journey time. For me I value the time I get each morning, I enjoy the walks & the way I have been able to come quite familiar with certain stations & more of London. And it is that which made me appreciate my commute – being able to take some time before I have to check emails, actually enjoying a TV show or listening to a substantial amount of an audio-book, that time is really valuable!

Sure I would like to get home before 7.30pm & not have to wake up at 5.30am – but in the grand scheme of things I’ve learnt to adapt and enjoy they journey for what it is.

Just don’t talk to me about Thameslink or train delays!

So have you got any little tips for commuting to work?! Anyone a game users whilst on public transport – I’ve been thinking of opening up Animal Crossing again!?

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@Imdamnstudent@blogbykobrakFacebook & Instagram