Busy, busy bee.

This week has been hectic to say the least!

I’ve been spending the last week before university begins again in Aachen, Germany, celebrating my boyfriend’s 21st birthday. To surprise him, a couple of months ago I thought it would be a great idea to plan a surprise birthday party for him.

No big feat you might think.

That’s what I thought as well.

I was wrong.

Although I’ve enjoyed every minute of planning the party, it is understandably difficult to arrange cakes, decorations and people from other countries, especially with limited German. However, it was a challenge that was well worth it.

My boyfriend is a traveller, just like me, so he has friends spread across the world. So to make his birthday extra special I invited a couple of them along that he hasn’t seen in a while.

Arranging all the different aspects of this party and making them coincide whilst keeping it all a secret proved to be a challenge, but one I willingly accepted and I’m glad I did. Everyone had a great evening and it was pulled off without a hitch.

Now when can I plan another one?

In a Bid To Be Different

Hello!

I hope all you lovely lads and lasses have had a wonderful Christmas, full of food, laughter and excitement, and a very happy New Year, full of booze, company and resolutions!

This year I’ve decided to be a bit different. You know, break free, challenge the norm, etc, etc, etc. Instead of choosing a couple of resolutions at the beginning of 2017 that I desperately try to implement and inevitably succumb (I love that word) to at some point, I have decided to build up good habits as each month passes. I’ll do this by setting myself a goal for each month that focuses on one good practice I want to bring into my life and slowly as the months go by I’ll be practicing more and more good habits.

To throw in a bit of PR, I will be using SMART objectives to set goals and monitor my success. I’ll also have monthly updates on how the month has gone and what my next challenge will be. Some of these will include meditating for 5 minutes every day, read a book every week or write down 3 positive things for each day.

All of these habits aim to improve my lifestyle, make me feel more energised and generally more positive through giving myself some TLC, something I think we all could work on!

This month my aim is to be posting one blog post a week every Sunday by the end of January. Since beginning this blog last year I feel it’s drifted by the wayside when I became distracted with university and part-time work. So now I aim to revitalise it and become more active again.

Let’s see how this first good practice goes!

Onwards and upwards.

Releasing the Professional Inside

It’s crazy how fast my time at university has flown, but it’s true, my time being a (relatively) carefree student is almost over and I have to learn to be a fully-fledged adult. It’s sink or swim and nothing makes that more apparent than realising that I have to start applying for graduate schemes and jobs now if not yesterday!

Luckily, I found a hugely useful resource that informed me of all the possible graduate schemes and internships around in the UK, as well as a couple that I was already aware of and had already applied to.

So, being the generous person I am, I thought I would share this with you to save you some of the leg work and make you are aware of the best opportunities out there. You’ll have to be quick about it though if you’re applying this year. Some of the top agencies, like Edelman, close their graduate schemes mid January, so get prepared and get submitting!

http://prcareers.co.uk/2017-pr-internships-and-graduate-schemes/

All of the grad schemes included in this compilation are for 2017, but if you’re looking for a years time these may be continuous and have 2018 schemes opening this time next year as well.

Get your thinking cap on, edit that CV (check out my other post on how to make your CV the one here: https://goo.gl/J2kT5y ) and goodluck!

May the odds be ever in your favour!

TEFL Training: A Must Do For The Adventurous!

As some of you may be aware I am fast approaching my final year of university and with my slightly abnormal need for a plan in life I already have a pretty good idea of what I’d like to do upon my graduation. Although my ultimate career path is in public relations, more specifically music, I have always had a love and respect for teaching, especially those teaching a second language to students. As a result, I have made a few plans to briefly teach for a couple of years in foreign countries, probably Germany. I think of this as a wonderful opportunity to build on my own knowledge of English, to an extent where I feel comfortable teaching it, but also it will provide me with the chance to learn a foreign language myself as I immerse myself in that country’s culture.

Some of you may have heard of a course called TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language. I am currently taking a course through one of the organisations that provide a teaching qualification under this, TEFL.org, and I have to admit this course has bee one of the most eye opening and inspiring courses I have taken. After a weekend of classroom type learning where we were taught how to plan lessons differently for grammar, vocabulary and general speech we were thrown in the deep end. Our tutor really wanted us to understand how our students would feel, entering a class where it’s possible that they don’t understand one word of the language and are quite possibly confused and intimidated. To ensure we understood how our students would feel, she made us experience the same thing: we were the students and she was our teacher teaching us Catalan in the TEFL way of teaching. In complete honesty through the encouraging, fun and kinaesthetic and visual learning employed by TEFL teachers, I learnt and can still remember more Catalan now than I can of French which I studied for over five years in school. (I really don’t understand why we don’t use these methods to teach languages in our schools, but that’s a different matter!)

The opportunities that would open up to me upon completion of this course are truly amazing and hearing what the other colleagues in the class wanted to do with their qualification is awe-inspiring; from teaching in Thailand to travelling around South America fro a year, teaching as they go, to providing opportunities to the less privileged children from where they grew up in Asia. It is definitely a qualification that any adventurous traveller should consider. It will provide you with not only an opportunity to live for longer in a place and really learn what it’s like to live there and know about it’s culture, but it also gives you the opportunity to learn a new language and give back to that society through teaching them the business language of the world. Who knows. They may grow up to be the next Bill Gates with the language that you have taught them!

It is definitely a qualification to consider and is always something you can fall back on, as well as the friendships you make from within your course. After just a day with our class it felt like we’d known each other for years. After two days we were exchanging numbers, friend requests on Facebook and creating a group for us all. The help and support you receive from within that network of people is enough to encourage you and help you through. When someone is stuck on the online grammar tests or looking for a placement in a specific country, everyone is more than willing to help. So not only will you provide yourself with a hugely rewarding opportunity through this course, but you will also open yourself up to a huge network of people with the same interests as you. Now what’s wrong with that?!

Music Monday

This Monday I am currently writing from Aachen in Germany, so I thought I’d take this as an opportunity to include a German singer in my Music Monday. Now you may well have heard of Lena before, she’s a young singer who won the Eurovision song contest in 2010. Now before you roll your eyes at me have a listen to this song first and then make a conclusion if you like her or not. You’ll probably be surprised and may well recognise it!

Music Monday

Sorry about my absence over the past couple of weeks! With assessments looming I’ve been swamped under with deadlines and haven’t had a chance to post. To get back into the swing of things I thought I’d start with a Music Monday post and go from there!

So this week’s band is one that I’ve enjoyed seeing grow, develop and build up a large following over the past few years. Their name is Eliza and the Bear and they have just released their debut album! Their tunes follow a rock theme but there’s definitely some undertones of folk and alternative. Definitely worth a listen and one to watch out for! Here’s my favourite song of theirs, It Gets Cold.

Interview: Kelvin Jones

Kelvin Jones, as you’ve probably heard if you read my last post, is an up and coming pop and blues singer, with a talent for guitar riffs and emotional lyrics. I was lucky enough to catch up with him before his gig supporting James Morrison and find out what the experience of moving from a university student, to a YouTube sensation to performing live with James Morrison was like! Here’s the results!

What’s your story so far?

This whole thing started two or three years ago, when I was in university and I was playing guitar in the local pubs, just trying to do the whole music thing. I wrote this song, Call You Home, and it just blew up and went viral. That was my ticket out.

From university, to YouTube Sensation, to supporting James Morrison, how does it feel to be so successful?

The word success scares me, I never really feel like I’ve quite made it. So regardless of what level I’m at it still feels like I’m not quite there. It still feels like how it did playing in the pubs, just a lot bigger crowd and a lot nicer pub!

Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Musical is kind of simple, John Mayer and BB King. I don’t think there’s any one person from the non-musical perspective, more different arts, like photography and videography.

What have you got planned for 2016?

Just playing, playing, playing. There’s nothing like performing your music to a crowd and getting feedback from them about my music. So that’s all we’re doing. Anywhere and everywhere. We’ll be playing a lot in Germany weirdly and a few festivals, including Isle of Wight and The Great Escape.

What’s the best bit about touring?

The little moments when you realise what you’re doing and how far you’ve come. It’s pretty cool and still so new!

Sum yourself and your music up in three words.

Pop, I’m not going to shy away from that word, because it’s now a dirty word and it shouldn’t be. For myself I’ll say obsessive, because you need to be for this job. I’ll go with scared for the last one, for both my music and me, because I’m still figuring stuff out. I’m scared of where my music might not go, because I have such high expectations of where it could go. So yeah, pop, obsessive and scared!

If you missed my last post, check out one of his newest songs here: (I love what they do with the guitar!)