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Communication: Better or Worse Now?

I quite often hear how communication is worse now as everybody is on their phones, not talking in person. I can take this as a point, but I don’t think it is necessarily worse, just different. Personally, I can talk to so many people who it would be hard to keep in contact with, yet it feels like I’m not missing anything because of instant messaging, social media and FaceTime.

I can agree that there are times where we should put devices down and speak face to face, yet there are also times where it is so useful to be able to be speaking to multiple people at once, it allows for collaboration and relationships that would be hard to be formed and maintained otherwise.

I think it is also key to remember that we haven’t always spoken the same language, our communication skills have developed, adding a device into the mix only highlights our ability to adapt and evolve. Being able to have a conversation in emojis mirrors the cave man drawing stories of animals.

I think communication is no worse, but better off given the tools that we now created!

What do you think? Comment below!

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Technology Trends To Watch For In 2019…

I think it is safe to say that the past couple of years have outputted amazing technologies, with the internet of things (IoT) becoming more of a must than siloed devices, I think it is safe to predict that 2019 will be the year of autonomy.

Companies with conversational interface devices such as, Amazon, Google and Apple are at the forefront. I have the Amazon Echo Spot and it is amazing and I’m not even using it to its full potential. The fact that you have the ability to control your whole house with your voice is simply incredible, not only for an average user but it has the potential to change disabled people’s lives by giving them greater independence by being able to control their homes simply by speaking commands. I can turn on my TV and navigate my Amazon Fire Stick through my Echo Spot, get a morning news briefing and play music really well through it, via the Spotify app. When I am able to get a house, I will be purchasing the Ring, which is a doorbell with a camera, connected to the Echo.

I think this is why it can be said that Apple is struggling to compete with Amazon, Google and other companies who are more collaborative. Apple’s business strategy with the iPhone was brilliant when it first came out, shutting down the competition by making everything exclusive. However, this is now back firing on them and frustrating customers. Personally, I think the iPhones are great but overpriced for what they are, I want the new Google Pixel 3, but I have an Apple Watch which will only connect to Apple devices… so I’m stuck in the Apple void. Amazon with the echo device line, has provided so many devices that are compatible with any IoT product e.g. WiFi controlled light bulbs, heating companies who have wireless heating controls like Nest etc. This has meant that it profits but also doesn’t mean that you have to buy only Amazon recommended products to be able to use it.

Autonomy isn’t only in the home, cars are now becoming more autonomous, Tesla is far advanced in this area with Google close behind. The research going into this is incredible, but it still isn’t commercially viable for a fully automated car. Likelihood is this won’t be coming out in 2019, but developments I believe will leap this year in this area.

Autonomy is also closely paired with AI, Big Data and Machine Learning, our goal in business is not only to automate simple tasks to increase profits, but is now to learn from what is automated, what data can we collect to then put in processes to make us more efficient.

Do you agree that 2019 will be the year of autonomy? Comment below!

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A Toast To The Old & New Year

2018 personally and professionally was a great year.

I completed my dissertation and graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Business Computing from Brunel University; I started my job at Whitbread and are now 4 months into it! I won the WCIT 2018 Outstanding Student Award and was asked to become a Journeyman of the livery. IT Girl blog increased views immensely which was amazing to witness and documented my year, see the success of it here @ 2018 Reflection.

I travelled to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Cornwall, Corfu, Rome, Dorset and Edinburgh.

I hung out with friends and family a lot, doing loads of new things and carrying on traditions of others.

I’ve witnessed the struggles of my boyfriend getting into flying school (due to medical), then I’ve witnessed him flourish there and excel at his exams.

I brought in the new year with the same group of friends that I have since I was 14.

It has been a really great year, so I’ve been apprehensive that 2019 will continue the trend. My boyfriend made a good point to me, even though there aren’t the milestones that 2018 had within it, I can still create my own goals to meet; so here they are:

  • I want to expand IT Girl so that it reaches more people and extends what is posted.
  • I want to complete each rotation within my graduate scheme with at least 3 deliverables in each.
    • Architecture
    • Service Delivery
    • Project Management
    • And others to be decided…
  • I want to be able to improve on my public speaking
  • I want to be confident in my work
  • I want to deliver my services further within the WCIT
    • WCIT Charity Social Media
  • I want to help CityMaaS develop and deliver strong, in whatever capacity I can.

What are you milestones/goals this year?

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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 😊

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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.

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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 💪🏻

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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

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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!