17 January 2013 10:26 AM

Dos and Don'ts for getting on with your parents during uni holidays...

So, the Christmas holidays are over, and If you're anything like most graduates these days, you'll have spent them at the Hotel of Mum and Dad. For many this will have been your first trip back home since they dropped you off at the beginning of freshers' week.

The first visit home can be a bit of a shock to the system for both parents and students - suddenly you're swept from your newfound independence back into a world of folded towels and having to phone home if you're out past 10pm, while your parents are confronted with an adult version of their darling child, who's no longer willing to account for their every move and may have picked up new and different views on life. Cue a few fraught weeks of arguing over milk, cleaning rotas and whose turn it is in the shower - think life in halls but with added parent-child angst. So, if you've had a few clashes with the family, here's a few things to bear in mind for future trips back home - or for when you have to move back in after graduating!

Do:
> Be gracious - remember that it's your parents' house, after all! Offer to cook a meal, wash up, entertain Grandma or walk the dog.

> Prepare yourself for a different atmosphere from the one you remember - you may feel very different since moving away, but chances are your parents won't have caught up with this yet. Patience will go a long way!

> Spend time catching up with friends from your hometown - share tips on how to survive! Plus, some time away from your family will make the holidays more enjoyable for everyone.

> Acknowledge how your parents and younger siblings are feeling, and be prepared to compromise on the small stuff. If your dad gets annoyed about people leaving dirty dishes unwashed overnight, is it really going to kill you to do it his way for a few weeks?

> Use the holidays to do a bit of graduate career research

Don't:
> Allow yourself to be pushed into a 'child' role again - although this might make your parents feel more comfortable in the short term, it's not conducive to a positive long term adult relationship with them.

> Revert to teenage sulking if conflict arises - you'll just sabotage your chance to show your parents that you're a mature, reasonable adult.

> Assume that because you've been to university for a few months and have taken a couple of debating classes, you are now in a position to be dismissive of your parents' religion, life choices, political affiliations or stance on the EU. Constructive discussion, yes. Hectoring, no!

> Get stroppy with them when they offer unsolicited advice. Of course, this is easier said than done - you may have the type of parent who wants to help you find your feet by asking 'helpful' questions like "Have you tried searching for a graduate job on the internet yet?" Grin, bear it and remember that in a matter of weeks you'll be back to the wonderful world of parties, cheap vodka and a diet of super noodles - so enjoy that home cooking while it lasts!

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13 August 2012 12:09 PM

How to write a 3,000 word college essay in 24 hours

Right. First things first, we do not recommend this as a regular strategy. Don't sue us.

We've all been there, usually for one of the following two reasons:

Scenario A - Your essay has been eaten by your USB stick/laptop/dog/flatmate
Scenario B - It's the night before hand-in and so far your essay exists only as a scribbled reminder on a post-it note

Yeah, we know - it's scenario B, isn't it? You're not fooling anyone. It's OK, we're all friends here.

First it's time for some positive thinking. Take a deep breath. Believe that it can be done. Take another deep breath. Imagine you're in The West Wing or, more aptly, 24. If Jack Bauer can save democracy in 24 hours, you can write an essay in that time, so stop whining!

Step one:
First things first, you're going to need enough caffeine to keep a small herd of elephants awake. Now is the time to stock up on your caffeinated beverage of preference. We recommend the diet versions, unless you want to emerge with an essay and a half-stone weight gain. Some other things you might need include: easy-to-eat, reasonably nutritious snack foods (bananas and cereal bars = good; family-size bars of Galaxy = not so good); lots of water; all your notes on the topic (you do not want to be hunting for that elusive-but-vital-to-your-entire-argument quote at 3am).

Step two:
Open your laptop and write down everything that springs to mind when you look at the essay title - it doesn't matter how inane your ramblings are at this stage, it's just a way of breaking through the panic. Rejoice in the fact that you now have 600 words or so of what journalists would call 'content'. Have some more caffeine.

Step three:
Utilise the power of the JStor abstract. Countless degrees have been built on this wonderful, wonderful gift to humanity from the benevolent online journal powers-that-be. Type obscure things like '15th-century gender studies' or 'history of macroeconomics' into this goldmine of abbreviated quotability and hey presto, you have the makings of a proper academic essay. Do your references and bibliography as you go along, unless you have a particularly masochistic streak. Under no circumstances should you attempt actual research - as in, visiting the library, making notes, actually taking things in. That has its place - this is not it. Desperate times and all that...

Step four:
Smoosh the results of steps two and three together until they resemble something approaching a logical argument. By this time it's probably around 4am, you are likely to be quite hyper from all the caffeine and your judgment may become impaired. Resist the temptation to add jokes, personal anecdotes and acrostic poems into your essay. Try also not to insert smiley faces, doodles, or impassioned pleas to the lecturer at this stage in the process.

Step five:
Go to bed and take a nap. Or at least do something else for an hour or so. Yes, really.

Step six:
As dawn approaches, re-read your essay with fresh eyes now that the caffeine buzz has begun to wear off. Greet your flatmates as they return from a night out. Bribe them into proofreading your essay.

Step seven:
Spellcheck, sense check, etc. You know the drill. Now get printing!

Step eight:
Hand in essay.

Step nine:
Feel elated. Then feel sleepy. Resolve to never, ever do this to yourself ever again.

Step ten:
Collapse into bed. You did it!

 


16 July 2012 09:41 AM

WIN £50 PLUS ALL YOUR SUMMER ESSENTIALS!

We've got loads of great summer goodies to give away, plus fifty English Pounds for your delectation - sound good?

To be in with a chance of winning, you need to like our page on Facebook, then share the prize photo with 2 friends. That's it!

We'll pick a winner at noon on Monday 23rd July. 

Click here to win!

 


18 May 2010 11:41 AM

Office Romance - a perk of work or your worst nightmare!

As the saying goes, you spend half your life at work so you better be doing something you like. But with working hours getting longer and longer employees are increasingly eyeing each other up for a boost to their job satisfaction!

So, can it ever work...the office romance. Or is it just a gamble. A risk not worth taking. A fast track to your P45? We couldn't decide so we packed the camera and put it to a public vote...

 

UPDATE: Good spot from @GarethGeorge - look out for the new Dr Who half way through...

30 March 2010 04:12 PM

The Cutting Room Floor...

Well. We're nearly there. Several hundred new career advice videos are being uploaded to the mothership as we speak and we're pretty damn excited. The gutting thing is, we have enormous amounts of footage that didn't quite make the edits. Sometimes it's not quite on topic, sometimes we're just trying to keep the legth of the videos down and something has to give. But what to do with it all? We very nearly set-up a stock video library but frankly that's a bit too much of a distraction at the moment. So we thought we'd scoop-up the finest off-cuts and post them here for your viewing pleasure. So here we go...

This is a great clip from Benedict Allen the famous British Exporer and Filmaker. He kindly agreed to take part as a contributor for our video offering graduate careers advice on staying motivated during the job hunt. I mean, who better to give tips on perseverance and keeping the spirits-up than one of our most extreme adventurers. One of the first questions we asked was about the toughest situations he's been in. We got some great stuff for the final edit (which is coming soon)...this clip didn't quite make it but is a captivating, if slightly distresing, story...


12 February 2010 01:36 PM

Bag your Dream Career...

What do you do when you're feeling workshy and fancy a diversion from the to-do list?

Well, not so long ago we decided to shun a day in the office in favour of a morning coffee. This lead to a cheeky little brainstorm for video ideas, which lead to thinking about Valentine's day, which lead to coming-up with an idea, which lead to grabbing people from the street, dragging them into a room and filming this little promo!

Was great fun. We did the whole thing in a day and below is the result... 


24 November 2009 06:49 PM

The Kit Kat Challenge...

It's amazing what happens when you're sat with a drink and 40 Kit Kats. Not so long ago we found ourselves in just that position with the excellent people from RateMyPlacement (RMP) and Nestle. And very quickly the Kit Kat Challenge was born. Think Jenga. But with Kit Kats. And a proper prize for winning rather than just the admiration of your mates.

Before long it went nationwide with students up and down the country fiercely competing for a place in the final. To see what it's all about and to get some top tips for the ultimate Kit Kat tower we headed to the Loughborough career fair...

 
Pretty awesome work by Nestle and RMP to bring it all together. Beats your average career fair stand and makes a welcome change from wandering around collecting pens for your stationary cabinet!
 
Keep your eyes peeled for the challenge coming to a campus near you. And don't forget our top tips for making the most of Career Fairs.

28 May 2009 03:26 PM

Awesome competition for all you budding photographers

If you're looking to break into the uber competitive photography world and fancy the ultimate boost to your CV (not to mention a five grand bursary), then you should enter this google competition asap!!!

Google are offering the chance for 36 shortlisted entries to be turned into igoogle themes with 1 lucky winner getting a day with Martin Parr to boot.


28 May 2009 03:00 PM

YouTube mashup

We love a good bit of editing and have been blown away by Israeli producer Kutiman. He's become an overnight sensation having put together an album entirely from samples of YouTube clips. It's pretty amazing, check out the website ThruYou. Given our recent experience of editing hundreds of clips, this project must have taken him a seriously long time. To give you a taster here's one of the tracks.

 


27 February 2009 12:33 PM

The Formula That Killed Wall Street

A bit off topic but a fascinating article from WIRED on what caused the credit crunch. Any readers considering a graduate job in banking or finance may want to swat up, it'll make brilliant interview fodder.

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