Sunday, 26 January 2014

Which year wins?

If you are a final year student you may be able to relate to this - over the past week we have been trying to decide which year at uni has been the best one.

We are now only a few weeks from the end of uni before the exam period is here and this is causing all sorts of reminiscing...

Year 1
The first year at uni is incredible. As a fresher I was thrown into city life and loved it! After a minor hiccup at the start of the year I found a fantastic group of friends (the owls) and settled into my life as a student. In hindsight the course wasn't great...but other than that I loved it! We had some of the best nights out, nights in, birthdays, day trips out, the list is endless. Not only that but I was also exploring Sheffield, getting to know more and more places to go. Fantastic.

Year 2
This year all seems like a blur now. I lived in the coldest house ever - damp everywhere. This is the year where I would make the most changes (starting with the house) in what I did. My course was better, a lot more focused and I really enjoyed most of the modules. From December onwards I was looking for a placement for my sandwich year, and let me tell you this was not easy! I must have spent near £100 on train tickets, stamps and telephone calls... Nothing seemed to be happening! Then in July I managed to secure my placement, best feeling ever!

If anyone reading this is thinking about doing a placement or offering students placements I would love to hear from you!

Year 3
My placement year. What an experience! I absolutely loved being out in the workplace and seeing what I am working so hard to get a job in. Everyone on my placement was lovely and I cannot thank them enough for all that they did. They helped to shape my confidence, knowledge and gave me invaluable experiences.

Everyone who is offered the opportunity to do a placement year - I would recommend doing one so much!

Year 4
And then here we are - final year! How time has flown! This year is by far my favourite on my course. The modules are all marketing based, and the people on my course are fantastic. You can tell how much people have matured on placement and it makes such a difference to how we all work. Whilst there hasn't been much on the parties/going out side of things, my friendship groups are brilliant and I have explored more of Sheffield. This year is definitely the most stressful (there have been many tears) it is all worth it! Roll on graduation!

So which year wins? (Placement year isn't in the running as it is so different!)

For me I would choose year 1 and 4...
Freshers year can never be repeated and was such an experience, but final year has come around and I am more mature, love my course and live in a lovely flat (finally!)

Ciao x

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

First of the lasts...

So the Christmas holidays are over and I am officially back in Sheffield! With only 12 weeks of timetabled lectures and seminars to go things are starting to get serious... This semester consists of three lots of group work for different modules, as well as starting part two of my Global Marketing assignment. Then after Easter we can say hello to exams!

Whilst this doesn't seem like a lot compared to the five assignments that I had before Christmas, it's still hard work and in a much shorter time frame for deadlines!

Anyway, over the holiday it dawned on me that I have now entered the "first of the lasts" whilst at uni...
  • Last birthday whilst at uni
  • Last Christmas whilst at uni
  • Last first term of uni
  • Last seminar for the module I have finished
  • etc etc etc
It's really sad to think that we are now experiencing the last time for these things, however at the same time it is exciting for what is still to come...! Therefore I have made my "Final year bucket list" - here are a few of what's on the list....
  • Finish degree (aim to get a 2:1 or higher)
  • Secure graduate job
  • Go on a the last bar crawl (I don't go out a lot anymore due to workload)
  • Go swimming at Ponds Forge
  • Go out to the Peak District
  • Go out in fancy dress (last time this is acceptable?!)
I really want to make the most of being a student (when I have the time around my work)!

Anyone got any suggestions of things to make sure I do before finishing?!

Ciao x

Monday, 13 January 2014

What's in a recommendation?

Recommendations come at us on a daily basis, some we ask for, others we don't. In this post I am going to be looking at the effects a recommendation can have...

Recently I was asking around about places to buy towels and bedding (yawn I know...) - I went out and purchased these items from the shops based on the recommendations I got from friends and family. 

Word of mouth is, in my opinion, a brilliant marketing communication tool. Hands up who has purchased something, been on holiday, been to see a film etc based on a recommendation from family, friends, colleagues? I'll bet you all have your hands in the air! Likewise you can be discouraged from something via a recommendation too... both of these are out of marketers hands but it's still interesting to see how consumers are influenced by word of mouth! It is also fascinating to see how companies are able to create a hype based on a recommendation. Tesco Mobile on Twitter is a brilliant example of this (in my opinion!).

And then we add in social media to the mix (anyone else imagining a cake?!)

Social media is fab for recommendations. I can tweet asking for a good restaurant to go to and instantly the recommendations come flooding in, even sparking conversations with establishments themselves. BRILLIANT. Using hashtags such as Northantshour and MKHour also increase the responses, which you know are likely to be people who live in the surrounding area and will be talking from firsthand experience.

There are layers of recommendations... You can get those from someone you know, a friend etc where you are likely to know their tastes, likes etc and can form a decision of whether to go with their recommendation based on that. On the other hand, getting recommendations from social media requires you to base your decision on people you (potentially) have never actually met. How do you make the decision of whose recommendations to follow or not?

But it is not just products and places we can recommend... Oh hello LinkedIn! Why not recommend people?! I think this tool is great, write a little bit about someone and why you think they are wonderful, then let everyone else see! Fantastic for when you are looking for employment! I am not sure how much potential employers look at these but hey ho!

What are your thoughts on the LinkedIn recommendations? Do you use social media to look for recommendations?

Ciao x

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