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Time To Talk Day 2021

4th February 2021 was Time to Talk Day

Time to Talk Day

Time to Talk Day is an initiative set up by Time to Change to encourage people to talk about mental health and to help reduce the stigma around mental health. To find out more about this great initiative visit their website which is filled with useful resources and ways to get involved.

This year the SBS Placement Team supported the campaign by hosting a team coffee and chat to discuss mental health.

Life during a global pandemic has increased pressure on all of us and it is more important than ever to look after our mental health and wellbeing.

How do the SBS Placement Team look after their wellbeing?

“I find taking regular exercise and spending time outside are really beneficial for my wellbeing. I particularly like running but when it’s not possible to go out I enjoy doing online yoga classes. I believe it is really important to make time for activities that you enjoy, although we can’t do a lot of these at the moment I am spending time reading, connecting with friends and family and baking” Libby, SBS Placement Team.

“I have found setting three goals for the day has really helped me to keep some routine during lockdown especially. These can seem small – like taking a walk, washing my hair, or even just clearing my emails – but they really help with celebrating the small successes throughout the year of coronavirus. My most recent venture is to get together with friends through online murder mystery, escape rooms and the TikTok trending, PowerPoint evenings.” Chloe, SBS Placement Team.

“Keeping a routine has been key for my wellbeing, especially whilst working from home.  I ensure that I take regular breaks away from my screen and get a good walk done every day if I can.  Nintendo Switch has been a life saver in the evenings, especially the dancing game and the puzzle games, so much fun!  Regular face time with family and friends also helps”.  Rochelle, SBS Placement Team.

Further support

If you need more support with your mental health then there are a range of places to go for support.

Enabling services are here to support you, their website provides information on the support they can offer.

All UoS students can access the online platform Togetherall. Togetherall provides a community, courses and resources to support mental health.

NHS Mental Health Support

 

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My Placement So Far: Rainbow Designs

Hello Everyone,

Hope you all are doing well! As I have recently completed five months of my placement, I just thought of sharing a bit about my journey so far. Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Dibyayan and I am currently undertaking my placement as a Business Analyst at Rainbow Designs. I study Accounting and Finance and will be returning to the university this autumn to complete my final year.

I will now be sharing the benefits of undertaking a year in employment whilst still enjoying the aspects of being a student. I have structured my suggestions in a Q&A format that you will find below. Hope you all find it useful!

  • My experience of finding a placement:

Here you will notice a good few mistakes I made so that you can avoid them! Now, I started looking for a placement in October 2020 and had only applied to about five companies until March 2021. I had received the confirmation of being invited to the final stage of two of the five companies in December and was quite confident that I will at least make it to one of them. February comes and I get rejected. Fast-forward a few weeks to March and I get rejected again. Boom, I am now stuck in the middle of a pandemic with 0 applications and a dwindling hope. Essentially, I underestimated the competitive nature of the assessment centres. You can probably guess what I did then – Sent about 50 applications to any company that I could still find online. It is safe to say that if not for the Business School’s Placement Team and my advisor, I wouldn’t be writing this today.

So, be ambitious but be more strategic than I was. Open up to more options as there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ place to begin any career.

  • My experience during placement:

 

Firstly, I have been very lucky to have a great manager. I genuinely believe the experience of any person at work is strongly determined by his/her supervisor. To have someone who trusts you to get something done, and is also willing to teach you better ways to work is invaluable. Secondly, the culture of any company is why you want to work for them. I am glad to say that I work with some of the nicest people I have ever met.

 

My role as a Business Analyst allows me to work cross-functionally with multiple teams across our business. The cliché of being more than a number is not just a statement here. I am trusted to deliver various reports that could impact our profitability, operations and brand awareness.  An aspect that I was pleasantly surprised about was that I had regular access to the senior leadership team of our business. Starting from our principal shareholder to the senior level managers, they are all happy to answer my questions. Regardless of what my future full-time career might be, the experiences that I gathered here will play a key part in my success.

 

  • Why should you do a placement:

 

I will list the most important points below since there are so many!

  • You get to gain a good understanding of the real world of work. You demonstrate and get answers to:
  • How to work well in a team?
  • How to meet deadlines?
  • How to communicate in a business environment?

Most importantly, you get an answer to, “Do I want to do this/something similar, for the rest of my life?” If you ask me, this alone is enough to do a placement.

  • You get a competitive edge in the graduate job market – A good degree, some part-time experience whilst at university, and also a good few months working in a real company! You’re hired!

 

Oh, did I mention you get paid for all this? Talk about a deal!

I hope this gives you a rough idea of what to expect. If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on LinkedIn. Good luck!

 

Kind regards,

Dibyayan

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How to use Microsoft Teams

As we have moved onto virtual delivery for many of our services you may be wondering how to get set up using Microsoft Teams. All  mock interviews, follow up calls as well as our face to face meetings with students will now be delivered this way so it is important that you all know the basics.

We have put together this simple guide of how to use teams to get in contact with your Placement Advisor.

 

How to access your Microsoft Teams account.

Microsoft Teams is part of the Office 365 programme which you can access with your university login.

  • Load up Microsoft Teams using this link: https://teams.microsoft.com/
  • Login using your university email, (userID+@soton.ac.uk) eg. abc1d18@soton.ac.uk, and password.
  • This will bring up your Microsoft Teams Homepage.
  • Optional: You can download the Microsoft Teams Desktop App for easy access in future.

Using Microsoft Teams to make an appointment.

There are two ways to schedule a meeting with your Placement Advisor using Microsoft Teams. Here is a quick overview of both ways. Alternatively, see this LinkedIn Learning tutorial on how to do this. Remember to use your university email and password for free access to LinkedInLearning courses.

Through your Outlook calendar on your university email.

To do this, open your calendar and click ‘New Appointment’ and fill in the information (date, time, meeting title). Before you send the appointment request, click on the ‘Teams Meeting’ option on the menu bar across the top. This will generate a link to the virtual meeting on team for you and the person(s) invited. Click ‘send’ to invite all parties.

Through the Microsoft Teams calendar.

When in Microsoft Teams, you can open your Outlook calendar by click ‘Calendar’ along the left hand side. Here you can set up a virtual meeting by inviting the relevant person(s) and assigning a date/time/topic for the meeting. This will automatically generate a ‘Teams Meeting’ link for all invitees.

 

If you do have any issues connecting to Microsoft Teams, please contact iSolutions to have this resolved.

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A Day in the Life of a Marketing Intern at Park Now

This post was written by Tom currently undertaking a Marketing Placement at PARK NOW

 

It’s a very busy day today – I need to document the findings and outcomes from the marketing conference in Amsterdam I attended last week, and I need to report on and look at the next steps from our B2B workshop. Both of these are really important, not just for the company going forward, but for the group as a whole and our role in the UK market. It’s been great on placement so far; I’ve been getting to experience things at a level that I didn’t think I’d be able to this soon. At the moment, we’re in the midst of a huge rebranding campaign. On top of that, to go off jet-setting to Amsterdam and Berlin last month was an incredible experience! It’s a bit of a change from Jesters!

We’re part of a new €1 billion BMW/Daimler mobility services joint-venture, so I’m very fortunate to have joined PARK NOW at a particularly exciting time – there is more focus and importance placed on marketing now than in the history of the company. And, successful marketing is vitally important to keep our RingGo brand progressing and thriving as the UK’s no. 1 cashless parking provider. There’s plenty of exciting stuff for me to be working on and producing, and no two days are the same!

I’ve also been given the chance to take the lead on some very important projects, working directly with some of our partners and their account managers. That is such an amazing experience, and I’m learning a lot. It’s even more amazing having that level of responsibility and trust after just a few weeks being here. I can feel myself growing into the role more and more with everything I can sink my teeth into. I feel genuinely valued as part of the team, and not just someone to give a few tasks to keep them busy.

At PARK NOW, I’m getting to see and do things that I never expected to, but I’ve learned so much already that I could never have been able to learn at uni. I can’t wait to keep learning and progressing as part of the PARK NOW family. I really couldn’t have chosen a better placement.

Visit parknowgroup.com, or career.park-now.com to find out more about how you can join us and shape the future of mobility!

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My placement so far: Coca-Cola Enterprises

This post was written by Oliver, currently on placement at Coca-Cola Enterprises


Although it is early days, I think it is fair to say on 8th July 2019, my life transformed as a new chapter in the life of a BSc Accounting and Finance student began.

This was the day that I took on the role of a procurement intern at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) for my year in industry, located in Uxbridge. First things first, would this blog really be a Coca-Cola blog without a Coca-Cola related pun? Or maybe I’m just not Spritely enough to come up with one. Sorry, I couldn’t resist! On a serious note to placement students who will be submitting applications this upcoming year, the process will be tough. You may be unsuccessful with some applications, however, do not let that be a reason to give up. This year has potential to be the best year of your life and I’m going to tell you why.

A bit about my job role at CCEP so far: my main focus during this placement will be to support some of the procurement focused pre-work alongside SAP Ariba to implement a new system to improve the efficiency of the supply chain process and to reduce the costs incurred by the procurement department across all European partners. This includes contract review and conversion, buying channel analysis, commodity code to GL Mapping and supporting the testing and development of training. Not sure what that means? I wasn’t either before I started, but with the support of my colleagues here, I’m learning quickly. I will initially work closely with the internal project team, IBM, and Ariba to develop my understanding of the capabilities of the tools we are deploying.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Brussels

The project team I am a part of is relatively small and involves colleagues from across their various European partners.  Much to my surprise, particularly with the importance of technology to a multi-national corporation like CCEP, there is a vast amount of travel involved to frequently meet with the “procurement champions” representing their nation as part of the deployment of this system.  This role is allowing me to explore different regions and alternative cultures from a professional, as well as personal perspective.  In my first three weeks of work, I have already ventured to Brussels, Belgium and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.  Both provided me with incredible experiences and I look forward to exploring other offices in various locations such as Sofia, Frankfurt and Prague in the next few months.  The luxury travel, executive hotel rooms and unlimited Coca-Cola owned drinks is an alien concept for me, but I can confidently say that it is a pleasant change from having to wear seven layers in my university bedroom to keep utility bills at a minimum!

Rotterdam Sunset

Rotterdam Sunset

I hope whoever finds the time to read this has enjoyed the insight into my Coca-Cola experience thus far.  To conclude my debut blog: sipping on a complimentary Peroni on my bedroom balcony in Brussels, and watching the sunset whilst cycling the lowlands of Rotterdam has helped me realise that corporate life may be for me.

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