Category Archives: Graduate

Things To Do – May

May

With work being super busy with travelling, I won’t be in the City that much for the next month but I’ve managed to find a few things that I want to try cram into my free time.

Shaun in the City: I’ve been trying to walk home some nights after work, either all the way or at least some of the way and I’ve come across several differently designed ‘Shaun the Sheep’s’ which looks really cool. There are 50 sculptures across London to find. You can even download an app (costing £1.49) to help you find all the sculptures which makes it really interactive. This makes this a perfect day to spend in London following the trails and seeing some sights at the same time. And it’s all for a good cause as the Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Charity is a national charity raising funds to improve the lives of sick children in hospitals across the UK. All of the sculptures will be auctioned off later in the year to raise even more money.

London Transport Museum Friday Lates: I’m not the most cultured person in the world and whilst I like going to the odd museum, I’m not in one every other week. But when you add entertainment, drinks and most importantly food, my interest rises through the roof for it. Lots of museums in London tend to have later opening times mostly on Friday’s and put something extra on. I really want to go to the London Transport Museum where they have film screenings, quizzes and music. Tickets are £12 each. More info here.

Outdoor Sport: I’ve spoken about this before but I am really getting into more exercise over the past couple of weeks. Something that I’m really keen to get into even though I am shocking is to play more tennis. There are a couple of parks near me that have tennis courts and it’s really simple to book a court, just choose the hour you want, no need to be part of a club so it’s super easy. Tennis rackets will be going on my birthday list! I found a useful website here that will help you find local tennis courts:

Outdoor Bars: As we look forward to the summer months, I think London changes and its nice to sit out and look over some spectacular views with a pimms of course. Timeout have done a great top list of the best places to go found here. The addition I would make is the Searcys One New Change which is near to Bank Underground where you can get a view of the Shard and St Pauls Cathedral.

Have a good May!

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Hotel Etiquette with Work

Hotel Etiquette

Within my placement, I’ve been spending a lot of time travelling around the UK. One course meant that I spent a week in Manchester with two other grads. Whilst I was there, there were certain things I learnt about hotel etiquette!

Balanced Breakfasts: The buffet breakfast was pretty overwhelming in our hotel, fruit salad, cereal, danish pastries, cooke breakfast and the opportunity to order poached eggs on toast! I had breakfast in the hotel for 4 days, I started off with the full english with a sausage sandwich. Amazing food! But let me tell you, by the end of the week, I was feeling pretty unhealthy and all stodgy so remember to keep it balanced!

Inventive lunches: Now I know I’m talking about food again here but it is so important… Given that we had to eat out everyday for lunch, I wanted to go a bit further than the £3 meal deal at Sainsbury’s. I got quite inventive with Moroccan cous cous with added chicken, freshly baked bread with mini hummus pots and a mini quiche with a prepared salad pot. Not a stale sandwich in sight!

Take Advantage of all the Facilities! There was a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and a gym but I didn’t spend much time in the gym. I managed to go for a swim everyday after the training course before we all met for dinner which meant I at least attempted to balance out all those sausage sandwiches…

Mingle: There was a large group of 16 people on the course and I was already friends with three of them. We all went out for dinner together each evening so make sure you make an effort to sit next to different people each night so that by the end of the week you are one big group and not lots of little groups that don’t talk to each other!

Lines that don’t cross: During the week, we spent a lot of the time all together which means you become very close. But under no circumstance does this ever mean it’s a good idea to hall creep into your colleagues bedroom! Just never!

All of this seems pretty simple but thought I would just line them out anyway. Enjoy your time away if you go away with work. Make the most of it!

Just Alice – Film Review

Just Alice

This week I went and watched Just Alice at my work’s film club. It’s amazing, it’s only £2 and you get free snacks and wine, a much better deal than any London cinema. *Don’t worry – no spoilers*

Just Alice tells the story of a intelligent professor and Mum who finds that she has early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Undoubtedly, its a subtle film following Alice as she deteriorates over her life time and how her relationship between her and her family changes. Alice is played by Julianne Moore who I thought was excellent, the irony of Alice being a linguistics professor juxtaposed with her now discovering forgetting words is really gripping. And whilst there are some points that really open your heart and sad, I feel that it could have delved into the emotion and heartache of the relationships between Alice and her family. Also, it ended when I was totally unexpecting it, in a bad way. It didn’t feel finished, you didn’t see the despair with the family, it just sort of ended.

I would call this film average, despite some strong moments within the film that nearly bring you to tears, it doesn’t grab you as much as it could have. I felt like it had a lot of potential but wasn’t used. It really was ‘just’ average.

Things to Do – March

March

It’s been a bit quiet on here lately because I’ve been out of the country on holiday. (More about that next week.) Since I’ve come back from holiday, I’ve noticed a big difference in how sunny and brighter it is outside so this month I thought I would celebrate the start of Spring with some good things to get everyone outdoors in March.

Visit London’s parks: All I want to do at weekends in London is spend time in space that resembles a slightly higher percentage of green than grey. Since its getting warmer, its not a more enjoyable experience spending a decent amount of time outside. I’l be heading to the park for a picnic with University friends this weekend, I’m thinking either Victoria Park or Regents Park. For a list of the best parks, see here.

Head of the River Race: This is one of London’s longest running sport traditions happening on the 29th March. Every spring, 400 crews come to race along the River Thames. This is a great excuse to find a cosy pub along the river somewhere, drink in hand watching the boats go past. Something to do on a chilled Sunday. Apparently the best places to watch the race from are Chiswick Bridge where they start, cheer Barnes Bridge as they gather pace, or Hammersmith Bridge. Find out more here.

Columbia Road Flower Market: Not forgetting Mothers Day in March on the 15th. Flowers are always a good option, and getting your mum a present this year can be a day out in itself! Head down to Columbia Road Flower Market in Bethnal Green, its got some amazing flower stalls as well as some cute chic boutique shops that you could peruse for houses… perhaps to purchase a vase. Columbia Road Market is open from 8am – 3pm every Sunday. Find out more here.

Fire and Stone: I visited Fire and Stone in Covent Garden in the past week and it will definitely be somewhere that I shall be revisiting more than once again given the number of pizza’s I wanted to eat all at once last time. The menu is so good and so far from the obvious pizza toppings, it also has some great cocktails! Find out more here. 

Saatchi Gallery: I’ve been recommended to come to the Saatchi gallery near Sloane Square by some friends who came down to London for the day. It showcases pop art that has exploited identifiable imagery from mass media and everyday life to reflect on the nature of the world we live in. It’s my kinda art – I like my art to make a point.

Grads are like reception class at school…

life as a 4 year old

Last night I watched the secret life of 4 year olds which was super cute by the way; watching how each 4 year old was so different to each other and how they learnt from their mistakes. And then today, I met with my mentor and spoke about the graduate scheme. And it made me realise that the playground of 4 year olds trying out new things isn’t that far from what it’s like being on a graduate scheme. And if you don’t agree, here’s why you should:

Any grad scheme is the perfect time to experiment. Try new things, try different ways of working, see what difference you can make by using what you’ve learnt at university and seeing whether anything works just as well in the workplace. For example, at university I organised action meetings where my coursework group would all sit together in a room and work together. That way, if we had a question for each other, all we had to do was ask across the table instead of waiting hours for a reply from an email. You may think in a work situation, this is just everyone sat at their desks doing their work. But by bringing people together onto one task all together, it brings focus and speeds up progress a lot more quickly.

Nobody knows who you are yet. Just as in a playground, 4 year olds will play mums one day and nurses the next; they know how to go about changing their style. In work, you are meeting new people all the time, especially if your graduate scheme rotates often, giving you the chance to reinvent yourself each time. I’ve always been quite conscious of other people’s styles in my team and worked out which ones I would like to be similar to. On my next placement, it is my chance to try emulate some of these characteristics and see whether they agree with me. You may think its just an act, but fake it until you make it. Side note: There’s an amazing TED talk about faking it until you make it here.

So when you next go in the office, choose the type of person you want to be that day. Once you’re confident and happy enough with it, it will become natural and you’ll just be you!

Things to Do – January

January

It seems the new year came around so quickly that I completely forgot to scour the world wide web to find the best things to do in London in this sometimes dismal month! Appropriately, this month, I’ve tried to find the best things to do that can help us all keep up those cliche new years resolutions.

I want to eat healthier“: Whenever I focus on being healthy, I’ll go out to the supermarket and stuff my fridge shelves with a multi colour set of vegetables. However, when I go out for dinner and I try to go out for dinner A LOT (my excuse is that there are too many restaurants to get round in London) the whole healthy meals goes straight out the window. It’s just too difficult in restaurants. So that’s when I tried to find some healthy-ier restaurants in London. And I’ve found this, first of all it’s got natural in the title which sounds goo and the dishes look pretty too. Now I know natural doesn’t necessarily mean healthy but at least they sound healthy. That counts right?

I want to get fit“: One of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given and I could give to others with exercise is to battle it together! It makes it less of a bore and actually a fun activity! Then you can go celebrate together once you’ve achieved your goal! One of the other things that bugs me about exercise is the number of expensive exercise classes. Mainly due to the fact that it’s just another reason to put it off! I think it’s a well known thing but there are several free 5km park runs organised all over London. I believe the majority of them are on Saturdays at 9am which makes a perfect start to your weekend! Click here to find you’re nearest run! It’s also a great way to meet new people near where you live. Who knows… it may not just be something to do in January.

I want to save more money“: Out of all of my friends, I definitely feel the pinch in London all year around, not just after the big Christmas spending session. I’ve even missed the post Christmas sales this year. But in London, when you want to do stuff, it’s hard to do much without emptying your purse every 5 damn minutes. So I’ve had a look through the free events throughout the month of January and my top pick is this, it’s free entry to an evenings of Blue’s music at the Silver Bullet (near Finsbury Park underground station). People are welcome to come jam or alternatively to sit and soak up the music. I’ll most definitely be doing the latter.

I want to do Dry January“: Now I’m not the biggest drinker in the world so this applies less to me but several of my friends commit to not drinking any alcohol in January. With the option of pubbing it up one evening out the window, instead of going for a drink in the evening, why not go out for pudding instead? Secretly, its something that I’ve been doing for years. Pudding is so much better than main meals and sometimes better than a glass of wine in my opinion. Pudding not pubbing if you will? And I reckon this place is a winner being appropriately named, ‘The Pudding Bar’. I will definitely be checking this out this month. The only thing being, perhaps this isn’t the best idea if your other resolution is to eat healthier. Pickers can’t be choosers!

I want to learn something new“: Well then, its back to school and get studying those books. I joke, but visiting the British Library wouldn’t go a miss. It’s one of those places that you have to visit at least once while you live in London. So this gives you the perfect excuse, now go get lost in exhibits, books, and poetry readings.

Enjoy January

Lights at Christmas – Picture Overload

This week, I thought I would keep the word count short and focus on all of the pretty pictures I’ve taken over the past week which also included visiting the Enchanted Woodland in Syon Park. photo 1 photo 2 photo 4

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3   photo 3 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4