Topic: Blog

Internship Competition with Travel Company

Posted on April 26, 2016 by - Blog

 

Travelbird Scholarship and Internship Programme

 

Travelbird have an exciting opportunity for one student to win €3,000 based on a creative project about a personal travel experience. The most successful applicant will also have the chance complete an internship at their Headquarters in Amsterdam and students at the University of Sunderland are now eligible to enter.

What’s the Opportunity?

  • The winner of this scholarship programme will see a talented and motivated student win a €3,000 scholarship to go towards their studies, work placement or travel based on a creative project
  • The most successful applicant will also have the opportunity to work at the Amsterdam office for a period of 3 to 6 months, if they would like to experience working for an international startup in the travel industry
  • The benefits don’t stop at the invaluable experience and insights you’ll gain during your time there, or even the prize you’ll receive for having been awarded the scholarship. You can also look forward to delicious, healthy lunches, free wine and beer at the end of a great week and the use of your own Macbook Pro
  • In addition to this, you will also receive an intern allowance of €350 per month

 

How to Apply?

To apply for this scholarship you need to be a current student and answer the following question:

 

“What has been your most inspirational travel experience?”

 

  • Your application will be accepted in a variety of different types of formats, whether it be a video project or an inspiring essay; just get creative!

 

  • Students must be 18 years or over

 

 


 

Who are Travelbird?

  • Travelbird is an online travel agency that offers the top travel deals every day. This company is all about putting together the most inspiring offers and creating engaging, illuminating content
  • Young, evolving, vibrant, exciting, internationally-orientated — these are just some of the words that can be used to describe the TravelBird dynamic
  • From the company receiving its first booking in April 2010 to 2.5m travellers having enjoyed a holiday with TravelBird just 5 years later, they have grown from 2 employees to over 550
  • With over 30 nationalities now working at TravelBird and an average employee age of just 27, this is the perfect place for inspiring individuals from all over the world to learn, grow and flourish!

 


 

 

Intern Intake March 2016

Posted on March 14, 2016 by - Blog

FullSizeRender

Our new interns start with us today – Regina, Ullas and Syed pictured here with their line managers. Congratulations in securing roles in marketing and events management, we are looking forward to working with you over the next three months. 

Business Enterprise Certificate (BEC): New cohort March 2016

Posted on March 8, 2016 by - Blog

Congratulations to our new cohort of students who will be undertaking the Business Enterprise Certificate, pictured here with the course leader Alistair Galloway.

If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity please click here, or contact Alice McDougall in the careers office on the fourth floor.

Preparing for a Marketing Career

Posted on February 17, 2016 by - Blog

Interested in marketing? Alice Riley from Spotlight Recruitment gives some great advice to students wishing to follow this career path.


Get Ahead: How to Prepare for a Career in Marketing while at University

 

A career in marketing can be highly rewarding. However, it can be difficult to get your foot in the door; graduate marketing roles are notoriously competitive. The market is saturated with intelligent candidates with good degrees, so it is important to use your time at university wisely to make sure you stand out from the crowd. At Spotlight Recruitment, we work with marketing employers looking to hire graduates every day. So here’s what you need to do at university to be prepared:

1.    Write a Blog

A lot of marketing jobs, particularly those in digital, require top-notch writing skills and social media knowledge. If you don’t have much experience, the best way of showing employers you possess these skills is to write a blog. The subject of your blog doesn’t have to be related to work, but make sure it is well-written and something you would be happy to show employers. Blogging can be really rewarding but is a big time commitment, so it’s a good idea to get started now while you have the free time!

2.    Add “Talking Points” to your CV

When you haven’t acquired much work experience, it’s a good idea to add some interesting experiences to your CV to give you something to talk about during an interview. It doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your chosen career, but spending a summer volunteering in Uganda or being a member of the skydiving society will give you the edge over the other candidates.

3.    Research the Industry

“Marketing” covers a broad range of roles, so it’s important to research the industry and get a better idea of which route you would like to take. This knowledge will give you the edge over all the other candidates applying for jobs scatter-gun style, and make sure you don’t end up dissatisfied further down the line by ending up in a role which isn’t right for you. Once you have decided which path you want to go down, keep on top of the latest trends in the industry by following relevant blogs and keeping track of what brands are doing.

4.    Get Involved with Marketing

If you’re part of any societies at university, there may be opportunities to get involved with marketing, which will look great on your CV. If you’re interested in working in events, it’s worth applying to be the society’s social secretary, or if digital’s more your thing, get involved with writing for the society blog or running their social media channels.

5.    Internships

Students have long summer holidays, so if you already know what you want to go into it’s a good idea to use this time to undertake some relevant work experience. And if you’re not quite sure, an internship can be a great way to test the waters without having to fully commit. You can find internships on job sites like Indeed, or more specialist internships sites such as Internwise. Using your holidays wisely will put you ahead of the pack when you graduate.

For further information about careers in marketing, take a look at the Prospects careers page on Marketing, Advertising and PR

Getting Ready for Work …

Posted on August 13, 2015 by - Blog, Home

A degree alone is not enough to gain entry into the competitive graduate labour market. We recommend that you use your time as student to develop a range of skills, knowledge, experience and attitudes that will help you in your future transition into work.


Skills

What are employability skills?

Often called ‘soft’ or ‘transferable’ skills, these are the abilities that employers want you to have experience of when you start work. They are skills that are relevant in all over the world, in all sectors and will help you move from one industry and job role to another.

  • Verbal communication
  • Teamwork
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Analysing and Investigating
  • Negotiation/persuasion
  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership
  • Presentations/public speaking
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Written Communication
  • Planning and organisation
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Self- management
  • Perseverance and Motivation
  • Initiative and pro-activity
  • Self-awareness
  • Positive Attitude
  • Creativity

English Language

Your ability to communicate is undoubtedly one the most important aspects of success in the UK. You have already achieved a good level in English but don’t stop there:

  • Make friends with people from all nationalities; create diverse friendship groups   so you are not tempted to speak in your native language all the time
  • Create some rules for yourself. For example, only speak English when you are on campus
  • Read relevant journal and newspapers in English. This will not only support your English but also your careers and sector industry knowledge
  • Join in with any extra lessons and take advantage of any careers workshops as they will also support you to improve your English
  • Socialise – come to the University of Sunderland in London social events
  • Try to learn and understand colloquial and idiomatic phrases and expressions; we use them a lot so it can really improve your understanding of native speakers
  • Watch TV and Films in English
  • Work on improving you pronunciation
  • Don’t worry about making mistakes, the only way to improve is to practise

Self-awareness

Get to know yourself; find out what you are good at.

  • Strengths
  • Skills
  • Personal values
  • Motivations
  • Attitude

There isn’t a start or end to this process, it is a lifelong endeavour, but if you have not yet thought about these things yet, now is good time to start. To help consider what makes you buzz, click: Finding your Passion Qs

Play to your strengths

Although getting involved with various activities gives you the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills, one of the aims of this should be to find out your own unique combination of personal strengths.

There are many different ‘tools’ you can use to help you understand yourself better such as psychometric testing and Myer-Briggs personality types:

http://www.humanmetrics.com/personality/type

http://www.practiceaptitudetests.com/

 


Opportunity

If you have a good sense of your own strengths, it can help determine the career paths that are right for you. In the UK 60 – 70% of job roles do not require a specific degree. Think widely about the skills and strengths you have and like using, there may be a varied range of jobs that you have never considered before.

We recommend you:

  • Get involved with careers talks and company visits organised by the university
  • Research careers that interest you, see links below
  • Book a careers interview with the Careers and Employability Service
  • Get involved with the University of Sunderland London Campus Bright Futures Society and the Business Society

http://www.agcas.org.uk/agcas_resources/132-Starting-Your-Career-In-Country-Guides-for-International-Students

http://www.prospects.ac.uk/sectors.htm


Activities

Involvement in the activities listed below can help you develop skills and self awareness – and will look great on your CV.

Voluntary Work: You can find some excellent opportunities through voluntary work, often finding the chance to hold more responsibility than you would in junior roles in paid employment. Voluntary work can also be a really good starting point for those of you who have never had a job.

To find out more about finding voluntary work opportunities look at: http://livesonline.sunderland.ac.uk/careers/voluntary-work-2/ or come up to the fourth floor careers office.

University Societies: Getting involved is a great way of developing skills, meeting new people, practising your English language skills, building confidence and having fun. Sometimes you can include them on your CV, particularly if you have taken an organisational/committee role.

Student Representative: This is a chance to represent the student body by becoming a point of contact for communication between staff and students. Through liaising with academic staff, senior management and support staff, this is an opportunity that will help you develop skills in leadership, communication and influencing and negotiation.

Student Ambassador: As a student ambassador you will get paid job roles on an ad-hoc basis on various positions supporting the university. This is a great opportunity to earn money, gain work experience in a variety of roles and be part of the university.

Part-time jobs: Whilst these are essential for survival for most students, don’t neglect the fact that they can provide you with some valuable employability skills. A few tips for part-time work:

  • Find work in a job role and company that you would feel proud to have on your CV
  • Whilst at work, be aware of the skills you are learning and take any opportunities that will enable you to develop yourself
  • Treat difficult situations as an opportunity to develop new skills
  • Try to move up within your job role. Can you move into a shift supervisor, duty manager, team leader role; what opportunities are there to gain more responsibility?
  • Improve your commercial awareness by learning about the organisational structure, the product, it’s trade and place in the market

When you get involved with activities such as these, it is essential that you are aware of the skills you are learning as well as thinking about the things that you really enjoy and find that you are good at. Being able to articulate yourself is a vital skill when looking for work; it supports you with applications, job interview and networking.

  • Keep a notebook and record the skills you are using: what situations have you encountered that have required you to use certain skills?
  • Look out for opportunities that give you the chance to further you skills and experience

Internships: An internship is an opportunity to gain professional work experience for a fixed period of time. This can be anything from 6 weeks to 12 months but, for international students, it would have to fit into a time period that your visa allows. For example, you will normally have a period of four months between your course finishing and you visa expiring; this is a time period that you could be doing an internship.

Finding an internship can take a lot of work. Don’t leave it until you finish your course, start looking well before.

For further information about internships, please ensure you read your university emails, ‘Like’ the London Campus Facebook page and attend workshops run by the careers service. 

My Catch up with Captain Hindsight

Posted on July 24, 2015 by - Blog, Home

The article below from Alex Merry provides some excellent advice to those of you doing an internship or going out into the working world after graduation.

Take a look at his website: http://gradlifelondon.com/

 

My Catch up with Captain Hindsight

Recently, I’ve been reflecting on my first 6 years in the working world.  In that time, I’ve been lucky enough to have been an employee and an employer and one thing I’ve noticed is that graduates a year into work are much more desirable than those fresh out of university.  It’s a great way to avoid the entry-level mistakes that are made at another company’s expense.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of student and graduate employment, but year in year out, the same mistakes are being made by a new generation of people.

memestache-com_198594_1337979611

My chats with Captain Hindsight are always a pleasure and this particular meeting was summed up nicely by Judy Belmont:

‘Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know
now what seems so obvious in hindsight.’

Below are the minutes taken from the meeting, if the contents of your next chat are different to mine, then this article has been a success:

Mid-week drinking etiquette
There are few things more exciting than going out for drinks on a school night; it’s naughty and everyone knows it. After all, isn’t the best business done at the bar?!  Things will probably get pretty loose and my personal advice would be to sit back, enjoy and let nature take it’s course.  As long as someone senior is more intoxicated than you are you’ll be fine.  However, when you wake up the next morning feeling like you have been scraped off the bottom of a shoe, be sure to follow the office hangover etiquette guide below:
1.  Get to work on time at all costs.
2.  Get your head down and crack on.  If you prove you can work hard and play hard, it will impress.
3.  If you’re lucky enough to still be drunk when you arrive, ride the wave and use it build some momentum.
4.  No mention of the hangover, you’re not at university any more.
5.  If none of this is working, go and hide in the toilet for as long as you can get away with.

How much are you actually worth?
Your salary is a reflection of the return on investment that you will bring to the company/social enterprise/charity you work for.  Whether you are in sales, administration or human resources, ultimately you have an impact on the bottom line.  So when the time comes to ask for a raise, don’t expect to get one unless you can show your employer how you will maximise their return on investment in you.

Learn to manage up
Relationships work both ways and while it might seem like a role-reversal, you can and should manage your boss.  Here are some simple ways of doing this:
1.  Manage expectations; under promise and over deliver. It is all too easy to get carried away with an exciting development that hasn’t yet happened.  Bosses don’t like nasty surprises, so while it might feel good to get some praise in the short-term, it won’t feel nearly as good as when it’s happened.  This is a fast-track way to becoming the most reliable person in your team.
2.  Keep one step ahead by pro-actively scheduling in meetings with your manager.  If you own the meeting, you own the agenda.  As with any meeting, all attendees should know what they need to have prepared and make sure there are clear outcomes and action points.
3.  If a project is looking like it may veer off-track, have the foresight to recognise it early and the guts to tackle it head on (yes that means tell your boss!). Sticking your head in the sand like an ostrich and hoping everything will miraculously sort itself out will only make the matter worse.  Instead, bring solutions to the table and don’t dwell on how it wasn’t your fault.  Your solutions may not always be right, but you will be approaching it in the right way.

How to write an email
Obviously spelling and grammar must be perfect, but something equally as important is tone.  It’s so easy to misinterpret an email and doing so can cause unnecessary friction with the recipient (this incidentally, is probably responsible for the unfortunate increase in work emoticons).  Business is built on relationships, so put personality and feeling into your correspondence and check that nothing will be misread.

Don’t forget your manners
If something is paid for by the company; don’t just take it for granted.  I’m not just talking about the jaegerbombs your manager bought you on Thursday night, what about the qualification your employer has paid for to aid your development, or the client lunch your boss invited you?  If you enjoy the perks, appreciate them and remember, givers gain.

Everyone is replaceable
If you work for an SME, the chances are the skill set that you build will become more and more specific to the company that you work for.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you are irreplaceable and that no-one else could take your place.  Don’t get complacent for two reasons:
1.  If you don’t produce the goods they can always train someone else.
2.  You will stop pushing yourself and where growth stops, decay begins.

Pick up the phone!
If you’ve been given a task that involves people remotely, don’t waste time waiting for them to reply to an email; pick up the phone and get it sorted there and then!  Use emails to confirm action points.  You’ll finish projects faster and build relationships quicker… win:win.

Your manager isn’t always better than you
You have been employed because you are seen to be the best person for that position, just because your manager used to have your job, it doesn’t automatically mean they are better at it.  Markets change, paradigms shift and as a result the challenges will rarely be the same.  Ask for their advice, but don’t expect them to have a magic solution for every problem that comes your way.

Working Overtime
Many companies will expect you to work well above and beyond the hours you are contracted for, especially if you’re heading for a career in finance or law.  In fact, they’ll even offer incentives like free dinner or a taxi home if you are working past a certain ungodly hour of the night.  Think that’s unfair? Yeah probably, but if you are lucky enough to be in a job that you enjoy, you’ll be willing to give your time to it.

Don’t chase the brand
One of the biggest misconceptions of finding employment post-university is that the graduate job market is a saturated one.  Countless articles in the press describe how applicants are competing against hundreds and sometimes thousands of others for one position.  This is rubbish, there are jobs everywhere. The problem is everyone applies to super brands like Google, Accenture or GSK without any knowledge of the job they are actually applying for.  There are incredible opportunities everywhere and my happiest friends work for companies that I had never heard of at university.

Ownership
Take complete ownership of every project you are assigned. For example, a networking event involves sales, marketing, administration, operations and finance.  It’s unlikely that your job description covers every area, but as project manager, the success of each ultimately falls on your shoulders.  Be thorough, delegate appropriately and leave nothing to chance. I was advised by Tom O’Leary, the former Curator of TEDxHousesofParliament, to hold ‘where is it going to go wrong‘ meetings with each sub-team – a very valuable piece of advice.

Take pride in the invisible details
One of Steve Job’s design philosophies was that every detail of a product must be beautifully designed, regardless of whether it was going to be seen or not.  The same applies in your job. Often it’s the attention to detail in your work, the bits that you think no-one will notice that make the external aspects exceptional.

Article written by Alex Merry, take a look at his website: http://gradlifelondon.com/

Making the Most of Being a Student

Posted on July 12, 2015 by - Blog


Whilst you are studying at University of Sunderland London Campus, we expect your academic work to be your priority. However, we are living in very competitive times and those first few years after graduation can prove tough when trying to find a graduate job. It would be wise, therefore, to use your free time constructively and get involved in activities that help you develop your employability skills. Below I have outlined just some of the things you can do that would make your CV stand out from the crowd. 

1. Internships/work experience

While you are at university, you should try to find some professional work experience. An internship is a short term of employment that is designed to give you experience of working in a particular sector. You will need to consider how this could fit in to your holiday period or the time between your course finishing and your visa expiring. Don’t leave finding an internship until the last day of your course;  think ahead and start your job search early on as the application process can take some time. Click here to explore Internship Websites

Another way of finding an internship is by researching companies yourself and sending them your CV with a covering letter; this is called a ‘speculative application’. Click here to find out more: Speculative Applications

Use your existing contacts: If you already have a part-time job, would they be able to offer you anything more professional? Do you have contacts/family members that are able to help you? Many students find jobs through people they know so ensure that you are letting others know your plans.

2. Voluntary Work

If you have not had any experience of work, volunteering can be a great way of developing some skills in an area that you want to pursue your career in. For example, if you want to work in HR but have never worked in an office before, finding some general office/administration experience would be a good start.

In addition to providing valuable work experience, it also demonstrates to employers that you are motivated and prepared to give your time to a worthy cause. You will also meet new people, develop your English language skills and improve on transferable skills such as teamwork, communication, organisation and problem solving. To find out more click here: Voluntary Work

3. University Opportunities

While you are a student, it is a good idea to get involved with university life. At London Campus, you can apply to:

  • Become a student representative
  • Gain employment as a student ambassador
  • Apply for ad hoc positions such as ‘Student Blogger’
  • Get involved with university societies such as The Debating Society 
  • Get involved with sports, charity events and organising activities

4. Part-time Jobs

Part-time jobs are a great opportunity to develop your transferable skills. See Employability Skills from Part-time Work

Of course, we know that for most of you, a part-time job is essential for supporting yourself financially during your studies. However, if possible, try to find something that helps you develop new skills and looks good on your CV. For example, you may get the opportunity to move up into a duty manager/supervisory role which is a chance to put leadership, decision making, problem solving and organisational skills into practice – so look out for opportunities to develop your job role.

5. Networking

Career Fairs are an an opportunity to talk to people working for the companies that you are interested in. They also have career workshops and CV advice sessions.

We regularly promote these on the London Campus Facebook page (so make sure you ‘Like’ us), Sunspace emails and on this blog. See the ‘events’ posts on this website for further information about what’s on.

Sign up to Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com and start creating a professional network. LinkedIn can also be a source for interesting discussion forums, career related articles, job adverts and specialist groups.

http://www.meetup.com/ have many different groups that could be of interest to you.

6. Careers and Employability Sessions

We regularly hold careers and employability workshops and personal development sessions as well as having various guest speakers. Look out for posters, ‘Like’ our Facebook page and read your Live Campus emails to receive this information.

7. Improve your English

Although I have listed this last, it is perhaps the most important. You already have a good level of English but don’t stop trying to improve it. The ability to articulate your thoughts, create rapport with others and be effective in your written as well as verbal communication could be central to your success at job hunting in the UK.

  • While you are a student, try to spend time and speak with people from all nationalities, not just your own
  • Your written English is central to success at job searching as you will need to produce a CV and covering letter
  • Spend time with native speakers, work on improving your pronunciation, try learning some colloquial language

And Finally…

  • Be positive
  • Be proactive
  • Be resilient

If you wish to discuss any of the above, please email alice.mcdougall@sunderland.ac.uk or call into the careers office on the fourth floor.

Moving to London

Posted on July 10, 2015 by - Blog

Blog post by Md. Alamgir Hossain from Bangladesh:

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for giving chance to write about something which has played a real impact in my life through the University of Sunderland London Campus (USLC). Since the day I have started coming to the university, it’s making to think about what the education is all about. When I was child, I used to wish every time to study in a university in United Kingdom. I must give thanks to my beloved parents for making my dreams come true.  I have studied 12 years in back home Bangladesh which reminds me a lot of positive things that I will never forget. However, the education system is so unique compared to back home; in the classroom you will meet a lot of friends from different diversity. Whenever I did group study, I did learn the different views, skills, experience and idea from my friends. Therefore, USLC has given to chance to explore about different rich cultures, tradition, food and lifestyle which might not be possible.

As I have said studying in USLC was dream, similarly, working experience in the UK is so far amazing. Again, where I am working, are full diverse people I am to work with. It’s been a great learning experience working with in a team and obviously, under manager / team leader. I have learnt how to do team work with diverse; value of my presence in the team; sharing ideas and involving in decision making process, compliance system; work breakdown and customer relation how that is important to business and so many things. We have possibly studied importance of motivation in academic life, but you will feel the importance in workplace whether it could be extrinsic such as rewards or intrinsic such as appreciate of the job you have done. I have also learned how to work under the superior for example manager/team leader. The most important thing I have experienced is, everyone has equal opportunity which will make you feed you are not in sideline. In UK; it doesn’t matter what kind of job you do, you will always get respect of people that reminds we are human and we are friends.

The country we born we call that motherland. Truly when we grow up, country treats us like a mother. The country I was born, Bangladesh, is full of rich culture, tradition and food. Similarly, UK is the same; it has one of the oldest culture and civilization. The people are in Britain are polite, loving, kind and well behaved. In contrast, Bangladesh has 6 seasons, but there are only 4 in Britain. However, I didn’t try that much of British food, as I know (might be wrong) they mostly eat chicken and chips, turkey chicken is one of the most favourite and obviously vegetables also has the priority in the menu. On the other hand, we all know in London Olympic 2012, our Brick Lane (famous for Bangladeshi restaurant) was announced curry capital in London. Bangladesh has own year calendar like Britain has; typically, the celebrations are quite different.

In addition, academic experience is so far fantastic and that’s playing an important role in my life. We all know there is a proverb: ‘’education is the backbone of a nation.’’ I want to finish my desired degree from this country and want to apply in my personal life. Again respect to Britain and the people of Great Britain.

 

Success in Business: How I Set Up My Travel Company

Posted on April 27, 2015 by - Blog

Success in Business – How I Set Up My Travel Company

This article comes from Lee John, a successful travel company founder who wants to share his experience of setting up www.traveleze.co.uk.

 

There are many ways to succeed in business, no matter where you start from and no matter how many obstacles are thrown in your way. My experiences show the truth of the old adage – if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. With a bit of savvy and ingenuity, anyone can establish a successful business in an area that enthuses them, like my business Traveleze, that expands and improves year on year – moving from strength to strength within a busy online marketplace. That is what I have done and I want to share my story with you in hopes that it will encourage you, too, to find your own alternative route to success.

Small Beginnings

At school, my skill set was not highly valued. I, like many young people, found that I was not particularly well cut out for academic success. Like many people, I found myself alienated by a system that values a small range of abilities and areas of knowledge and underplays others that are highly valuable when you actually get into the ‘real world’. I left school with just one C grade, having performed very poorly in other subjects.

I may not have had much to fall back on but what I did have was a determination and a drive to succeed on my own terms. Things did not always seem to be going my way. I studied business and made it to degree level – but that route was not for me. The stresses and strains of working to other people’s deadlines and jumping through their hoops meant that I did not complete a business degree. Business however, I realised was for me. I enjoyed and understood the demands of running a company and I felt sure that I would have my own successful business one day.

I did not give up. With ideas beginning to germinate within my mind, I began a new course of studies – this time I completed an A level in Travel and Tourism. This also helped to focus my mind on an industry in which I already had a great amount of interest. Bolstered by my small success, it was time to begin to make my own way in the world.

For a time, I tried to make money by selling items in eBay, but the scheme was not a success and, like many start-up businesses, I failed to turn a profit. I made mistakes, miscalculated the market and was demoralised by the let-down. But I knew that I could succeed if I worked hard and used the skills that I was beginning to hone. I was down, but I was not out. I was determined not to let the disappointment in this first venture dissuade me from trying again.

Travel expanded my horizons – there was a whole world out there just waiting for me to find my place in it. I set out to explore the world a little – on a very limited budget. I felt that travel should be a right and not a privilege and became very interested in affordable travel. Meeting fellow travellers opened my eyes to the needs and desires of holidaymakers. I love to explore the world and was excited by the world of opportunities that opened up before me. Travel became one of the things I love most in the world – alongside business. I got to know not only foreign countries but also the travel industry itself in great depth. The travel niche is well-populated but I began to feel that this was the direction I should be taking.

I felt confident that I would make a success of myself, even if my route was not yet obvious. It was then that the knowledge gleaned from my studies in Travel and Tourism and my experiences in the real world came together and I formed the idea for my travel company.

Co-operation

No man is an island and it is only with the co-operation of others that anyone can truly succeed. I knew that I would need capital to make my idea a reality and I had little by way of finances myself. In my case, I am lucky enough to have parents who believed in me enough to invest £100,000 in me and my new start up. First I had to show them my scheme and business plan and pitch my ideas to them persuasively. They saw my determination and that I had found something that I truly believed in and at which I knew I could excel. Fortunately, they also saw that I has lighted upon a business scheme that could work well. I know that not everyone will be so fortunate as to find so willing and generous an investor, but if you show passion, determination and most of all have a well-thought-out plan which shows practicality and an understanding of the market, then you too will find people who believe in you enough to put their hard earned money into the venture. The success of many new businesses in getting investments large and small through sites such as Kickstarter shows that if an idea is good enough, financial help will not be withheld. Money is no impediment – unless you let it be.

My company’s success has and will continue to be all about forging links with people. Act local but think global. The Internet is enabling global sharing, communication and co-operation in a way that was unthinkable when my parents were starting out in their working lives. Most of the business for the travel business comes from social media – through Facebook and Twitter. Google AdWords works well and Google Display Ads has driven or brand forward as a business. But without social media and the co-operation of a world-wide community, we would not be able to do as well as we are. Social media can be the engine that drives a business forward.

Expansion

I realised that SEO was the key to expanding the brand and the business. Along with social networking this is one of the key strategies I implement to fuel the company’s success. My strategy is to work on SEO that not only bolsters web rankings and drives people to the website but also makes them customers. There is no point having a high level of traffic to the site if the levels of sales do not match. In order to make sure that every visitor to the site is a potential customer of Traveleze, it is essential to deliver high quality web content. To this end I ensure that the SEO content I buy is from writers who write well and who write for real people rather than for web-bots.

I make sure that I always have one eye on expansion. An online company is one that should and indeed must continue to grow and develop if is to keep up in this crowded and fast-evolving marketplace. Every year, the company continues to grow and continues to provide not only a high quality of service to clients but also high quality content whose SEO purposes come after their usefulness and interest to visitors.

Quality

End to end, customers dealings with my company should be a delight. That is why I spend around £30,000 a month on high quality, well-written, helpful and informative articles which not only draw people to my site but also enhance user experience. Quality is key when it comes to successful SEO for an online business, just as it is key for the running of the whole business.

Business Sense

It is sound business sense to work on co-operation and quality – co-operation in the sense of sharing and expansion through social media and quality in the sense that everything you show as the outward face of your company is of high quality and most of all, of use and interest to those who look at your site.

Business sense also dictates that we keep an eye firmly on developments in our field and on the web so we are never left behind. I must know my customer base extremely well if I am to continue to provide a service that they like and value.

The Future

I am pleased by what we have achieved so far and www.traveleze.co.uk continues to go from strength to strength. Every month we expand our web presence and increase our customer base. From inauspicious beginnings, I have built a business from the ground up which provides a useful service for people doing what I love to do – travel. I am excited and now see a future in which the business continues to grow and I am sure that others will learn from my experiences that the path to success rarely does run smooth. You are likely to encounter a few bumps in the road but with an eye on developments in your niche, co-operation and quality, you too can succeed in business and forge your own path to success.

A Career in Psychiatry

Posted on January 18, 2015 by - Blog

An interview with Dr Niall Campbell – Consultant Psychiatrist, who specialises in addiction

1. What was it that led you to become a psychiatrist?

I have always known ever since my days at school that I wanted to be a doctor. I was not good at mathematical type sciences, but really enjoyed biological sciences; how the human body and people in general really work.

From the age of 16 I did summer jobs as a nursing auxiliary in a cardiac unit in a local hospital. I really enjoyed talking to the patients, many of whom had just had heart attacks and faced uncertain futures. I felt that I had an empathy with them, I could listen to their stories and even at that age I realised that just talking to them was helpful.

2. What steps did you take to become a psychiatrist? E.g. education, work experience, work placement.

In 1978 I left Northern Ireland and came to medical school at Charing Cross Hospital, which opened up a whole new world for me.
Having qualified and somewhat lacking in direction I was putting together my own GP training scheme, I found myself doing a 6 month Senior House Officer job in psychiatry at Frimley Park Hospital under a Doctor from Chile. We developed a great relationship and he taught me what a good psychiatrist should be; a good diagnostician, able to listen and provide practical help and hope at a time of crisis.

3. Why did you choose to specialise in addiction?

From the beginnings of my experience with patients at medical school, I could see how problems with substance abuse can cause so much in the way of physical, mental, and social consequences.

There was often little available in terms of treatment resources and little understanding of these problems. Addictions are often dismissed by physicians, surgeons and general practitioners. I felt that I had something to offer in working in this field.

4. What does a typical day look like for you working with addiction patients?
My time is divided between inpatients at the Priory Hospital Roehampton and outpatients both at the hospital and in central London.

Three times a week I meet with the Addiction Treatment Team to discuss the inpatients, their progress, problems and what interventions and discharge plans need to be made.

My outpatient work involves assessing new patients, some of whom want to deal with their addiction problem and others who may not have been so keen. I have to try motivational interviewing techniques to encourage the patient to acknowledge the consequences of their addiction and the need to take action as soon as possible.

5. What’s the most common misconception about what you do?

Many people still think that the Priory only deals with celebrities and the wealthy that have addiction problems. This could not be further from the truth. The majority of our patients are working, some have health insurance, others self-paying who desperately want to fix what’s wrong with them.

The other misconception is that addiction is somehow a choice to be bad, rather than a disease over which patients are powerless.

6. Could you name three of the most challenging aspects of your role?

1. Motivating people who do not recognise the consequences of their addiction and don’t want to change.

2. Involving close family members in a positive way in patient’s recovery. We work very hard at the Priory to do this.

3. Challenging the widely held stigmas about addiction. I work with media trying to get this message across.

7. What is the most interesting part of your job?

Never knowing what’s going to turn up! I have been privileged in this job to meet people from all walks of life, from the unemployed and homeless, to the rich and apparently successful, people from every country in the world and people doing jobs and involved in organisations which I had never heard of before.
My work has been an immense privilege.

8. Do you think there is a type of person suited to becoming a psychiatrist? What key skills do they need?

The absolute key skill to being a good psychiatrist is to be interested and really care about other people. You have got to be curious, empathetic and understanding.
We all have different skills so when you meet a psychiatrist who has the right combination of attributes, it is really quite striking.

9. What is the most important piece subconsciousof advice you can give to psychology/medical students?

I have been teaching medical students since I qualified as a doctor in 1984.

You really have got to want to be a doctor, to look at the whole person not just see them as a number, a collection of biochemical reactions and cells, but as a living breathing organism with hopes, dreams and aspirations. People are fascinating. How their body, and mind and how the combination of these two work has got to interest you and can be a never ending source of inspiration.

Psychiatry needs doctors who care and want to make a difference to people’s lives.