Friday, 30 January 2015

Placement Sorted


When I first applied to the University of Greenwich I knew that I wanted to do a sandwich year, which is a year working before you start your 3rd and final year. I really hate filling out application forms and would rather talk face to face so I found it really difficult when I started applying but I knew it had to be done. I secured my placement for the civil service as an operational assistant. I will now walk you through how I secured the placement:

Application form - Competency based

Q1 Describe examples of where you have applied mathematical, statistical or other analytical techniques (including computer programming, spreadsheets, databases or other specialist software) to solve a complex problem.

Q2 Provide details of when you have been able to draw effective conclusions and/or advise others using your analysis, including how you presented your results.

Q3 COLLABORATING AND PARTNERING  This means working collaboratively, sharing information and building supportive, responsive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, whilst having the confidence to challenge assumptions.

Q4 MANAGING A QUALITY SERVICE  People who are effective in this area plan, organise and manage their time and activities to deliver a high quality and efficient service, applying programme and project management approaches to support service delivery.

I filled in the application form the best I could as it is competency based and you have to show you have skills and you are passionate for the job and show them that you are the better candidate. Make sure you don't have any spelling mistakes and you have provided everything they have asked for because if you miss something they can just throw out your application form and not even bother to finish reading the application. 

2) Journey- I had to attend an interview at the Westminster office normally before I go anywhere important like an interview I like to check I know how to get there and go for a trial journey (a bit extra I know!) but because I didn’t have much time I thought I’d not do that this time but because I like to be on time and extra early for everything especially if it’s important, I arrived 3 hours early (you never know with public transport)  and to my luck there was a Pret a manager a 2 minute walk away where I killed some time.

3) Interview- When I arrived for my interview I was met by a current student that is taking the placement, and they assured me that the interview will be fine as there will be 3 staff members that will conduct the interview. I asked as many questions as possible about what they do at the moment and how they found it. I then got called into the interview I think it lasted for 30 minutes the sort of questions they asked me were:

When have you worked in a team and come across a difficult situation, what did you do and what was the outcome?

A manager had said he has had complaints of there being discrimination in his company when it comes to promotions what data would you ask for and how would you check if this is the case?
When have you had to work towards a deadline? (I can remember the exact wording of the question)
They also had my answers from the application printed and asked to go into more detail and asked me questions about the situation.  So don’t lie on your application form as they do ask at your interview!

I wasn’t that confident when I came out of the interview because I felt the technical question let me down and didn’t really answer the question to the best of my ability, but I got an email after Christmas to say I had got the placement.

Best tip I’ve ever been given is don’t be shy, keep calm and just keep smiling, don’t get too upset if you can’t answer a question and if you pause and telling a joke or two helps, well it’s helped me not sure if it will help everyone.


I hope this helps you if you’re applying for a placement or when you will be applying.. J

Friday, 16 January 2015

New Year

I'd now like to highlight that even if you’re studying at university and with it being quite stressful at times there is always time to have fun! This is a great time to meet new people, do things that you normally wouldn’t do and try things which you wouldn’t able to do if you weren’t attending university. Here a few pictures of fun events I’ve gone to over the past year. I think it’s true what people say that university is the best time of your life. 

Barcelona – This was a 5 day holiday after my exams had finished in May 2014. One of the things I wanted to do when I went on holiday was to learn how to swim. I went swimming a few times but I was too scared of drowning to learn properly but I bought a float and swam a few times! J  


Harry potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour - Watford, Hertfordshire. This was my birthday celebration with friends from working at River Island. It was a nice day out and I think all together we took around 800 pictures!




Clearing time in August- I worked as an Enquiry Assistant for the university from which I made some good friends September 2014:



Winter wonderland- During the Christmas holiday break I went to winter wonderland! It was my first time going, it was really fun and the rides were quite good J