Activities to be part of in second year.

Congratulations on almost successfully finishing your first year in uni. I hope you have enjoyed the process? Second year is a truly amazing time in uni where everything begins to really hit home, you really begin to learn about your course and the industry you want to get into.

 

In this post, I would be talking about 5 activities/items you should look forward to and hopefully be actively part of in your second year.

  1. Societies- It is not too late to become actively involved in a society and even be on the exec (leadership team). Societies like the Aston women in business and AISEC are currently looking for students like you to actively be a part of their team, so do get in touch with them and see where you fit in.

I think it is very important to be part of a society, not only because it looks good on your C.V and gives you one more thing to talk about during interviews but also because I think it is a good form of stress relief. Being an active member in a society, gives you the opportunity to do something productive that doesn’t include having a book in your face trying to figure out how to carry out investment appraisals or whatever the case maybe for you.

 

  1. Mentorship- There are so many mentoring schemes you can be a part of during your second year. I have had the opportunity to be both a mentor, and a mentee. My personal favourite mentoring scheme is the Professional mentoring scheme. The Scheme involves business professionals working on a one-to-one basis with a Second Year Aston University student.  This scheme has helped me develop my knowledge and professional skills, as well as helped me build a solid foundation of the industry I plan to go into in future. My mentor has also helped me built connection and network with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Through this connections, I have been able to make applications for positions that were not advertised (Bear in mind when applying for your placement that 81% of jobs, are not advertised so having an extra connection helps).  As a First Year student you are currently eligible to apply for the next scheme, which will begin in October 2015. Deadline application is the 08th of April. You can find out more about this scheme here: http://www.aston.ac.uk/aston-business-school/business/mentoring/mentee15/

You can also find out about other mentoring schemes Aston provides by clicking here. http://www.aston.ac.uk/current-students/get-involved/mentoring-at-aston-university/

 

  1. Ambassador- Being an ambassador is a great way to make money and know more about Aston uni. As an ambassador, you get to carry out a lot of activities around Campus that fit within your schedule. Keep an eye out for when the scheme would be open for the 2015/2016 session.

 

  1. Placement- It is never too early to start thinking about what you would like to do during the placement year and even looking for opportunities. Use the holidays to start creating contacts, putting yourself out there, researching for positions and even engaging in activities that would set you apart. You can also start applying during the summer holidays as well. This doesn’t guarantee that you will get a job, but applying early gives you a practical taste of the do’s and don’ts. Some big firms like PWC allow you to apply 3 months later if you do not get through the first time. So if you apply really early, you can apply again and again before your second year is over.

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  1. Networking event: There are loads of workshop and seminars that happen during the year. These events help you gain more knowledge about the industry you might be looking to go into as well as the opportunity to meet other people and create great contacts. You can find out about these events by checking Aston Futures as often as you can and sign up for this event.

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So, thank you for reading post, and I hope it’s been a little informative if nothing else!

Have a wonder Easter Break 🙂

 

What If I Failed?

So, most of you should have gotten your January exam results by now. Hopefully, this post will give you tips on how to cope if you got below what you expected.

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  1. Admit how you feel – This doesn’t mean sitting around, wallowing in negativity; it means just acknowledging how you feel. Pretending things are fine when they are not, makes it harder to get back up.

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  1. Identify the source– Discouragement often comes on the heel of a setback or disappointment. So the goal you set your heart on fell apart, what caused it? Was your goal unrealistic to start with? Did you put in enough effort? Did you give it your 100 % best?

 

  1. Start thinking of new ways to improve the situation– Reassess what went wrong, and then work on a new approach to get a better result. This might be assessing the effectiveness of your study method and the amount of effort you actually put into your work. This might also mean accessing your strengths and weaknesses and considering if the course you are studying is actually playing to your strengths. Now, don’t get me wrong ! The fact that you got less than expected doesn’t mean you should switch courses immediately. But don’t forget that the option of changing from one course to the other is available to you. You should also look for information on about resitting. For most modules, you are only required to re-sit if you get less than 40%. However, if you are going to write professional exams in the future, you might have to bear in mind that you would have to re-sit if you got less than 50%.

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  1. Talk to a trusted counselor– Do not let pride prevent you from opening up to those who will listen empathetically and respond wisely. This person might be a family member, a friend or one of the professional student counsellors. Talking to the right person can lessen your sense of isolation, and also pave the way for others who are hurting to do the same.

 

  1. Let it go– While you need to think over what happened and learn from it, dwelling on your results won’t help. Give yourself a break and move on to more positive actions.

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‘’After you fail you will be one step closer to succeeding, you will be wiser and stronger and you almost certainly will be more respected by all of those that are afraid to try.’’ Seth Godin

5 Tips For Surviving uni as an International Student.

As an international student, I know how difficult it can be to settle into university life in a place very different from home. I also understand that if you are not quite settled into a place, the quality of your work will be affected. So, I thought my first blog should be about how to settle into university life as an international student.

 

So, here are my top five tips for settling into uni as an international student:

  1. Be open minded- It is good to listen to people, but it is also good to have an opinion of your own formed from a fresh perspective. Whatever you have heard about the way of life here might not exactly be true. So it does help to be open minded. In that way, you will able to take things in for yourself.Perspective-is-everything

 

  1. Get involved- It is really helpful to be an active member of a society or actively involved in what happens on campus. Being part of a society is a really good way to make friends with people who you share common interests with. I joined the Christian union  in my first year; The people there were so nice and friendly and they were really helped me settle into the whole university life. Being part of the Christian Union, has also helped me discover things about myself I never knew I had and also helped me develop new skills.

One of the advantages of being an Aston student is that you can choose from over 100 clubs and societies and get plugged in. Also, the MLK centre by the Library organises really interesting activities which anyone can be a part of. All you have to do, is go in there when you are free or write to them and let them know that you would want to be a part of the activities they organise.

get involved

 

 

  1. Guidance and counselling – Instead of being depressed and stressed all the time, know that it is totally ok to seek help if you are struggling. Your main purpose of coming to Aston is to get good education. Not being in the right frame of mind, can greatly hinder this goal. Do not be afraid to seek help. Things can get pretty difficult at times especially when you have no family around and you are still trying to make friends. Aston provides guidance and counselling services and you can reach them here:

Phone: 0121 204 4007

Email: counselling@aston.ac.uk

guidiance and counseling

 

 

  1. Keep in Touch- Try as much as possible to maintain a positive relationship with your folks back home. I was talking to someone who graduated from university a few years ago and he said one of his biggest regret he has was not keeping in touch with his family back home as much as he should have why he was studying abroad. Although you cannot keep in touch with everyone, no matter how busy you get, always keep the loved ones close.

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    1. Explore- Don’t be afraid to try the food and the culture of a new place as long as it is not against your faith or personal values. One of the placement jobs I applied for stated that they wanted someone with a global mentality; someone who is willing to take on the culture of a new place. So being able to explore and adapt to a new environment will not only help you personally, but also career wise.

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2 extra:

      1. Keep a journal of your journey so far- Even if  you do not like to write, It is useful to be able to look back and reflect on what worked and what didn’t and who knows your experience might be useful to another person in future.

keep a journal

 

 

And finally,

 

  1. Always be positive.

be positive

 

Happy New Term!!!!! 😉

7 Reasons Aston Is For Me (An International Student View).

  1. Top business school in Europe– As an international student, you would want to go to a university that is highly recognised anywhere in the world because you would want to stand out from other graduates in future. Aston fits this perfectly. According to Business Insider, Aston is one of the top 20 most prestigious business school in Europe.

 

  1. Option to learn an international language– Whatever course you are studying, you can choose to study French, German, Spanish, Mandarin or Arabic whilst you are at Aston, either as an optional module within your degree programme or on an extra-curricular basis.
    Learning a language is an excellent way to increase your cultural awareness, and enhance your career prospects. You can do this for free in your first year, and continue learning the language by paying a small fee after your first year. I chose to study Mandarin in my first year, and I enjoyed it a lot. I learnt about the Chinese culture apart from just the language and even got a certificate to show for my hardwork. Learning another language, helped my C.V standout when I was still looking for placement.

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  1. Option to go on placement– As an international student, depending on your course Aston offers a flexible range of UK and overseas placements – you could be based in the workplace, in an overseas school (as a teaching assistant) or at an overseas university – or a combination of the three. I chose to go on a work placement only. The whole process of looking for a placement really helped my personal development.  It gave me a good taster of what applying for graduate jobs will be like and skills I need to develop to stand out from others.

 

  1. Great location in a great city– Aston University is based in the centre of Birmingham, home to over 65,000 students and one of Europe’s liveliest and most welcoming cities. The location provides easy accessibility as it houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for its students. The location of the university makes it really accessible to transport network including train stations and the coach stations as well as the famous Birmingham library and great social facilities in the city centre. I really like how Aston’s location makes everything a lot easier. You don’t have to take transport to get to your accommodation the library or to the gym or to attend lectures because everything you really need is just a few minutes walk away.aston

 

  1. Diversity: Students from over 130 countries study at Aston each year. Studying and living with people from other parts of the world has really helped me build my cultural awareness and global acumen. It has also helped me build the ability to see things from different perspectives and helped me develop the ability to interact with people from different back ground. The ability to live and work with people from different background can help you build your cultural intelligence and is one of the most sort after skill by employers.

 

  1. Helpful Staff– I have friends from other Universities who always complain about how unhelpful their staff is and how difficult it is for them to get necessary information. I have found every single Aston Staff both Academic and non-academic really helpful. From the visa advisers to the career officers to the library staff to the lecturers; everyone is always willing to help and answer your questions.Aston University

 

  1. Extra-curricular activities– Aston offers a very wide range of activities you can involve in that will help your personal development. These varies from seminars and workshops to schemes such as the mentoring scheme. All these activities has helped me develop a lot of skill and also given me the opportunity to meet and interact with people including prospective employers and people who had given me useful career advice. Aston also has a lot of social clubs and societies where you can meet with people with similar interest and maybe acquire a new skill.