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Invitation To The Voyage

Broaden your horizons

Summer Jobs: Let the Hunt Begin

In the summer, looking for a job is becoming worst than a lioness looking for some fresh meat to feed her offspring. Any piece of advice is good to take. So here are few tips to help you to find your way in the confusing and tough process of looking for a job.

 1)Be Ready

Make sure you always have an up-to-date CV and a cover letter. Update it as often as you can, don’t neglect any previous jobs or important tasks you have undertaken because any experience does matter. You can find many good templates on the internet, indeed Kent University’s website gives good pieces of advice here. Once you’ve written your CV have someone else read it – as many people as you can – spelling and grammatical mistakes can be crippling. Don’t forget to include any experience or achievement you are proud of on your CV. Your aim is to highlight the qualities that make you someone unique and interesting to hire: you have to stand out from the crowd! Because keep in mind that employers are skimming through thousands of cv’s and cover letters a day, this is why your CV must be clear and original.

2) Be open-minded 

If you’re looking for a job, take a chance on every opportunity that comes across; don’t be fussy! Though some jobs may seem undesirable  on paper. Make it clear in your head that no job will be a loss of time and you’ll gain something from it, no matter what you’re doing!

3) Necessity but Dignity

Even though money is an issue for you, a job shouldn’t include you selling your soul, your self-respect or your body for money. From the beginning, make it clear with your employer that relation you have with him/her is strictly professional for the avoidance of doubt.

4) Try Everywhere 

You can find classified adds on the internet. StudentJob is pretty good for this kind of research. Also don’t hesitate to go inside shops to canvass employers because many of them are waiting for students to come inside their store to show motivation. Never be afraid to ask, you may feel dumb in the moment but once you get your job you won’t anymore. Prick up your ear to every conversation you’re hearing, on the street, at a coffee, at the shop etc.. Someone may need help from students for the summer. I found a job by listening to some customers. They were buying some flowers and they were talking about the fact that the florist was their newspapers flowers supplier. So I asked them where they worked and they told me they were journalists. I said I was a journalism student, and they asked why I wouldn’t do an internship with them during the summer. It was out of the blue. The next day I was dropping them my CV and I eventually got the job.

5) Few examples of interesting jobs

  • Au Pair: This is a really nice job, you can do it abroad. You can work for some lovely families anywhere around the globe. You just have to pay your flight to go there and your personal dispenses. You’ll have to take care of their children and in exchange they will provide meal and accommodation for free. You can see further details on AuPairWorld.
  • You can try being a Tour Guide, if there’s a place you really like and you know its history. During summer, Tour Guides are very appreciated due to the amount of tourists.
  • Ambassador for brands: During the summer many brands are often looking for students to champion their products.

You now have all the elements for a successful summer job hunt!

The summer I spent studying abroad

This story was published on student com.co.uk

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The world card where we all wrote down our names. 
 
Last summer, I decided to take the plunge and study abroad for the summer. From June to September, I decided to go to another country. I had already travelled before but never for so long and in a place where I didn’t know anyone.
I can still remember the feeling I had when packing my stuff the night before leaving (organisation skills!). I was mixed with feelings, in one hand I couldn’t wait to discover a new culture, new people and a new language but in the other hand I wouldn’t see my family and friends for a whole summer. Leaving your beloved relatives and best friends for people you don’t know, who would do that? I did, and so far it’s been the best experience of my life.
 
I headed for the hills, leaving my calm, French life for an exciting British one. So I landed on the cupcake island under a bright sun. I still remember that day because I always had in mind the idea of a grey country when it rains everyday and where people are quite sceptic when you start talking about the sun.
 
So many questions mingled around in my head: How are the people going to be there? Will I survive on my own? Will I be able to cook without burning the kitchen and turning it upside down? Will I get used to drinking tea and what about porridge and jelly!?
 
I stayed in Halls, I had an ensuite room and I was sharing the kitchen. I was independent, without having my parents on my back telling me what to do. This summer also enabled me to gain in maturity because I have learnt to live on my own without depending on someone.
 
During this summer, I had the best moments of my life. I met amazing people, I was lucky I was in an international college so it enabled me to meet people from all around the world:  people from Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Latvia, Russia and many more.  I am still in touch with most of them and I’m planning to visit them one day.
 
It was for me a once in a lifetime experience, not only did I discover a new culture; queuing for the bus for example, no one does that in France, having milk with tea, how people are open-minded and ready to help you, I also discovered a new me. I used to be a little bit shy, you know that girl who was very discreet that doesn’t talk much. I used to be that girl. But before going to England I made a promise to myself and I told myself that I didn’t have anything to loose trying to socialise and talk with people. I didn’t know any of them, they didn’t know me and if something bad happened I would never see them again.
 
I never thought that I could get so close to people so quickly; we all lived together for 3 months so we didn’t have any choice but to bond. The parties I have shared with them were the craziest ones.
 
I was lucky to find my friend soul mate, she was keen on baking and on ballet like me. I remember a day when everybody was beginning to fall apart and it ended up with a big argument, my friend and I woke up early in the morning and baked all day long. When everybody woke up
they all found baskets full of cupcakes in front of their doors, and let me tell you that cupcakes can fix more situations than you think.

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During this summer, I also took the chance to be with crazy people to tick off some of my bucketlist tasks. Like doing my grocery shopping in pyjamas.  You could never do that in France, everyone
would be staring at you thinking please go back in your asylum!

 

 

 

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It also took the summer for me to realise something I always wanted to make: a tiered cake. Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to make a proper one but for my friends birthday I made an Impressive cupcake’ (I try to sell it as I can).

 

 

 

I am a little ashamed of this one but I even tried pole dancing, for a single session. It’s very physical!

 
This summer was so memorable: all the wonderful people I met, everything that I have done! I have spoken a lot about leisure, but I did also study there! I got my IELTS (English test) with 7 out of 9.
 
 I was so moved by England that I eventually decided to stay there for university. If you have the opportunity to travel, I would highly recommend that you take it, it’s amazingly surprizing how you can learn from something you don’t know and also from others.  We are young, it’s time to go and explore the world to broaden our horizons.

The Wolf in Sheeps Clothing

This is a silent movie we were asked to make for 183 MC ( Cultural fields in media and communication). We had three minutes to tell the story about a women killing a men and someone has to witness the scene.

Initially we were going to talk about a women killing another woman  to meet a man she met before at a funeral. She would have killed the women to see the man again ( I know that it sounds creepy but it’s pretty original). Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to find enough extra and we couldn’t film in the church.  Yet it didn’t stop us! as we are spontaneous journalists, we chose a simplest pitch, the story about a corrupted priest. Our task was to take into account hegemony (what people take for being something acceptable or not in the society) .

Usually, a priest is supposed to be someone honest that you can trust, but flipped down the general conventions that goes with priest. Here the priest is not a good person, we have highlighted this trait of this character for example in her look : we can see that she has a very dark look and look very suspicious. Moreover, the fact that she uses red lipstick, perfume etc .. connotes the fact that she is using make up to hide her personality, to hide her sins. The red is overriding in our film, it’s the color of danger : this color doesn’t let anyone indifferent. Nothing has been chosen on a whim, everything was chose on purpose and was hegemonic.

 

Coventry Music Museum (TV package)

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For this item, I went to the Coventry  Music Museum to have information about the place, I have used sources. Sources are the essence of a journalist work because it’s thanks to them that we are able to have information and clues about what is newsworthy. There are two kind of sources, the primary sources and the secondary sources. For most of my work I have contacted primary sources, it means that I went out to talk to the people involved with story I wanted to talk about.

I have used social media to find my contact, via twitter. This primary sources are very useful and essential to make a good work.

For this OOV as you can obviously see some camera problem occurred. To be fair, I have no idea about  what happened, but I swear to god that I wasn’t drunk!

Varsity (Sport News)

As a member of the Source society, I covered Varsity : a  sport competition between Coventry and Warwick Universities. The TV Package I made was not for uni but for my extra curricular activities.

To do my work I had to go there and to book the equipment I needed at the Media Loan Shop:  a camera (canon 650D), a tripod and an edirol. I had some problems with the edirol because usually to film an interview, you would take the sound and the image separately but for some reasons the edirol didn’t record any of the sounds. So for editing I had to make do. The weather conditions were not ideal:  it was raining, the wind was blowing . I had to manage the sound, the video, and the equipment.

TV music news

Check out the link of iCov music news segment here.

This is the music segment my group and i produced. The production process was very fun and interesting, it was not the first time for me that I was in a TV studio but it was the first time I had to manage and run a studio. Of course we had supervisors to help us during the training however we had to record our segment on our own without any help.

To have an effective outcome, we had to divide roles effectively : a director, someone dealing with the camera, another person dealing with  the VT and a sound engineer. I had this role, I had to check the levels and make sur the levels were good for the presenters.

It was a very fun experience, being on the studio all together. Though we didn’t know each other very well, we had to team up in order to be efficient and have a good communication inside the group. At the beginning we all wanted to be in front of the camera, I suppose we all thought that it was the most important job and not being in front of the camera was like we were left on the sideline. But it’s at this moment I understood we were at uni and especially that it was a place for mature and thoughtful student. By looking closer to how we had to organise the filming we all fall agree that it was not possible to have numerous presenters, it didn’t make sens. So as wise persons we just decided that two girls would be presenting the magazine.

There wasn’t any major problems, we just had some troubles with the camera, not filming the right person on the right angle. But we manage to fix the problem while editing.

 

5 House Hunting Tips for First Year Students

Time flies! 6 months have already passed since the beginning of uni, and although there are several months before everybody goes home for the summer, now is the best time to start looking for a place to live next year; before it’s too late! It might seem early, but if you don’t motivate yourself to find a house now, it will become an issue for next year.

A lot of students are not allowed to stay in their halls beyond their first year and therefore need to move. One of the reasons a lot of freshers choose to stay in halls during their first year is that they’re often attending uni in a new place and therefore don’t know anybody. Halls of residence are a great way to meet and bond with a lot of people. Once you get used to your new campus and have made plenty of friends moving becomes easier.

Living in a house comes with it’s advantages such as it’s generally cheaper than halls and there are way less restrictions (eg anybody can stay over; guests don’t have to sign in whenever they want to pay you a visit).

When looking for houses many things must be taken into consideration. Here are some tips to help you in your hunt for your new home.

House-hunting-1) Housemates 

Firstly, make sure you know the people you are going to move in with well and also that you all have the same objectives. For example, it’s not going to be easy to cope with party animals if you’re the kind of person that is very calm and focused on your studies. Spending time with good friends is not the same as living with them. You’ll have to put up with  them all day long and being in someones presence all the time can actually lead to tension or even quarrels.

Cleaning can also be an issue because not everybody has the same perception of it, so make it clear from the very beginning how often chores should be carried out and who should be in charge of the rota (a cleaning schedule

2) Location 

When looking for a house you want to find somewhere close to local amenities and with easy transport links. Try to check if there’s a bus stop nearby, how far the rail station is from the house (it’s not the most important, but it’s not very convenient to walk endless miles when you want to take the train to go home). It’s also useful if there’s somewhere you can do your grocery shopping nearby. Many students can’t drive so it can be difficult getting home with numerous shopping bags.

If you’re thinking about subscribing to the gym then make sure there is one near to where you will be moving to. You may say at the beginning of the academic year that it’s fine and that you’ll make an effort to get there but after your first essays I doubt you’ll have the courage to really do it. The same for goes for the library. Make sure it’s close to where you’ll  be living because it’s widely acknowledged that a place full of flatmates, noise and other distractions is not the best place on earth for concentration. So sometimes it’s preferable to go to a peaceful place to work.

Also, make sure that the house is not located in a dodgy area. It’s not very nice to travel in an unsafe area after a party or when it gets dark early in winter especially for girls.

3)Utilities 

The number of bathrooms can be a problem when people from the same course are sharing a house so be careful towards that, the shower can get busy very quickly. If you are somewhere with one bathroom it’s also advisable that it has a second toilet also. There’s nothing arriving home desperate for the loo only to discover the bathroom is occupied.

A washing machine is essential. In winter you don’t want to be walking for miles to find a decent laundrette. A tumble dryer is always a bonus but it isn’t the end of the world if there isn’t one, you’ll just have to hang your clothes up to dry.

4) Landlords

Asking the landlord the following questions when viewing houses will help to avoid any bad surprises:

  • How much is the rent and is it inclusive (gas, broadband, bills etc)?
  • How long is the contract?
  • What are the terms of the deposit? Who will have to pay if there are any technical problems (a water leak can be costly)?

Also make sure you check that any appliances provided work properly before moving in as some landlords have been  known to provide faulty appliances only to blame the new tenants for the damage!

5) Where to Look

You can utilise the services of an agency to help you in finding your dream house (don’t dream too big though, don’t be a diva! You won’t find Beyonce’s villa with your student budget). Sometimes the agencies are just making money on the back of students although online property searches can allow you to deal directly with the landlords. Nevertheless, to avoid agency fees you can use some reliable websites such as:

To conclude, if you haven’t started yet it’s time to seriously take responsibility for your house hunt because if you don’t do so now, others will take the best houses and you won’t be left with a lot of choice.

 

 

Neknomination : the smart way

Smart nomination

In the past couple of days, no one has been spared from ‘Neknomination’ the drinking game phenomenon that began last January in Australia and spread like wildfire on social networks all around the world. The game consist in nominating 3 friends that has to ‘Neck their drink’ in front of a camera and theses friends have 24 hours to take up the challenge and to nominate 3 other friends. This game is extremely dangerous: 5 people already died because of it (a Welsh, two British and two Irish and boys succumbed to the game).

It’s worrying to see how such a game spread from a country to another. After the binge-drinking trend, drinking without any limits is becoming commonplace for the new generation. It’s more and more common to see young people at parties drinking in order to finish drunk than drinking for the pleasure of just sharing a drink with friends.

But fortunately, humankind has a lot to offer. Indeed Julien Voison, French student from Bordeaux decided to take the challenge upside down by creating the ‘Smartnomination’ that he describes like a smart and useful way to answer to the Neknomination phenomenon, he invites everybody that is nominated to ‘Think different’ (according to his catch line). The principle is simple; instead of drinking alcohol the nominated person must make an act of charity for example buying food for homeless people.

Here is an example of Smartnomination in South Africa:

The Facebook page  has already received more than 10 000 likes although it’s not a lot compared to the millions of like that received the Neknomination page. However it’s a good beginning to change things, help people in need by remembering Nelson Mandela’s statement: ‘Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It’s man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom’.

So now it’s your turn to act in a responsible way, do it not only for the late South-African president but also for your health.

 

Valentine’s Day Special

Valentine's Day Special : 'Genoise aux Fraises et aux Framboises avec un glacage au citron vert'

Valentine’s Day is almost here. Even though nowadays it’s more a commercial celebration, no one can deny it’s not a pleasure to have a little attention during this day. There’s no need to give diamonds or anything precious, as my grandmother was always saying :’ The way you give is more important that what you’re giving’. And this is so true.

For this Valentine’s Day I would like to share with you a short Chinese legend my Chinese friend told me.

It’s the legend of Tian Xian Pei.

While the seven daughters of the Jade Emperor ( Ruler of the Heaven) travel on Earth, Tian Xian Pei the youngest sister falls madly in love with Dong Yong a poor farmer. He was struggling to pay his late fathers debts and had 100 days to pay them. The humble seven fairies help him to find a solution to his problem and eventually everything get better for him. He is on a pedestal because everything is perfect for him, he is about to ask Tian Xian Pei to marry him. But the destiny decides something else, the parents of the seven sister called them back in the Heaven. When the youngest sister tells her parents that she wants to marry a mortal men, they immediatly fly into a terrible fury. Tian Xian Pei shelters in her room and cry all the tears of her body. Outside the birds touched by  the long sobs of the violins of autumn build a bridge for her. So  Once a year, on the 7th of July (07/07) the two lovers can meet in secret and live their passion.

I’m not very an emotive person but I was touched by this fairy tale and little girl in me was brought alive for a while.

I have a thought for the people that are not lucky to have their beloved ones with them this year. To all those people that went away too fast, may they rest in peace. We won’t forget you, you’ll be present in our hearts forever.

PS : You can find the recipe of the  : ‘Genoise aux Fraises et aux Framboises avec un glacage au citron vert here.

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