Saturday, 25 August 2012

Realising opportunities/ Volunteering

A couple of months ago I posted about a programme I joined called Realising opportunities. Well one of the tasks I have to do in order to pass the programme is an academic assignment.

I have to write a 1500-2000 word essay on any topic of my choosing. On Tuesday (21st August 2012) I met up with my tutor who will help me with my assignment. Together we decided to come up with the question "Who has the Olympics benefited the most?" as my essay question. I have to take into consideration  my essay structure and other things just as if I've been set an essay in college or university. This is great preparation of what I will be expected to do in university so it's good to get a taster on what it'll be like.

During the summer holidays I was really frustrated that I wasn't finding a job and I really wanted something to keep me busy. My friend suggested that I started volunteering. I thought about it and realised that it's not such a bad idea so I went on the internet and looked at different charities and came across British Red Cross. I was mainly interested in volunteering in a charity shop close to college so I could work there for a couple of hours a week during my free period. What attracted me to British Red Cross the most was that they are the only charity shop that offer a certificate for young shop volunteers.

Firstly, at the Standard Level I have to complete 40 hours of volunteering on the shop floor and discovering what goes on behind the scenes. If I want to progress to the Advanced level this takes 100 hours to complete where I get an introduction into management, organise my own project and explore what goes on within the Red Cross. My aim is to complete the Advanced level because it'll be great to learn new skills and actually take control of something that I can take credit for if it's successful. This will also help improve my confidence in leading a team which is really important when applying for a job and can help me stand out.

I'm so glad I came across this and if anyone is interested in volunteering they should really get involved. It's great that whilst helping out a charity that changes peoples lives at the same time it's benefits you in terms on future success. I just started yesterday (24th August 2012) but I'm excited to get involved with in the coming year.

I will definitely keep posting what I take part in.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Update.. AS Level results.. Future?

I've had a few days to think now and I've come up with a plan to what I have to do in A2 to get the best grades possible. I just discovered that to apply to LSE to do Economics Bsc I had to get an A in Further Maths but I got a C. Just to make sure I still have a chance I have emailed the recruitment team at the university for their advice. It's good to contact the universities you want to apply to with questions just to make sure you're making the right choice. Providing that the grade I got is not a problem, I MUST aim for an A* in two of my subjects. This is going to be EXTREMELY difficult because I have to get an average of 90% in my A2 exams.

No social life for me...

The entry requirements are A*AA but that's just the minimum and it's best to aim higher because the competition is intense. There's also an option to apply for UCL but there's the issue of the Modern Foreign Language at GCSE which I don't have although they still encourage students who don't have it to still apply.

All I can do is just wait for the email from LSE and just hope and pray it's not a problem.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Results Day!!! (16th August 2012)

Yesterday I receieved my AS results. I was absolutely terrified on my way to college. I think that was the longest bus journey ever. My heart was beating fast, my stomach was turning and for some reason I couldn't stop laughing with my friend but I think it was because I was so nervous. I finally arrived at college and was directed to go to the hall. My legs were absolutely shaking whilst I was walking up the stairs but finally I arrived and I was given an envelope... and I opened to see:

Economics: B
Unit 1: A
Unit 2: C

English literature: C
Exam: D
Coursework: A

Maths: A
C1: B
C2: A
S1: A

Further maths: C
FP1: A
S2: D
D1: C

Government and politics: A
Unit 1: B
Unit 2: A

I'm really happy about my results especially my Politics results. In a previous post I mentioned that I got an U in my first Politics exam and to re-take it and do unit 2 as well to get an A overall is amazing. I've decided to drop English literature and Further maths to continue with Maths, Economics and Politics for A2. I have to work extremely hard to keep up the standard of this year. It's seems that applying to LSE is still in my horizons but the year ahead is extremely important.

Time to focus on the future!!!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

House of Fraser audition

So yesterday (13/08/2012) I attended my first ever job interview/assessment. I was pretty nervous because I didn't know what to expect. I managed to get there quite early meaning I was the first person there. After waiting for 20 minutes more people started to arrive and they were really nice. One of the girls was shocked that I managed to get an interview at House of Fraser with only doing work experience and not having an actual job. 

Not long afterwards the recruitment lady took us all into a room where we were split up into 3 groups. We were given a brief on an imaginary character that we had to form as our own and create an outfit for her. There was only 10 minutes to do this and then we went down to the shop floor to get the outfit which were were going to present to the panel. It was really important that I had to make sure I made an input with ideas and showed that I was getting involved because all of us were being assessed the whole way through even on the shop floor. 

Finally, when we got back upstairs each group had to present their idea in front of the panel. It was good that each group did it one by one without the other groups that which took off the pressure a little bit. In my opinion, I think that the presentation was successful but there is a lot of competition. I'm just thankful for the opportunity and I've learnt stuff from others just in a small space of time :)

Thursday, 9 August 2012

One week countdown...

It's exactly one week until results day. Surprisingly, I'm calm. I would say last year I was much more worried for my GCSEs and I really don't know why I don't feel worse than last year. I guess it's a good thing that I'm calm and I'm taking my mind off it.

My results next week do determine what university I apply to. Preferably, I would love for LSE (London school of Economics) to be my first choice but if I don't get any A grades then that dream is over :( I've actually been more focused on getting a job and believe me I've applied to A LOT of places. Thankfully, I've managed to get an interview/audition for House of Fraser on Monday 13th August which I'm excited about. I've been told I have to dress to impress which I'm a bit nervous about. There's probably going to much mature and older people there who have much more experience than I have and I'm scared I might fade into the background. There's only 2 places available to the competition will be intense but I guess I'll try my hardest to stand out of the crowd and get into the next round :)

I will keep up to date with what happened on Monday in my next post :)

Friday, 3 August 2012


It's funny how I started this blog determined to become an Investment analyst and nine months later I'm not even sure. I think one thing I'm sure about is that I would love to go work for a large corporate business. I still have time to decide what I want to do but the most important thing now is to get into a good university studying Economics. An economics degree will allow me to go into any non- specialist job of my choice so there's a lot of options out there for me. The organiser of my work experience in July gave me some good advice about what I should do in the future. My aim now is when I reach my penultimate year in university I must apply for a graduate scheme. Then I should work really hard and a few years later I will be at a point where I can slow down, settle down in life and be financially comfortable. I just hope that works out :)

Shell work experience (9th July- 20th July)

I got the chance to do 2 weeks work experience at Shell petroleum company. I went into the building on the first day expecting to be sorting out spreadsheets and spending the whole day sitting at a desk but I was very mistaken.

The building has 25 floors and it may not seem good looking on the outside but the inside is really beautiful.

This is the desk I spent two weeks at. I really enjoyed working at Shell it made me realise that investment banking is not the only option out there and I honestly wouldn't mind working in any department in a corporate firm. During the two weeks I got to take part in a photography project with the other seven students on work experience where we had to take images of people using internet capable portable devices whilst incorporating the red and yellow theme of Shell. I had an exteremely great time doing that task as I realised it allowed us to get out of the office and interact with each other.


Another task I was involved in is the phone interviews. I was part of a team that had to interview members of the offer-to-cash global commercial departments in various countries questioning them on their time on a holiday they won after being a winner of a internal competition. We were given a list of questions to ask them and we had to write down the answers given. Some issues we came across are language barriers and people not answering their phones when we rang them. After the phone calls it was then our job to type up the interviews in a question and answer format which was going to be used in the Shell magazine.

I really enjoyed myself and I learnt a lot from it. On the last day we had to present group presentations that we made. Personally, I'm not confident talking in front of others but I think I've improved. I learnt that I should always keep eye contact with the audience, smile when someone else is talking and avoid saying "um" because that was a problem with the whole group. I would love to go back and I think I will just to help out with the next cohort.