A city love affair

c27acda0fd52ebf8de6c370a64999bd0

As many of you  know, I used to live in Chester. Chester is a beautiful city in the North West, and it’s the first place I lived entirely on my own without my family or any of the people that I grew up with all of my life. I lived in a tiny room in a old fashioned block of flats, and my friends lived directly across the road. Things like not being able to drive weren’t an issue as shops were a ten minute walk away, and as I lived on campus, it was literally a two minute walk to lectures. For that year, my friends became like a family to me. I think that because of that, Chester always feels like home to me in a way that I’m not always convinced Manchester does.

Although I class myself as living in Manchester, where I actually live is Sale, a small town in the suburbs which is technically in Cheshire. Where I live is very leafy and green, and it does feel more like home to me now than it did a year ago. It helps that Rich is here and that my family aren’t too far away, and I do feel as if I’m putting down more roots now that I have a part time job in the city. But then the other day, I caught the train down to Chester for a night out with some of my friends who live there. And I got that feeling as I were going home, as if I still lived there.

Although I’ve accepted that Manchester is my current home, and I’m happy with living there, I guess a part of me will always love Chester. It has beautiful sunsets, it’s where I met my boyfriend, and it’s somewhere that for a short while really made me happy. What I’ve got to remember is that life goes on, and that Manchester is somewhere that opens up a wealth of opportunities in a way that Chester didn’t. I have a lovely flat with Rich, I get to live the cosmopolitan city lifestyle, and I’m closer to my family and hometown.

I think I need to remember that whenever I do travel down to Chester for uni, which I currently do three times a week, although Chester is no longer my home, it’s still there for me when I want it. It was a stepping stone into my current life, and in the same way that my memories are always within reach, so is my favourite city.

Do any of you feel like this about a city? Let me know.

Beth xx

Advertisements

ANY JOB IS A REAL JOB: DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIST

eaddd53214187e4220691ad206d86127

It’s been a while since I continued with my blogging series, any job is a real job, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about it! This week, Poppy Mayy from http://poppymayy.co.uk/ is sharing what her job as a digital marketing strategist is like. It was really interesting to hear about another role in the media industry! The media industry seems to be expanding all the time, and there seems to be lots of opportunities to get into it, and I think it’s the sort of role that a lot of bloggers out there want. I hope you enjoy reading this post, and  I want to say a big thank you to Poppy Mayy for getting involved. You should definitely check out her blog, as she’s a great writer that I think a lot of you would enjoy. 

1. Explain your job title/role…

My official job title is digital marketing strategist at a creative web design and marketing agency. However, I am certainly not limited to just strategising. I take care of all the in-house digital marketing from email campaigns, social media channels, online advertising, content marketing and SEO (search engine optimisation). I am also responsible for various clients’ digital marketing.

2. How did you get into your job?

Funny story, the company I work for actually belongs to the husband of a guest lecturer at my university. So I got my job through a recommendation from her and one other lecturer. Obviously I still had to submit an application and interview for it though. But it turns out it does pay off being teacher’s pet 😉

3. What do you like about your job?

The variety. No day is ever the same as I’ll either be dealing with different clients or different marketing channels so I’m never bored.

4. What do you hate about your job?

The pay. As a recent-ish graduate though, I can’t be picky.

5. Where do you want to be in five years time?

Preferably I’d love to be a marketing freelancer or running my own digital agency. Having a lot of freedom in my career has always been something I’ve wanted.

Do any of you out there do something similar? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, let me know if you want to get involved in this blogging series! 

 

Anglesey- A beautiful Welsh gem

 

11693923_848380588613239_8950680401307146916_n

Last weekend I went to Anglesey, which is an island in the North of Wales. I went for three days, and it was lovely. I always had it in my head that Anglesey was a much smaller place than it actually is. I don’t think a lot of people realise that it’s kinda big. Rich’s family own a cottage in Treaddur Bay, right near the beach, and it’s so beautiful. The above picture is a sunset taken on the beach there. We drove down from Manchester on Thursday night after work. We were expecting it to take around two and a half hours, but it actually only took about one and a half, which was pretty good going.

13892291_1019688664815763_2443789431086203863_n

On our first day, we went up to Chemlyn bay which is on the north of the island. It’s absolutely breathtaking. There’s pebbled beaches, blue sea, and it feels like there’s nothing for miles around. We spent hours just wandering on the beach, taking pictures of the views, and just enjoying being somewhere so relaxing.

14040141_1022194431231853_5731118752594647365_n

On the second day, we went to Beaumaris, which on the east of the island, right near the Menai bridge. It was such a lovely little town. We spent a few hours going round the little independent shops. Rich bought me a gorgeous handbag for Christmas (I know it’s a while off but you can never start too early), and we also visited lots of galleries, a Chilli shop, and shops full of trinkets. After a few hours of shopping, we went to an amazing fish and chip shop and had a walk down the pier, and walked along the sea front which had views of the Snowdonia national park.

13912444_1020785198039443_6658673826864453122_n (1)

13900274_1022194504565179_4638450287496857831_n

On the last day we were there, we went to Newborough which is on the south of the island. If you’ve ever been to Formby Beach in Merseyside, it’s quite similar to that. There’s a massive pine forest which borders the beach, and there’s also an island called Llanddwyn Island which is stunning. It has a little lighthouse, a ruined church and lots of little coves. I wish it had been slightly sunnier on the day we went as it would have been perfect for a picnic. It’s quite a walk so you need to take your walking shoes, but it’s definitely worth it.

14034939_1022194804565149_4040697289858910143_n

14037458_1025375584247071_1823415944_o.jpg

14012579_1025375547580408_1791654394_o.jpg

13939470_1022194867898476_1986187784787012755_n

It was a fabulous weekend, and I can’t wait to visit again. If you need somewhere relaxing to charge your batteries, then definitely check out Anglesey, as it’s full of hidden gems! How many of you have been to Anglesey before?

 

Where have I been?

9176ce67e661ab62fcb140da854a432b

This summer is turning out to be a particularly busy one… and I’m loving it. I really feel as if I’m fulfilled, as if I’m getting something out of my life. I’m happy, I’m making the most of things, and yet I don’t stressed, I just feel excited for the future.

I’ve recently taken on a role as News Writer for Kettle magazine, which is an online magazine that promotes student journalism. I’ve been writing for them for the last year, tending to sway towards writing lifestyle pieces, but when an opportunity to write for their news team came up, I put myself forward, as I thought it would be a great opportunity to step away from the norm and to try something new. It’s actually really refreshing to write something different!

In terms of my personal life, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family and Rich’s family. I’ve been catching up with my parents and my siblings, spending time exploring bits of Manchester and just generally having down time. I’ve also spent a few lovely days with friends, eating delicious foods and doing bits of holiday shopping.

Me and Rich have spent the last couple of weekends down in Birmingham which is where Rich’s parents live, and it’s been great to chill out and relax in the garden on sunny days. Not last weekend, but the weekend before, we went to see Mamma Mia the musical, which was absolutely brilliant. I’m not sure it was exactly Rich’s thing, but I loved it. Last night we went on a pub crawl and then clubbing in Birmingham with friends which was fun, though I feel like a bit of a grandma as I was craving my bed pretty early into the night!

In terms of my blog, I’m definitely going to have some new pieces up in the next two weeks. I’m off to Anglesey on Thursday night through till Sunday for some R and R, so I promise to document the trip and to hopefully take some pictures of the gorgeous scenery. For now, you can click here and check out my latest blog post which is a piece of prose poetry that I’ve been working on.

I hope that you’re all having a lovely summer, whatever it is that you’re doing. Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments below 🙂

Love from Beth x

 

Student Guide: Why it’s important to think before you choose your university course

2a1a2d5fb9c5d15b1e7227f11f707afc

I think a lot of seventeen year olds out there feel like they HAVE to go to university. As soon as you’re in year 12 you’re told you have to start filling out UCAS forms, that you need to start spending every weekend travelling up and down the country visiting universities, and that you need to decide what it is that you want to do for the rest of your life. You start to feel really pressured, and you lend up deciding something that you might lend up regretting two years later.

Sometimes that’s how I feel. As many of you know, I’m an undergraduate at the University of Chester and I study BA English Literature and Creative Writing. I chose to study my subject as I’ve always loved to read, ever since my dad read Harry Potter to me when I was a little girl. I spent the majority of my childhood scouring car boot sales for books, persuading my parents to just get me books for Christmas, and spending hours holed up in my bedroom devouring words. Therefore, when it got to the time where I had to decide what I wanted to study, I thought English Literature would be the perfect course for me.

Two years later, I wouldn’t neccessarily agree. Although I do enjoy the majority of my course, I don’t enjoy all of it. Sometimes I feel unmotivated by some of my modules, and I find reading to become tedious. This happened to me so much so in my first year of uni, that I no longer read for pleasure anymore. Luckily my second year modules excited me much more, and I now read ALL the time again. It’s rare you’ll find me going anywhere without a book in hand. My third year modules don’t excite me quite as much, but this year I’m determined that I’m not going to let it get me down.

I think the problem for me  is that I chose my course too soon. I don’t think I fully read up on what it would entail. Sometimes I sit in my lectures, and find that the majority of my peers seem so much more knowledgeable about English theory than myself. They know about Marxist theories, they’re strong feminists, and they really seem to relate to nineteenth century characters in a way that I just can’t. I do, however, really enjoy my Creative Writing modules. I love writing poetry, I’ve really enjoyed a module I took on an insight into the publishing world, and I’m excited to try out life writing in the upcoming year. I’ve also chosen my dissertation topic, which is to be an indepth discovery into folklore and legends, and their evolution through literature.

I think if I’d have been choosing my university course now, I would go down a different path. I know now that I want a career in marketing, and I think I would have chosen a marketing degree. At the time I was choosing, I really felt that I didn’t get much advice from my tutors at my college. I felt rushed and I felt I had to choose something that I’d studied before. I guess there’s nothing familiar in the unknown.

I think my advice to sixth form students getting ready to choose their university courses in the upcoming months is to find something that you enjoy, but also to look at possible career paths afterwards. Try and speak to people who have done similar degrees. And if you’ve already started your course and you’re already hating it, then think about making a switch. Don’t spend three years doing something that you don’t love.

Monday blues

64d2dfc1e1af13d231fc7f8ea5cc8b35

Hi all, I first of all want to address the issue of my infrequent posting the last two weeks, I feel as if I’ve really neglected my blog and of course all of you guys. I think my main reason has been simply down to lack of time, and also the fact that I seem to have hit a bit of a writer’s block. Do any of you out there ever feel like that?

Maybe it’s because it’s a Monday, which has always been my least favourite day of the week, and the fact that the skies outside my window are no longer blue, but I feel a bit of a case of hitting a slump. I’m feeling unmotivated to write, and unmotivated to express myself. I’m by no means unhappy, in fact I feel content… and I’m starting to think that’s why I’m feeling this way.

I’m starting to realise that my best posts, my posts which you guys enjoy, are when there’s genuine emotion behind them and excitement, and I’ve been reluctant to post anything which hasn’t been to that standard. I want my words to dance on the page, I want them to stick with you, to make you think, for them to challenge your train of thought. I don’t want you to get bored halfway through or to feel as if you’ve lost interest of the things I have to say.

I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel though, so don’t worry, I’ll be back to writing soon, but I just wanted to keep you all informed on the lack of recent posts.

As always, thank you for sticking with me, and I hope you enjoy the posts that I’m sure will spring to mind very soon. If you have any ideas of how I can get out of my slump quicker, or if there are any posts that you would  particularly like to see, then do let me know as it would be a great help!

Love from Beth x

Any job is a real job: Social Media Servicing Advisor

be0943a5f13e96963dd188ce6b6f811b

As many of you know, I recently decided I wanted to start a bit of a blogging series with the phrase ‘Any job is a real job’ in mind. I wanted to raise awareness of the different industries out there, and I asked for all of my readers help. I feel really lucky that some of you responded.If you missed my previous articles about this, then click here.

 First up is Cameron, from over at Cameron D Hamilton. He writes a great blog with an emphasis on poetry and self reflection, and I really love his work, so I was very pleased when he contacted me to tell me about his job as a Senior Social Media Servicing Advisor:

So, let’s begin with a few basic facts.  My name is Cameron, I’m 29 and I work in corporate Social Media for a major UK bank.  I’ve been in my current position for over a year.

Explain your job role (title, daily duties etc)

At this time I hold the title of Senior Social Media Servicing Advisor.  The job itself consists of moderating several social media and website channels for the bank.  My department moderates four Twitter handles, two Facebook accounts, the website ‘live webchat’ service and two customer enquiry email services.  I came into the department to handle Social Media so I tend to focus my attention on the Twitter and Facebook content.  It’s more a preference for me, it actually works out well with our team dynamic as some of my colleagues prefer the more formal nature of the email channels.

On a normal day I’ll spend my time responding to enquiries received and also post attention grabbing content, over the Twitter channel specifically, in order to grow the brand and attract attention.  As a team we’re also tasked with monitoring public relations through Social Media, logging and reporting positive and negative reports of the bank.  As a department we have little power to effect change the way the bank presents itself, essentially we’re information gathering.  It can get a bit frustrating when the same criticisms come up and nothing is done but I’m sure there must be a good reason, or at least I hope.  The vast majority of the time is spent moderating the channels making sure that all messages received are responded to, make sure we can avoid potential PR issues and make sure customers are protected.

(A funny story on making sure our customers as kept safe over social media.  I once had to deal with a customer of the bank who was a financial dominatrix and was posting her bank details over Twitter in order to get tributes from her admirers.  Her profile was certainly NSFW.  I got in touch with our information security team and they got a Fraud officer to get in touch.  We got told she was warned the following day but clearly didn’t listen as a few weeks later she done the exact same thing.  You can’t help everyone!)

More than any other department we liaise with several different areas of the business on a daily basis, sometimes it can be simply feeding back praise, looking for more in depth info or a certain subject (mortgages, urgh) or getting complaints handled.  This is quite common as you can imagine, everyone love to moan over Twitter and we try to help.  Often it’s really easy people are being lazy wont visit the bank or call in, ‘help us to help you’ doesn’t enter into their minds.  Sometimes it take a little more to handle but it’s our job monitoring Social Media to make sure that voice gets heard and helped.

As a senior advisor I also research and create reports for the leadership team of the bank.  The most frequent is a weekly feedback presentation that is made for the weekly leadership meeting.  Takes about three to four hours and I usually do it if I’m working on a Sunday, it’s monotonous but I quite like it.

Also due to the main office site being a contact centre the team has been lumbered with some irritating telephone lines.  These are low call volume, maybe four calls over a shift max.  In addition to this in order to keep product knowledge fresh there are weeks where I will take general customer service phone calls or work the Internet Banking Helpdesk while another member of the team assumes moderation duties on Social Media.  It’s you’re standard shift rotation deal.

How  did you got into your job? (e.g qualifications, experience etc)

I’m a Media graduate, I spent five years studying through various college courses and university.  I went from wanting to work in film production, with an eye to direct, but found that I enjoyed writing more.  I put a lot of that down to my social anxiety, being able to create a barrier means I can work more effectively.  Its why I like working in Social Media.

The academics didn’t get me exactly where I wanted to go and I drifted through mostly Customer Service positions while trying to write.  Before I took my current position I was working as a general Customer Service Rep in the same bank at the same centre.  Due to my qualifications, my vast experience from working in the bank for so long and my eccentric passion the job was mine.

At the time I applied I was leaving the company, I had reached my glass ceiling and had been applying for writing and Social Media vacancies so when one came up from my current employer it just made sense.  The company thought so too.

What do you like about your job?

I like the ability to write and be creative.  That’s what sold me on the job, to try and engage with customers differently than I had been over phone calls.

Using my experiences as a writer to give some personality to the Social Media accounts, show we care, we want to help but that we’re real.

I really like the people in my team, it’s a great group of personalities and you need that in Social Media.  Of course I win the award for most eccentric but I set a very high bar.

Honestly it’s an easy job.  With the knowledge I gained working telephone customer service the job of moderating is ridiculously easy.  That lack of stress makes my life a lot easier with all the other stresses I have

The Social Media team itself is very young, its only in its second year.  I love being able to shape the voice and make a mark on the landscape.  Not to denigrate my colleagues but you can tell the difference in language and passion when I’ve sent a message compared to someone else.  It’s a great feeling to see that your voice is the one that people like.

What do you hate about your job?

The pay (hahahaha!!!) Serious though, its horrific.

The politics of the office are very annoying, as a contact centre the focus is on phone calls so my team gets treated horribly as if it’s our fault that calls are queuing because we’re not on the phone.  My employer doesn’t know how to handle digital operations and doesn’t understand the job we do.  This means arguments with management figures trying to assert authority when they have none and acting like children when they don’t get their way.

I don’t drive so the commute is pretty bad at times.  I take three buses and as much as it gives me time to listen to my favourite podcasts it does give me a little less free time.

Due to working in the banking industry, it’s a secure paperless environment which is murder or a writer who likes to have a note pad if they’re inspired by something…or maybe just wants to colour in on a slow day.

To be honest the job is great.  It’s the office I hate.  If I could do the same job somewhere else I’d be a lot happier.  I think if there’s any lesson I could impart it’s don’t give up on something you want to do because the people you work for are idiots.

Where do you want to be in five years time?

There’s two answers to this.

Answer one is writing professionally, taking what I do on WordPress and making money off my words.  I want to write like a lot of people here so If I can I’d like to get published and make my living from literature

Answer two is Social Media Project Management.  I’m not keen on actually managing staff, its just not interesting, I want to create and run projects.  Move out of the moderation and more into  the marketing the brand growth.  I do a little of this right now but I really want to advance into building content to get people talking and make the best use of Social Media.  It won’t be with my current employer, I have way too many issues with them and their ineptitude in the digital world.  I find this hard to answer because I’ve never been one for planning ahead.  Probably why I’m so far behind.

I want to say a big thank you to Cameron for this, as I found it really interesting. I’m looking to go into a similar career myself, so it was great to get an in depth view of what to expect. Does anyone else work in this industry? What do you think? Or do any of you want to go into this industry too?