My RED Award Experience

My RED Award Experience

by Arianna Chatzidakis

Although the RED Award may sound like a lot of work, it’s actually super easy and fun to complete! I am currently in the process of doing it for the second time. Yes, fifty hours of extra curricular activities does seem daunting, but once it’s broken down it’s actually really simple. Thirty-five of those hours can be made up from work experience, paid work or an internship.  The remaining hours must be from volunteering and attending training and development courses run by the university.

I really enjoyed volunteering as a Freshers’ Angel to gain my volunteering hours. It felt nice to be able to help new students settle in, as we’ve all experienced moving away from home and being thrust into a new environment. Not only that, but I got free entry into the Union and Fresher’s Ball events as I was helping out on those nights. You also get to meet lots of new people.

As well as looking brilliant on your CV and degree transcript, the RED Award provides you with some great life skills. It shows that you have the dedication to complete a task, it provides recognition for your extra-curricular activities, it helps you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs, and it generally helps you build a wider skills portfolio. It’s definitely something to think about doing before you finish your degree!

Career insight into the fashion industry with Kate Blythe

Kate Blythe is the Editorial and Content Director for MATCHESFASHION.COM. Below she tells us why she decided to work in fashion, and how she got started…


I always wanted to be a fashion journalist from the age of 10 or 11. I collected American and British Vogue magazines for years and fell in love with the beautiful images and inspirational features. From that age onwards I had my heart set on a fashion journalism career and so I focused on English literature and Language as my speciality. I took English, Psychology and History A Levels and then I went to Leeds University to study an English degree. Before university, however, I set up work experience at my local paper and then went to IPC to intern at various magazines such as 19 magazine and Just 17. As a post-graduate, I went to Time Out magazine in London where I worked for 6 months as a freelance writer, and from there I went to ELLE magazine where I worked for 4 years as fashion features writer before moving into the digital world after that.


o   What does a typical day for you look like at

I start work around 8.30am and have 30 minutes before the team arrive to get through my emails and answer any queries. I sign off, approve and commission all content across mens and womens digital and print titles so my day is a constant stream of questions from my team and proofs to sign off. I also oversee all video content, along with marketing emails, social media and all fashion. I can be approving a fashion rail full of clothes for a cover shoot one minute, then sitting in the executive team meetings discussing forward planning the next. It’s non-stop and very varied, which is why I love my job! I leave work at 6pm to get home to my three children before bedtime which is also when the US markets are up and so I then deal with talent agents regarding celebrity cover stories and shoots.


o   What has been the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight of my career has been building a world class team here at and rebranding all of the website and content in a short space of time. It has been an exciting 18 months and the best is yet to come.


o   What do you enjoy the most about working in fashion?

I love all aspects of fashion – from the incredible talent of the designers behind the collection, to the beautiful product that is created to the editorial stories we pull together from the collections we stock. It is fast moving, exciting and inspiring.


o   What made you choose English as your degree, and what was your best experience whilst at Uni?

I have always been passionate about writing and would love writing essays at school and sixth form college. There is something about story telling that is very exciting to me and so there was really no other degree that I would have considered, other than fashion journalism. University was wonderful and I loved meeting great friends, learning new skills and knowing that I was preparing myself for a future in journalism. I couldn’t wait to get started!


o   Do you have any advice for students on how to stay creative and keep coming up with new ideas?

Read as much as possible – the news, websites, blogs, fashion commentary, magazines. Arm yourself with information and never think that you know it all. I am learning new skills every day and that triggers ideas in my mind for new ideas. Never plagiarise, always be original and stick to your passions rather than follow the pack. Then you will have the potential to be hugely successful!


o   Do you have any motivational words for students aspiring to make it in this very competitive industry?

Take on as much work experience as possible and when you are in a company doing a placement or internship, throw yourself into the role and make yourself indispensable. That is what I did and two months later I was offered a full time job. Never say no, always say yes to whatever task is given to you and your positive attitude and can-do nature will go along way in impressing the right people.


o   What key skills do you need to get into fashion?

Great personal taste, passion for the subject you are working on and digital knowledge. Nowhere is purely print these days, so digital skills are a necessity for being a future fashion leader.


o   If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice whilst you were a student, what would it be?

I used to have to read a whole pile of books every week yet I never allowed myself enough time to really enjoy them. I would have told my younger self to enjoy the time I had and to absorb the literature I was reading, rather than racing through it all. I never have any time these days to read a good book, so that was my perfect opportunity.


This article has been provided by an external organisation – please read our disclaimer

Is a career in digital marketing for you? An employer blog post.


By Heather Baker, Founder & CEO, TopLine Communications.

Henry Ford is considered a pioneer of the automotive industry, Mark Zuckerberg forged the way for social media and Bill Gates is certainly one of the most celebrated innovators in computing. Yet who is the definitive forerunner in the digital marketing sphere? The answer is no one…yet. And that’s because this industry is still emerging, which makes it an exciting career choice for any graduate.

But digital marketing is a very broad term and, from the graduates I’ve spoken to, it’s rather hard to understand what a career in digital marketing entails, what skills they’ll need, and how to land that important first role.

What to expect from a career in digital marketing

The great thing about this industry is that it is still possible to forge your own career path. Digital marketing covers online PR, social media, search engine optimisation, online advertising, video production, copywriting, website and app development and email marketing.

As a digital marketing specialist, you will help companies grow by helping them generate leads and make sales. Your typical day could involve researching target audiences to understand where they hang out online and what they care about; developing ideas for campaigns that will really catch their attention; implementing campaigns by designing online ads, writing blog posts, sending out emails; dealing with the media; analysing the success of each campaign and making adjustments.

It’s a great time to choose this career path – you can be really creative in this industry. While some best practices have been developed, there is huge opportunity to try new things and see if they work, which means you can be genuinely part of the evolution of an entirely new discipline.  And if you can get good enough at digital marketing, you will climb the career ladder quickly. There really is a shortage of good people who understand the principles of digital marketing and if you can generate leads online you will be invaluable to any employer.

What skills will I need?

If you are creative and can write that’s a good start. You’ll also need to love technology, as you’ll be using new software tools as they enter the market. While it’s not a firm requirement, if you can use Excel you will be one step ahead of most people in the industry and the ability to analyse data will be invaluable.

To demonstrate your writing potential, I would recommend you get published. Write a blog, contribute to your university newspaper or offer your services as a writer to a student publication. If you can prove that your writing is good enough to be published, you’ll be one step ahead of most people going for the few digital marketing jobs out there.

Secondly, and this is the fun part, get social – use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram. Show that you love social media and are comfortable using social networks.

If you’re really keen, then you can get yourself Google Analytics and Google Adwords certified. These are self-taught courses, and the exams, offered by Google cost $50 each. As an employer, if I saw a graduate had taken the initiative to pass one of these exams, I would immediately be interested! If you’ve taught yourself to code (you can do this for free on Code Academy) you’ll be gold dust!


This article has been provided by an external organisation – please read our disclaimer

Making the most of work experience with tips for employers

A work experience placement can be a great way to start yourself off on a new career path and offer you an opportunity of future employment in that sector if you approach it in the right way.

To find out what they had to say, please visit the link

The many perks of festival volunteering

It can’t be denied that volunteering experience is an essential and worthy addition to anyone’s CV, especially for graduates.

A recent Timebank survey stated that 73% of employers would recruit a candidate how has volunteered, over one without, while a staggering 94% also believe that volunteering can improve your current skill set.

Of all the volunteering opportunities out there, nothing can compare to being a festival volunteer, With most of the 700+ UK festivals filling their staff positions with volunteers, they need your help now more than ever.

Not only do you get to enjoy the festival outside of your working hours, but with such a variety of festival assistance needed, you could be working in a role that could benefit your future career.

Roles can vary from the traditional stewarding, bar work and wristbanding, right down to site decoration, reception work and behind the scenes work as a runner.

When you’re not enjoying the festival, many volunteers also receive free meals during their shift, as well as separate camping and shower facilities. Working hours can vary from three hours a day to two sets of 12 hour shifts, with some roles requiring your help before or after the festival, meaning you can enjoy the full event in it’s entirety.

There is often no need to worry about missing your favourite bands either, as the friendly nature of the teams means that many will often swap shifts, or work something out accordingly.

Another benefit to festival volunteering is that no past experience is needed, as all staff receive full training, which can be seen as a free and introductory insight into how large and small scale events are run. When future employers see volunteer experience on your CV this shows adaptability and a candidate with a strong sense of team spirit.

To find out more about festival volunteering, including the chance to read testimonials from those who have volunteered in the past, check out the Wikifestivals Volunteer Page.

Wikifestivals is a not for profit organisation that aims to inform young people about how to find permanent or temporary work at festivals.

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