So this is it. Second year has officially come to an end. The fastest seven months of my life? I think so.
It’s been a whirlwind of a uni year, but I’m much more excited for what’s to come. However, they say it’s good for the soul to reflect (I may have made that up) so that’s just what I’m going to do.
I’m looking back on what I’ve learnt in my second year and how I’ve changed as a person. Now that it’s over, I’m one step closer to graduating. Before I don the cap and gown, I’ve already started into my sandwich year head-on. There’s no rest for the wicked, as they say.
Searching for a placement was probably the most stressful part of my second year. I didn’t know when to start looking or where to start looking. It seemed a lot of people had already started searching before the year had begun which stressed me out even more.
I chose my course at LJMU because of the sandwich year option. I always wanted to complete a year in business but now that it was time to find one, I panicked. What if I didn’t get one? What if I got rejected from all of them? What if I got one that I didn’t even want.
But alas, all that stress and panic was for nothing. There were so many good placements on offer in amazing companies and once I got callbacks from the first few I applied for, my confidence grew.
It all came down to what experience I had, what made me different and that I knew how to perform the role. And so, I landed my dream role at Coty in London.
I wouldn’t say I’m an introvert, but nor am I a complete extrovert. I love going out and being around people but I also enjoy the time I spend by myself.
Being an only child allowed me to be comfortable on my own and know that there is always something to do, but it also allowed me to appreciate the company of others and how to find the balance.
During my second year I had two jobs, had to take part in phone interviews, present to strangers, take a trip to London by myself and take part in an assessment day. Basically I had to learn to ‘talk the talk’.
There’s the phrase, “fake it ’til you make it”, and that’s just what I did. I told myself to act confident and in turn, that’s what I became. I no longer have to act confident because I am.
With every phone call and every interview or presentation, I noticed my speech becoming clearer, I sounded enthusiastic and my confidence had soared. I wasn’t nervous around people, I was excited. I was excited to be interviewed – never did I think I would say that! But when you find a career you know you want, being a step closer to that dream would ignite the passion within yourself to give it everything you’ve got.
Most of all this year, I realised who I want to be and where I want to be. I realised that to make these goals a reality I had to start working towards them now. The penny dropped in September and I knew I had to stop partying so much and focus on working towards the future I wanted.
I started this blog and I never looked back. It’s introduced me to so many new people and contacts that I will have for the future – my future.
I focused on getting as much work experience as I could and landed a job in communications, working two days a week while I was studying. I also interned for a week during the midterm in a PR and marketing agency. I needed to make my CV stand out and this is how I did it.
I dreamed of a year in a big city, away from Liverpool, away from home, so I put my all into getting a placement in London. I worked my hardest and it paid off.
From thinking about my short-term goals, I got thinking about my long-term goals. I now know what I want to achieve in the next year and where I want to be in the next two years, once I graduate. I have a plan and I have goals, and I’m constantly working towards making them a reality.
If I compare my second year to my first year, they’re polar opposites. In first year I attended 50% of my classes, making the odd 9am classes (sorry mum) and slept in until the afternoon daily. I had no commitments or responsibilities. The majority of my time was spent eating takeaways, watching Netflix and being hungover. I still managed to pass with a first. I don’t know how, but I did.
It soon got to the stage where I would go to sleep at 5am and wake up at 4pm the following day. In the winter I would go days without seeing daylight. Ah, the blissful life of a fresher.
Before second year started, I got my butt in gear and got myself a job in a bar when I came back in August. Freshers week kicked off and I was leaving my job at 11pm then home to change and straight into town for 12am. Next day I wakened at 3pm and was in work by 5pm ready to repeat the pattern.
When classes started I knew I had to be productive with this year (and not fall back into first year habits), so I got myself another job. I was soon juggling two jobs, a blog, applying for placements, uni work, exams, trying to fit in seeing my friends, partying and hitting the gym three times a week. I was constantly on the go, always had things to do, people to see and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It made me super productive. I was up early every morning, getting so much done in one day and going to bed satisfied with what I had achieved in those 16 hours.
I was once asked “how do you do it all?” and I said, “you have to make the time to do it.” But I’m realising now that making the time wasn’t the case. You can’t make time appear out of thin air. If you want something badly enough you’ll find the time. You’ll give up those extra hours in bed so that you can fit more into your day. You’ll stop procrastinating on social media and instead use it productively. You’ll map out your week and make sure you fit everything in and stick to a tight schedule.
“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”
Now that we’ve come to the end, I thought I’d share my plans for the next year ahead and what I’m currently up to.
At the moment, I’m working full-time in my Internal Communications job for the month of April, to save some money before going to London. I then start a four week placement in Bold Management in Liverpool in May to gain some work experience. This leads me to June when I will be making the move to London to begin my yearlong placement with Coty as the PR intern. Once I finish in Coty I will hopefully have another placement for the last two months of the summer in 2018. This means I’ll have 17 months of consecutive work experience by the time I begin my final year.
I’m so so excited for this year ahead and the opportunities that will come. It’s going to be a roller-coaster of a year and hopefully the best year ever. I’m excited for the people I’ll meet, the friends I’ll make and the companies I will get to work with. I’ll make sure to keep blogging and keep you all updated on how my year is going.
Side note: If anyone has any tips on how to find a room in London (Wimbledon area), please send me any advice!