Thursday, 1 November 2012

Stage Two

So I have finally completed my group project and after all the stress it was a success!
We were pointed out as the best presentation of the day which was a big achievement as group projects have never been my strong point. We managed to deliver a great project about lift systems in an office building and after many complications with the project; we were successful with our end result.
Now all my coursework’s have been released and I am now concentrating on them.
Last week I went to go and visit Pricewaterhouse Coopers for a skills session to help with my graduate recruitment. They gave some great information on what to expect and little hints and tips for the application process. Now I feel that I have a lot more knowledge on what to expect and hopefully can apply this to my applications.
At the moment I am currently working on practising the psychometric tests which I am going to take tomorrow. I have a numerical reasoning test and a diagrammatic test to take. They are similar to the exams I took in primary school for the 11+ just a little harder! There is roughly only enough time to answer a question per minute and some of them are a question every thirty seconds! The diagrammatic tests are not too bad and are simple puzzle sequences where you have to work out the next step but the numerical reasoning tests seem to be a lot harder!
I have been practising these tests now since the end of my first year however I can’t seem to break the barrier on them even though I am doing a maths degree! I think it’s the speed and accuracy needed (and expected) that I am struggling with (along with quite a few others). So hopefully I can practice enough to finally pass! Will here back within 48hrs of taking them and fill you in then! J

Friday, 26 October 2012

Working In a Team

The past couple of weeks have been all about my final year group project.
Group work has played a part of every year of my study so far and usually everyone moans about being put into groups with some of the group members you may not know who they are and have 4 weeks to get to know them and write a report and presentation with them. I used to feel this way however, I finally understand the reason why they make us do this every year. When it comes to going into the real world, your job is more than likely going to involve working within a team and very rarely on your own.
It’s a major competency that employers look for and if you can accomplish that now, it is much easier later on!
We have been given then title “Mathematical Models for Lift Systems” and had to decide where we wanted to take our research and create a report and presentation for it within 4 weeks. It was also our first time writing a proposal for what we would like to do which gave us a good practice ready for our individual project.
We have now almost completed the report and presentation all that is left is to put it all together and write our recommendations! It’s certainly been a long 4 weeks and I will be looking forward to a rest before my coursework kicks in but at the same time I feel that I have finally learnt the purpose of group work and am thankful my lecturers made me do it each year.
On the graduate front I have submitted 2 applications so far! One has invited me to do my online psychometric tests and I am currently practicing for those and the other I am still waiting to hear from. Fingers crossed it is good news! I will check back in after my group presentation J

Monday, 8 October 2012

Full Speed Ahead

So it’s the beginning of the third week of my first term in my third year and I've learnt a few things:

  • Always be punctual (or your lecturer will lock the door!)
  • Attend every lecture and tutorial
  • Complete all work on time and upload work regularly

Now I know all of these points are important in every year of your degree, but I've learnt that this is the most important year of my life and these points couldn't be any more important now than they have ever been. 

The work load has certainly been a lot already with numerous deadlines already passed and coursework’s looming in the near distant future, but every second of it opens me up to a wider knowledge and prepares me for the real world.

I have recently just begun my final group project before I begin my individual project next term. So far we have narrowed down our three choices to one and have now begun our research on this topic to begin putting it together in our next lecture.

I have also begun creating my applications for my graduate positions next year, so I have to decide what I want to do when I leave. I have decided to go into Audit and gain my professional accounting qualifications. So far I have completed 7 applications with a lot more to come! I am planning to submit the applications this week and will hopefully be hearing back soon from the companies! My dream is to secure a place with PriceWaterhouse Coopers and they are the number 1 servicing company in the world!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Inspiration and Dedication:

It’s been a busy summer and the rush is carrying on into term time! I finished working for the universities clearing team at the beginning of September which was great I had so much fun and met loads of great people. From there I jetted off to New York for my 21st birthday where I done loads of shopping (obviously!) and went to see all the sights. The most memorable part of my trip was taking the 9/11 World Trade Centre tour which I would like to share.

We started in the St Pauls Chapel where people would come to pay their respects and see all the memories of the lives lost on that day. The chapel was used as a place where the emergency services could come and rest, doctors would see to their wounds and strangers would come to offer their help by cooking for them and doing whatever they could.

We then went to the American Express headquarters within the World Financial Centre next to the World Trade Centre plot. Within here is a memorial piece for the 11 American Express employees who were working in one of the towers on that day and sadly lost their lives. The memorial consists of an 11 sided polygon pool with a name written on each side of the pool and in the water a few words chosen by their families engraved in the granite. There is a 600 lb crystal suspended above the pool held up by 11 strings with the strings going up to 11 spotlights in the ceiling. By each light is a hole where a droplet of water comes out at times and drops into the pool like tears. This is where the memorial got its’ name of the “11 Tears Memorial”. It was so peaceful a tranquil and a lovely thought from the American Express company to remember their fallen employees from that day.

We then went to the World Trade Centre Memorial Park where two giant water falls (called “footprints”) stand where the twin towers once stood. The water falls were so large it really put into perspective the size of the towers and the horror that occurred on that day. Around each water fall (the north and south), the names of everyone lost in that tower and been engraved around the edges so that families have a place to come to remember their loved ones by. It was so surreal to be standing on the ground where so much terror, panic and destruction was caused on that day and now we were standing at the water fall’s edge where it was like a mini heaven. I think having that feeling there is vital to the memory off all the people who lost their lives that tragic day as so many people were never found and they can be remembered as resting in one of the most peaceful places I have ever been in.

Around 3,000 people lost their lives that day with so many going back into the building to save others but never coming back out themselves. They deserve to be remembered for their courage, loyalty and dedication to their jobs, employees and country.

From this tour and hearing about the emergency services, security guards, priest’s stories of their compassion for their jobs regardless of the situation they were put in made me take another look at myself and my compassion. The dedication they had for their jobs is something I admire to have in my future career and I am determined to use that compassion in my studies not just for my benefit, but for all those young people who were only just starting out and never got to show off their full potential because their lives got cut short by acts of terrorism.

I would like to leave you with the thought of how the Americans have interpreted that day.

The designer of the twin towers Minoru Yamasaki wanted the towers to symbolise “man’s humanity to man”. When the twin towers collapsed, New Yorker’s came from everywhere to pull together and help in every possible way they could. Whether that was cooking for the emergency services, helping with the clean up of the towers, helping to find survivors, help to try to find bodies to bring back to their loved ones or even if it was just to come and give some comfort to worried families.

And that’s how American’s remember that day. It’s not about the terror that was inflicted on them, but how the purpose of those towers stood strong and still does even in their absence.

Hearing the inspirational story from my tour guide who was there in an office close by on that day made me take a second look on life and how short it can be and that we should take every opportunity that comes along. I can certainly say it has changed my view on life and I hope you could find some inspiration from it no matter what it may be just like I did.

I recommend the documentary called 9/11 about the first fire fighters that were on the scene that morning, it was a real eye opener to the courage that can come out of people in times like that.