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Monthly Archives: March 2015

Hospitality – Not just for Hospitality Graduates – Vivieanne Carr

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Premier Inn

As I look around the room of my colleagues of very successful hotel operation managers one wouldn’t be absurd to assume that we are all a products of years of hospitality experience, hospitality graduates and masters. Fortunately you would be completely wrong! We are all successful professionals but that’s really where the similarities end. We all have various backgrounds, degrees and career paths which have lead us here.

I currently have a BA Hons degree in Business Studies Marketing & Management and have always believed that I would use my degree to go into the marketing world but after a few years of post university “wandering” I wandered into a profession that I never believed would make so much use of my skills and ultimately be something that I really enjoy and passionate about. Although I have a degree in a specific discipline I utilise my skills on a business platform. Here are some of the Types of skills that I use on a daily basis:
-Building & Planning(I have done 2 new openings)
-Food & Beverage
-Education (I have 9 Apprentices)

I have spent the last few years refining any skill gaps that I have identified and attended management development programmes. Everyday I use my knowledge from university and from life experience. I now lead a team of 60+ and run the #1 hotel in Glasgow next to the worlds second busiest concert venue.

Premier Inn is the UK’s biggest hotel chain and we have really identified the need to open hospitality to all disciplines. Premier Inn are opening a new hotel in the UK every 10 days at the moment and 80% of our manager are internally recruited. In Scotland last year we recruited 8 people onto the Operation Manager graduate scheme. Out of 8 graduates only 2 have specific industry related degrees, the others have disciplines including HR, Accounting, English and History. We strongly believe that you will posses all of the behaviours that make you a successful leader by the time you graduate. Any other skill gaps can be addressed through:

• first-class mentoring sessions from senior managers within our Operations and HR teams
• fast track management development programmes
• specialist workshops to develop business management, leadership and key hospitality skills
• high profile networking events with guest speakers and business leaders
• business projects to shape the future of our company
• knowledge from the experts in specialist support centre roles

If you are graduating this year or considering your options I would recommend that you check out hospitality companies- hotel management is one of the most rewarding jobs that I have had- both professionally and personally.

Interview Presentation Tips For Success

As if going for interview wasn’t stressful enough… sometimes we are asked to give a presentation as part of the process! If the thought of this fills you with dread, read our top five tips to help:

Preparation is key!

You will be given a topic and a time limit for your presentation. You should research the topic and how it relates to the company. Be creative about sourcing information. Decide which information is relevant and collate your ideas, grouping them in themes as they emerge. Think about your audience, in order to ensure you pitch your presentation at the right level.

Get the structure right

Developing a clear structure for your presentation will help you stay focused and help your audience follow you. Have a clear message that runs through the presentation.

You should make sure you have a powerful introduction and memorable close, as these are the times when your audience will be most attentive. Ensure that your ideas are clear and come in a logical sequence.

When calculating how much time to spend on each section you should allow 10-15% for your opening, and the same for your conclusion, then the remainder of time should be spent on the main content.

Prepare visual aids

It’s important that you use a mode of presentation that you can operate with ease. There are several alternatives to the traditional PowerPoint presentation that can reflect different skills, however be cautious about being flashy in order to emphasise technical expertise as this can cause problems with audience distraction.

Do not subject your audience to “death by PowerPoint” – keep your visual aids simple and use to emphasise what you are saying rather than taking the focus away from you.

Also consider providing hand-outs for the audience to keep as a reminder of you and your presentation.

Practice, practice, practice

Rehearsing is essential to feeling confident on the day. As well as familiarising yourself with the content, you should check your timings are right.

Find what works best for you: speaking out loud to yourself in the shower, picking up presentation tactics from the Internet (TED talks are a great resource for this), or familiarising yourself with your presentation over and over.

If possible, do a dummy run in front of a friend or family member and ask for constructive feedback. Alternatively, take a video of yourself and observe what worked well and what you need to improve.

Body language

The way you deliver your presentation and how you appear to your audience is just as important as what you say. If your message, tone of delivery and body language are consistent, you will present powerfully and with impact. Nerves are natural, but you can channel a feeling of confidence simply by changing your posture. Remember to smile and to have eye contact with your audience.


Finally… remember that the audience wants you to succeed! You were invited to interview because they think you have something to offer and they want to see more. Follow these tips and show them that you are the right candidate for the job.



By Carol Vaughan, Careers & Employability Service Information Services Co-ordinator

British Science Week – #BSW15


It’s British Science Week this week (previously known as Science & Engineering Week) – a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, featuring fascinating, entertaining and engaging events and activities across the UK for people of all ages.

We thought we’d start the week off with some fun science facts…

  • It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open
  • A medium-sized cumulus cloud weighs about the same as 80 elephants
  • A single bolt of lightning contains enough energy to cook 100,000 pieces of toast
  • In an average lifetime, human skin completely replaces itself 900 times
  • A red blood cell can make a complete circuit of your body in 20 seconds
  • An electric eel can produce a shock of up to 650 volts
  • If the Sun were the size of a beach ball then Jupiter would be the size of a golf ball and the Earth would be as small as a pea
  • Women blink nearly twice as often as men
  • The amount of carbon in the human body is enough to fill about 9,000 ‘lead’ pencils
  • Hot water freezes faster than cold water


For more on British Science Week visit the website or check them out on Twitter and Facebook:

Thinking about STEM careers? Check out these links:

By Carol Vaughan, Information Services Co-ordinator, UWS Careers & Employability Service

International Women’s Day

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The tagline for this years international women’s day is #makeithappen which I felt connected well to careers and employability as in terms of career planning and fulfilling your potential it really is up to you to ‘make it happen’.

Even in today’s society women all over the world still face lower salaries in comparison to men, and are still not equally represented in the boardroom or politics and globally women face violence and a lack of education compared to their male counterparts.

However, since the inception of international women’s day in 1900, women have won many battles and this fact should be celebrated and women everywhere encouraged to #make it happen.

And to provide some motivation I thought it would be a good chance to take a look at some women who have done just that-

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and has been voted Forbes most powerful woman in Media. The Huffington Post sold for 300 million to aol in 2011 and Arianna Huffington remained as editor in chief.
Belinda Parmar runs Lady Geek a business which aims at making technology and games more accessible to women. Little Miss Geek aims to get young women to be inspired by a career in the technology and games industry.

Jenny Dawson founded a social enterprise rubies in the rubble her organisation uses unwanted left over fruit and veg from markets and turns them into jams and chutneys while supporting unemployed people to help them gain valuable skills and experience.

These are just a few examples of women who have made a path for themselves and have become successful using their own merits. If they have not been enough to motivate you into action why not watch this Ted Talk and get motivated to take control of your own future and #make it happen for yourself!

By Pamela Smith – Careers Adviser, UWS Careers & Employability Service

Interview Tips and Tricks by Ashleigh Harman

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Read our guide to find out more about how to plan and prepare for your interview so that you can make the best possible impression on your potential employers.

A Student Guide to Good Interview Practice
Landing a job interview can sometimes feel like hitting the jackpot, especially when you’ve spent weeks searching for vacancies and sending out CVs.

Your interviewer will have been impressed and intrigued by your application, but remember that they will also be meeting a selection of other candidates to discuss the role. An employer sets up numerous interviews in order to find out more about a group of suitable candidates and the skills and knowledge that they possess. The face-to-face meetings also allow them to determine whether or not individuals that look good on paper will actually fit in with their ethos and environment.

Our guide looks at what you can do both before and during an interview in order to make the best possible impression on your potential employer and prove that you are the right candidate to recruit.

Be prepared
Thoroughly research the company before you attend the job interview and have a selection of questions prepared, which you can ask the interviewer at the end.

Also think carefully about the characteristics, skills and experiences you want to put forward. Having this information safe in the back of your mind can be incredibly valuable, as the mental cue cards can help you present yourself in the best possible light where you give substantial and authentic answers to any questions asked.

It can also prevent you from drawing a blank, as you will know what message and image of yourself you want to portray to your potential employer.

Have the right attitude
An interview is your time to demonstrate exactly what you can bring to an organisation. Have an enthusiastic and professional attitude right from the offset in order to make a positive first impression and showcase exactly how you will be an asset to the business on a daily basis.
Also demonstrate a passion for the organisation, as interviewers like to see that a candidate has taken the time to research and get to know their business. It is also recommended that you express exactly how you will be able to contribute to the success of the business by becoming part of the team – highlighting your indispensability to the interviewer.

Ask meaningful questions
Every candidate knows that they should ask questions, but many struggle to come up with anything substantial.
Ask about the business in order to show your keen interest, see if there are opportunities for promotion and progression to prove that you are driven and also enquire into the challenges of the role, giving you an opportunity to express how you would tackle these.

Be yourself
While you may think that this is easier said than done, you should avoid giving any routine, bland answers that an interviewer will have heard before. Instead, tell stories and anecdotes that address the questions asked in order to provide the potential employer with greater understanding of you and how you would work within their organisation.

Make a lasting impression
Always follow up your interview with a thank you letter outlining what you gained and learned from the process. This can help you make a lasting positive impression and also demonstrate to a potential employer that you are genuinely interested in the role.

What not to do in a job interview
What you don’t say in a job interview can be just as important as what you do. Below is a selection of interview faux pas that all candidates should look to avoid at all costs:

Don’t turn up late
Don’t wear inappropriate clothing
Don’t mention money in the first interview
Don’t pass on any questions or answer “I don’t know”
Don’t mention any unrelated career goals or part-time jobs
Don’t talk negatively about any previous job roles or employers

By having a clear understanding of what employers do and do not want, and how to go about making a strong impression, you can adequately prepare for your upcoming interviews so that they run smoothly and put you in the strongest possible position for being chosen for the role.

Ashleigh Harman is a digital content writer for a recruitment agency specialising in job vacancies and careers in compensation, benefits and rewards.


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If you’re wondering when or whether to disclose a disability, at University or when applying for a job, you might find the following advice useful:

There’s no legal requirement to disclose a disability. Our general advice would be to disclose before it becomes a barrier to you. Your rights under the The Equality Act 2010 apply at any time you disclose, whether this be at application, interview or any time after.

The Careers and Employability Service and Disability Service are both here to provide advice and guidance on a range of issues, including disclosure of a disability.

There are Disability Advisers and Careers Advisers available at each campus and you can arrange contact through the Student Link reception – more information can be found at

Advisers provide a confidential, professional opportunity for you to discuss thoughts or concerns.

Disability Advisers: Disclosure at University – who, when and why…

Disability Advisers are a good source of advice if you’re not sure where to start. Your information is treated confidentially and Advisers would normally only send relevant information to lecturing staff, exams co-ordinators and occasionally library staff, as agreed with you at your appointment with them.

If you are meeting someone new within the University who doesn’t know about your disability, for instance a Careers Adviser, librarian or a visiting lecturer, it can be helpful for you if staff know what you need: for example if you have difficulties reading website materials, information can be prepared in an alternative format for you.

Careers Advisers: Advice and Information when applying for a job or other opportunity…

• Understanding what might be classed as a disability
• Considering when or if you should disclose a disability
• Deciding how to present your disability positively to an employer
• Exploring your career development options both during and after university

The careers and employability service can send you information on different aspects of disclosure, and these are also available on campus.

For more information and contact details visit or arrange to speak to staff by visiting the Student Link on campus.

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