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Website Research

I wanted to look at making myself a professional website where I can show my range of surface patterns and any other projects that I start to take part in, I also wanted to do a CV page as well so the option to add a few pages was very important. I wanted to look at pricing to be able to compare some and what I would get out of the price for each one as well.

I started on Wix where the pricing looked quite good, for 4.25 a month there was a great deal available when the pound less only offered a very basic package. I was also able to type in the kind of website I wanted and what I do and the builder had a go at designing something I would like for me which I thought was interesting.

I tried Go Daddy too which immediately struck me as a larger company with more plans available in a range of categories which became quite confusing. The trouble with these monthly subscriptions too, they require a year paid up front which to me defeats the purpose of a monthly price. I think looking even at WordPress and how they could be turned into a functional website could be useful as I already feel a lot more confident on working it.

WordPress offers a simple 3 pound a month upgrade which would remove advertising and give me a free domain for a year which would be useful for google searching. I think the extra storage space could be useful too as my photos do tend to take up quite a lot of room. I think I may look into this option more.

I ended up choosing WordPress for the Personal one, it had everything I needed and included the domain which is great, so I made sure to mark the date so I can keep this next year too. I also chose this because I know my way around WordPress and this will be an advantage to building the site that I want to. Next I think I will get to building it, which will in turn prompt me to create a new CV which will help in the future too, and collate some of my images together in portfolio views.


Personal Branding Workshop

Due to the coronavirus and how life has changed lately because of this, I was not able to attend my last three workshops while in University. I took part in a few workshops in Birmingham in September and then did a CV workshop not long after before falling ill for a few months. It was definitely a challenge to work from home with my usual work but the fact that we could now take some workshops online by watching these CareerCake videos was actually very useful for me as I was not fully recovered and back in Uni as it was.

CareerCake is a great resource for employability and building skills with CVs, social media presence, and a range of other skills that could be very useful for the job hunt and how I present myself online. This was the first video I had watched by Aimee Bateman, who I gathered from the video was the creator of CareerCake and features in a lot of shorter clips too that I will be definitely be checking out for the little tips that could help out massively.

The workshop began with the question: What is your personal brand? What three words would you use to describe yourself as a person?

I thought about this a lot, as a surface pattern designer I would definitely say a key word for me is creative, I also thought about jobs that I have done or how I have moved through school and University, and I have always been hard-working. I also thought about the moments where I have felt for people, or helped people, whether it’s family, friends or strangers, and I think I am compassionate.

The idea of the course is to understand what personal branding is and why it helps in your career path, create a strong and unique brand statement and learn about how to leverage social media.

Something that I picked up on that I thought was interesting was the difference between a strength and a skill, which I suppose before I did consider to be the same thing. Aimee described a skill as something you are good at, and a strength is something that you really enjoy and feel passionate about. I think an example of me is that printmaking is a skill for me, I can do it well when I do it, but I do not enjoy it and I try to avoid it if there is another way to do something. I really enjoy stitching and construction, I am good at these and I enjoy it, so I think I really try again and again to improve it and produce pieces I am proud of, so I would consider this a strength.

A part of the workshop was to ask others what three words they would use to describe you, I asked my boyfriend, my friends I live with in Uni, and my friends from school who study at different unis to me now. My boyfriend said ‘Kind, Loyal, Honest’, which was lovely to hear. My Uni friends said ‘hard-working, ambitious, creative’, ‘imaginative, insightful, warm-hearted’ and ‘thoughtful, artistic, understanding’. Again these were nice things to hear, I consider the people that I asked to be honest enough with me that they would tell me something negative if I was asking for the feedback, it was interesting that the closest to my words are from my friend Elin, who lives with me and also studies the same course as me in our creative field.

It was pointed out that we possibly see qualities that we shared and values that we share with the people we choose to trust with these kinds of questions, this is not something I would openly post on my social media pages and it makes sense that I spoke to the people I did, as I see qualities in them that do match my own.

An important question is why do I do it? Why do I do what I do?

I really enjoy it, I love being creative and watching something turn from a blank canvas, page or space and becoming something to be proud of. There was always an expectation of me throughout school because I got good grades, that I was going to be something that my parents considered important, but I have never felt passionate about anything in school like I did for art, textiles and photography. I took all three at A level with ICT, and did not drop one for my second year because I really did enjoy them all for the different reasons. My work now tends to combine all four of those subjects. I also do it because I want to be independent and own my own business.

The values lesson was interesting, the first question posed was what are your top five pet hates in relationships? I thought about this and one thing that affects how I feel towards a person in any level of relationship is disrespect, in terms of work I think unprofessionalism can get annoying very quickly while at first maybe seeming like you could have an easier time with a relaxed boss but ultimately there needs to be a level of professionalism there. I also think dishonesty is hard to deal with, you need to know that your friends and the closest people to you will be honest, even if you will not always like it.

The next question was what situations make you feel annoyed or angry? I think mostly for me I find issue with personal space, I do find myself getting very annoyed if my workspace is disturbed in particular.

The next part covered what kind of employer would I want to work for? I have never really thought about this before beyond the field that I may want to work in, but thinking about it I think I would like someone who is passionate about the work, someone who wants constant improvement and is open to suggestions about this, the worst thing is seeing an obvious problem in the way things are running and no one bothered enough to fix it. I also think professionalism is important but also flexibility, having anxiety I am very nervous that an employer would not understand if I was having a bad day, ideally I would love an employer who would trust me to work from home sometimes if this helped me, as long as I was still getting the work done. I believe too that if I was in a job that I really enjoyed, I would take the work home with me, I have never just kept my school or Uni work confined to the campus, I have always spent nights and weekends working on things.

The next section covered the personal brand statement, which is 1-2 sentences covering what I am best at, who I serve, how i do it uniquely and why I do it. This is something I do not want to rush at all, I want to think about this as my branding continues to develop and come up with something good for this.

The social media lesson was probably the most insightful, the key points touched on the importance of privacy on the internet, by googling yourself you can see what an employer might see when they google you too. It is important to lock down Facebook, it is not a good platform for networking so does not need to be open or available for everyone to see. My Facebook is rarely used anyway, I mostly use it to keep in touch with my friends and watch cute dog videos. I think a little to-do list with my social media is needed, including updating my LinkedIn and posting more content, restarting my twitter, again sometimes I rarely use so there is not really much point having anything on it as it has nothing to do with me or my work. My youtube has a little bit of my work content that I uploaded to my blog here, as I have to show my work on here for Uni and you cannot upload videos directly I had to create a Youtube account to show these. Maybe I could find a way of putting more of my work on there instead, like time lapses of me drawing or something.

Some final notes about the workshop was the importance of email addresses being professional, consistent photographs across social media and even photo of me doing my art as the picture which is something I do not have an image of, and also email signatures, which is something I have not considered at all but may be useful for me to spread my instagram for example.

Overall I really enjoyed the workshop, it was not just sitting and watching an hour of a video, it was engaging and interesting and has definitely made me enthusiastic about building more skills and watching more content on CareerCake too.

Welcome Crew Week

During fresher’s week at Uni, I signed up to assist as a member of the welcome crew to help ease first years into uni life and show them around if they need anything. The training day was quite successful, I was nervous about the aspect of working in Cyncoed campus, somewhere I am not familar with being based at Llandaff. The first week started, I was placed at Cyncoed with a few others, in the main reception as this seemed to be the place where most people were walking through trying to find lecture halls or rooms, or coming to seek advice if they needed it by the main reception desk. The Izone is hidden down a corridor in Cyncoed however it is in the main reception at Llandaff, so some people had to be directed down there and others just wanted a general direction of where their rooms were.

Being new to Cyncoed with just my Ipad as a map, it actually took less time than I thought to get familiar with the blocks and buildings, knowing as well that we were working as a team, we managed to cover all the buildings between us and take people for small tours if they wanted to know more of the campus. The first two days were quite busy with helping out people, although Tuesday afternoon definitely got quieter as time went on, so the freshers fayre taking place on the Wednesday was something to look forward too.

On the Wednesday I also helped out on the Enactus stall, showing first years and others what the society had to offer. The fayre as a whole was successful and the welcome crew assisted with the setting up of the stalls and chairs, and also handing out the bags to freshers. The bags contained flyers and discount coupons and general information for new people in Cardiff, and these bags were being handed out in the hundreds. As an extra shift we were offered to join and complete the bag packing, around 15 different flyers to be put into each bag, this took around seven hours to fill all the bags needed to in the Centro bar in Cyncoed the Saturday before the fayre.

We started with a method of packing by passing the single bag around and everyone adding a flyer or two, I went to the end of the line and I thought packing these back into the boxes would be quite an important part to ensure they were easy to access on the day, so this is mainly what I did for the morning, until we switched up the style of packing and instead created piles of the leaflets which were all put into the bag together, speeding up the process by quite a bit.

Thursday again was a quiet day as most of the people who were starting Uni had started on Monday or Tuesday and knew which rooms to attend now, I spent some time handing out leaflets to promote metfest the following day, and then we were instructed to help up up some decorations around the campus.

The flags were added around most of the buildings where the events of Metfest were going to take place, the Zen bar was a key area, so we worked on using the streamers to create displays throughout. This was quite a fun day as it related more to creativity, although before the shift even begun I found people approaching me asking for rooms as late as this in the week.

Metfest came around and seemed to be a busy and active day, we were just positioned to welcome people to the various areas, I spent my time outside of the management building, where one of the main events seemed to be the cocktail making classes and the circus performers who were teaching students how to do some of the tricks.

Overall the week was a fun and interesting one, it was also the chance to get to know other people throughout the University and other courses, as well as some of the main members of the SU. This also helped me greatly towards my Cardiff Met Award hours of work which I was happy about, especially with it being work within the University.