Aside

Things To Consider When Applying To A Graduate Scheme

Did you graduate this year or will be graduating next year?

If so, STEM graduate schemes will start to open from now… and you definitely need to apply NOW before you get too bogged down in your final year of university.

I know you are busy, trust me I was too and it is a long process, but I applied to over 20 graduate schemes in early September/October and by mid-December I had my graduate scheme confirmed at Whitbread, which took a lot of pressure off and I could completely concentrate on my final year and smashing my dissertation!

Before you start applying, it is best to understand where you can see yourself working, especially if you have not worked in the industry you are applying for or do not know what to apply for. There are plenty of aptitude tests you can also do, to figure out where you may fit into an organisation.

The 3 key things to focus on when deciding where you fit into an organisation is: 1) What industries do I care about? 2) What roles do I see myself preferring? 3) What size of business do I want to work for?

You also need to consider whether you want to do set rotations or flexible rotations, larger companies often take a larger intake of graduates with set rotations which you may not have as much of a say of where you’re going and what you’re doing, but this may not be what you want and that’s OK. I knew I didn’t want that, that’s why Whitbread is great for me, I am based in one office, I do rotations which are planned between myself, my line manager and HR and I can move around at different paces to gain more experience. Some of my friends from uni are doing consultancy grad schemes, which is where you get trained by one company and then sent to other companies for a fixed amount of time (3 months, 6 months etc) which is fun and you get to experience many companies, but it may inconvenience your travelling etc.

Another thing to consider with graduate schemes is whether they are offering a permanent role or whether you will be contracted for the duration of your graduate scheme. If this is not advertised then I would definitely ask about this, because if you are contracted you may not have a guaranteed job at the end of the graduate scheme.

Before applying to everything, also think about the salary and how you will get to the job and how that will affect your salary, it isn’t very British to talk about money but it is definitely important when budgeting and thinking about your living and work/life balance.

These are the websites that I used which are what companies use to publicise their graduate programmes:

Graduate-jobs.com

Milkround.com

 

Good luck and if you have any questions – feel free to ask 😊

Chat

Top Tip if you’re in a male dominated team

When working in a male dominated industry (STEM) there can be some awkwardness and people deal with this differently. There is nothing to shy away from, but you must stand up for yourself at the same time, as people may judge a book by its cover… which is to be expected, because I think we all do that, even if we don’t want to or say we don’t.

I am a big believer in not changing yourself to suit your environment, obviously at work you are going to be more professional than at home with your family and friends, but you shouldn’t change your core values and personality. I think sometimes there is a tendency for women to become “laddy” to fit in with a male team, but I think that is a personal choice.

What is key to working well in a male dominated team is to want equalism.

Don’t be surprised if your male colleagues tiptoe around you at first until you’ve fitted into the team and shown that you just want to be treated like any other member of the team, regardless of gender. I personally don’t mind being in a team with all men, because it can be a nicer work environment… less bitchy etc (Women don’t really help themselves there!)

My top tip when trying to fit in with an all-male team is to just chat with them, show that you’re interested in what they’ve got to say, funnily enough try to treat them as you would your female colleagues and as you’d want to be treated.

Creating an equal playing field is down to everybody.

Chat

Good Morning

How are you feeling ready for this week ahead?

My morning routine usually consists of a cup of tea and a scroll through social media, like a true millennial, before cracking down on the To Do lists I set myself containing both personal and professional tasks. What’s your routine and do you feel it’s working?

Be the best version of yourself this week 💪🏻

Link

Sexism towards STEM YouTube Channels

“Despite progress towards greater equality in STEM, female science communicators on YouTube continue to face bias and social discrimination, impacting their popularity and reception among viewers,” concluded the researchers.

Take a look:

https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/rude-youtube-comments-may-explain-lack-of-female-stem-hosts-1.3568086?mode=amp

Status

Be Grateful?

So whilst I was on the plane back from Rome, I was sitting next to this lovely American girl who was the same age as me, flying to London Luton to then get a lay over to then Iceland and then Chicago! A very long journey for her.

We started chatting about the World Cup and then just introduced ourselves and she told me a bit about why she was flying from Rome back to Chicago where she grew up. She explained how her parents didn’t want to raise children in the Italian economy but wanted the “American Dream”, so they immigrated to Chicago, and how she’d been given the opportunity to go to college and become a teacher because of it and how glad and grateful she is of her parents’ uplifting their lives from Italy, for their future unborn children.

We naturally then went on to talk about Trump’s America and she said she wanted my opinion on how America is now seen because of him becoming President, and later onto Brexit. Throughout the whole conversation though we were able to say things we were grateful for, mainly about education, and it dawned on us that we were actually incredibly lucky to have been born into families and countries that allowed us to go to university and get good jobs etc. Many people like this girl’s parents who migrated from Italy are not so lucky. It’s weird to think it is just down to luck?

I think it’s important to celebrate your achievements, but to also express your gratefulness to how you got there.

What are you grateful for?

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Roman Technology

I’m in Rome at the moment with my family and it’s amazing to think that over 2000 years ago the Romans had the knowledge and technology to create aqueducts and antiquities that weren’t possible elsewhere.

The Pantheon is an amazing structure with a self-supporting roof, the Romans knew to put the heaviest materials at the bottom and lightest at the top. We can all use this analogy when it comes to taking on a modern tech project… solid foundations of heavy code and a database as a base for softer web code to make it look good!

Aside

Throwback to School

I visited my high school the other day and it was such a surreal experience to think I’d left 4 years ago, but really it hadn’t felt like I’d left at all. Seeing my tutor and the Heads of A-level was so great to catch up with them, still the same old humour and supportiveness that I’d received at school.

I’d learnt that last year my school was unable to continue IT A-level because it had stopped existing by the exam board and because there wasn’t enough IT teachers to cover it, but they informed me that they are going to be bringing it back to my high school as a BTEC course. I’m so glad they’ve decided to bring it back because I personally felt that it was limiting the students, if I was a student there I probably wouldn’t have gone elsewhere for A-levels just because they’d stopped that one subject and it may not have led to what I’ve achieved over the last 4 years and the excitement I’ve found in IT and STEM.

With a lot of changes recently in government and the change to GCSEs, it’s left educators even more so chasing paperwork than concentrating on actual educating. I know the government are trying to entice STEM teacher training, but why would the majority of STEM graduates choose teaching over industry if the starting salary is at least £5K a year more in industry. I know it’s not all about money, but to live comfortable after university and be able to afford a house within several years, industry has to be chosen. Personally, I do want to go into teaching at some point in my career, but I want to gain industry experience before I do.

It can also be said that the people in charge of the curriculums do not understand STEM subjects (flashback to Mark Zukerberg’s hearing about Facebook) and the constant changing and innovation within them, this is why it’s hard to teach them because there’s so much content to cover… maybe they could and should, be split even further?

Regardless, of how STEM is being told to be taught or being taught, it’s apparent that it’s becoming more of a priority. 🤓

What else do you think the government or schools themselves can do to engage more students in STEM?

Status

World Cup Vs Tech

Every event is riddled with technology from the selling of the tickets… to the checking for fraudulent tickets, from being able to show the game live on TV… to giving live updates through mobile apps.

But what is incredible in the 2018 World Cup is the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) for the first time, technology is assisting on the pitch alongside humans. This isn’t the first time it is being used in a football tournament, but it is definitely more accepted than in the 2017 FA Cup where players and managers accused it of ruining the art of the game. I can see their point of view, but I also think that embracing this technology is important. There is nothing worse than thinking your team have scored a goal but the referee doesn’t agree… well now the referee is able to go and re-watch what happened to make an informed decision. The technology may not be perfect right now but in time this could truly take the bias out of the game. That is what technology is designed for, to eliminate human error.

In my opinion, we are only going to see more of a technology impact in sport and sporting events with the development of the Internet of Things, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality… they are already appearing in some training sessions.

What technology do you think could be used in football/sports?

 

Status

Meow.

It’s weird how pets or animals in general have an effect on people, that’s why many offices now have a resident dog. 🐶

For me, growing up even when my Mum was really ill and I didn’t want to maybe talk about it to anybody, my cat was always there. He’s been there ‘helping’ me study for GCSEs, laying on my paintings at A-levels to this year stretching over my laptop whilst I write my dissertation 💻

Even though animals can’t speak our language, there’s an unspoken bond which can be very uplifting after a long day at work or in a stressful moment in life.