Tuesday, June 30, 2015

10 good intentions uni students have at the start of 2nd year… and the reality!

1. ‘Next year is final year. Let's make this a good one.’

When people mention the dreaded g-word (graduation), you start to get emotional. You’ve come to realise that next year is your final year, so you need to make this one the best one yet. This means getting high 2.1s and going out and getting eight hours of sleep every night. Doable?

2. ‘I should really limit the amount of times I go out.’

You no longer have the ‘I’m a fresher’ excuse, so you should really take your degree more seriously and try to make your Friday morning 9am lecture. However you’ve had a tough week and feel like you deserve a trip or two to the pub. You actually end up going out the same amount or more than in your first year. Oops.

3. ‘I will not eat a kebab after every night out. I will definitely not gain my first-year podge back again.’

Everyone warned you about the ‘fresher 15’ due to a lack of sleep, over-eating and over-drinking, but you still became a victim of the dreaded weight gain. After being told by numerous family members that you’ve ‘filled out a bit’ you’ve spent the summer months trying to get rid of your extra layer of 'warmth'. However, you’ve found the Domino's 5am delivery too tempting so it looks like you’ll be warmer than ever come summer.

4. ‘I should do some work; I'll go to the library.’

In first year you never set foot in the library, or only went there to play hide and seek out of sheer boredom on a Tuesday afternoon. However, times have changed. This year counts, so you should probably go there to do some essays and revision. Although you seem to be spending more time in the SU than in the's natural, right?

5. ‘Don’t go shopping; get that assignment done.’

You really try to do more studying, but realise time is running out on getting 10% discount at Topshop and a free McFlurry at McDonald’s. This means it is necessary to go shopping to buy more clothes, followed by lunch out (of course).

6. ‘I will pay the bills on time.’

You have been getting excited all summer about moving out of halls into a house with your friends, and tell yourself you’re determined to remember to pay the bills. The emails and letters demanding money become the bane of your life very quickly. Forgetting your login details and getting threats of your electricity being cut off is a regular occurrence. Welcome to true adulthood.

7. ‘I should really get the washing up liquid out.’

Unlike halls, your house doesn’t have a cleaner. You don’t want to live in a dirty house, but find you have better things to be doing than cleaning. Balancing the dirty plates and bowls on top of each other and seeing how tall the tower can get before crashing down is a challenge, and you’ve become quite the expert.

8. ‘My napping regime is out of hand. It will stop.’

You realise that many adults do not nap. However, the sudden realisation that you’ve only got two more years of not being judged about napping at 11am, after a tough 9am lecture, and then napping again at 5pm ready for your night out is just too much. You need to make the most of it.

9. ‘I will get a job.’

The social side of first year was great. Coming out of first year with a maxed out overdraft was not. Working all summer to pay off your overdraft was really not. You’ve realised that maybe a small part-time job is necessary to avoid this happening again. But then again, you’ve only got two years left so should make the most of uni life.

10. ‘Everyone else has a summer internship. Must get one.’

Much to your dislike, it hits you that the time for applying for graduate schemes/jobs is not far off. You’ve realised you do not want to spend this summer in a mind-numbing retail job, so start applying for internships in an attempt to make this summer more productive. But that one scary thought is a constant in the back of your summer = graduation (the end of an era)! 

Perhaps not all of your good intentions have worked out, but you did you best! Don't forget that TARGETjobs can help you; maybe not with the washing up, but with getting an internship and graduate job. Take a look at our timetable to make the most of your penultimate year

Article written by Charlotte Wharf, TARGETjobs Editorial Intern. Connect with Charlotte on LinkedIn

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hear from a finalist from the National Student Challenge 2014 and why you should give it a go!

Name: Sanjana Narang
University: University of Bristol
Degree area: Electrical engineering & related
Graduation date: 2015

I attended the National Student Challenge in October 2014. The event was held at The Crystal Building in London and was hosted by Siemens. The day comprised of five assessment centre group tasks organized by different employers, namely, Cognizant, Siemens, Bank of Ireland, Norton Rose Fullbright and Capital One Bank.

The students were selected on the basis of an online application that comprised of numerical and verbal reasoning tests. They helped me prepare for psychometric tests that form the first stage of almost every recruitment process.  In addition to this, there were commercial competency exercises to complete and the top 50 scores were selected for the final event. I found the selection process very interesting and engaging.

The finale was very well planned and the day was very well structured. Upon arrival, we were given a presentation about the day from TARGETJobs Events. Once that was over, the 50 students were divided into 5 groups of 10 and were rotated between the various activities delivered by the different employers.

It was an immense experience to work in teams and solve industry level problems with some of the most reputed employers in the world. I really learnt a lot from everyone around me as each person had a unique insight into the task. The day passed by really quickly and was extremely enjoyable. I had a chance to make some great new friends, ones that I am still in touch with. 

For anyone visiting the event in the future, I would just advise them to enjoy the day to the fullest and learn as much as you can. Everyone is very friendly and the atmosphere is extremely healthy. For the exercises, I would say – don’t be nervous and try to work well in teams. Listen to everyone and take initiative where you can! Just remember to respect one another and actually engage yourself in the task.

The National Student Challenge really shines on my CV and has really made me stand out in interviews and assessment centres. I would encourage everyone to give it a shot! Its worth it!

The 2015 Challenge will be opening soon - to find out more visit the website here -