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MY PWC EXPERIENCE

In PricewaterhouseCoopers, I was part of the Deals department. In that department there were many groups and one of them was the start up team. I was allocated to a project lead by the Director of the Department and I was asked to do mundane/internship tasks such as working on Excel and building a database of Venture Capitals in the EU and in the USA. But I was also asked to conduct researches of Italian start ups and make a selection of the ones that I would consider, based on data, the best suited for investment from PwC.

This was my first work experience and, since I did not really apply for it the conventional way, I was far from making the most out of it.

Spoilt, I didn’t realize how hard it was to get into these big companies and I completely took it for granted.

I ate alone and made no effort to socialize or to go the extra mile.

There was a colleague of mine who would take some time to explain to me numbers and data analysis and I was showing him how bored I was so that he would stop and leave me alone to do my stuff. If only I had my brain now but oh well…

Sometimes you forget what an opportunity looks like and you end up throwing away a great one.

I did not want to be there, I only did it for the CV and I made the classic mistake of thinking that “if I have this name on the CV, then that’s enough for getting through other application processes later on”.

I couldn’t be more wrong.

Doing the bare minimum, slowly and not showing any kind of will to do more is what unfortunately most people do in their day to day job.

They go there for a superficial objective, for instance the salary (in my case, the PwC line on the CV), and do not get fully involved with the activities and hundreds of opportunities they can create for themselves every day.

I didn’t know that I was being so mediocre at the time.

You will realize in my next blog post what attitude got me to places.

My PwC experience was nice on the CV. It gave me “something” to showcase beside my position as an event organizer for student nightlife…

However it was far from enough: it was a unconventional summer internship (see this blog) and lasted less than 3 months. I just couldn’t base my applications for grad schemes based on that only real experience… it was embarrassing. And I wanted to be like Femi (refer to this blog).

I therefore decided to take a Year in Industry. I always knew I wanted to take a 4 year course at university, so that I would have more fun and prolongue my student status. But initially, I applied for Business and Management with European Studies.

That meant that, in my 3rd year, I would have gone to a University in Europe and study there.

Although the idea to party in a different city was an absolute fat YAS for me, I decided against it as I realized I needed more experience in the work field.

I realized in PwC that I was bored at my desk job and I really wasn’t aspiring in ending up at a desk later on, working on Excel.

I thought it was a waste of a life. But at the same time I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

One of the biggest lessons I learned at that time is that, if you do not know what to do, you need to get yourself out there and actually try new things until something clicks with you. Hence the decision to switch to Business and Management with Industrial Experience.

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CONTEXT: MY BACKGROUND

MILAN

Let’s quickly start from the beginning: I was born in Paris and moved to Milano at the age of 5. Because I went to pre-school in France and because I knew the language, my parents decided that it would be a great idea to put me in the French school in Milan.

It wasn’t…

For my career and future it was a great move. However being in the French school in Milan meant also that I needed to stick with that school until my diploma at 18 years old.

That means that I was going to grow up with the same kids, and never have a chance to recreate myself.

This was good news for those who had a good reputation and all the right labels, like my brother.

But for me, this was pure torture.

I matured very slowly, physically and mentally, which meant that the other kids would view me a bit like a freaky person. Quickly that freaky label became the outcast label and I very quickly found myself not being invited anywhere, being bullied online and eating alone in the toilets. This was my daily life until I reconnected with an old friend, who then became my partner in crime and my best friend to this day.

Why am I saying all of this?

Because this will determine a lot of my behaviors for the next chapter of my life.

Although I finally made a friend at the age of 16 making the whole day to day life a bit more bearable, I still longed for that classic young and reckless teen life, full of parties, crushes and butterflies in the tummy. My high school made that fantasy impossible to live, as it demanded me to be there from 8am until 6pm every day, loading my evenings with homework and exam preparation and making it nearly impossible for me to even try and socialize outside of my school: Italian schools finished at 3pm at worst…

The only times I was free from all this was the summer holidays and my parents tried their best to make me feel a bit more included by taking me to villages where there was a club for teens. However, due to my lack of socializing, I would most of the time end up being that weirdo on aside, embarrassed of her every move and praying that the most eloquent and confident girl of the group would take me under her wing.

Slowly but surely, the latter happened and my confidence grew thanks to these 2 weeks holiday a year in a young and new environment, where the labels of high school wouldn’t touch me.

It came to a point when I knew my worth: at around 17/18, I understood how much of a different social life I would have if I only had the opportunity to recreate myself by moving schools or places. Although moving schools was not possible (I won’t get into the details), University was my escape door.

Sick of french teenagers and traumatized by Italy (as I unfortunately associated beautiful Milan with my horrible high school experience), I decided to reconnect with my roots and move to the UK for my University experience.

Contrary to Italian and French universities, I heard that, in the UK, the social life was way advanced as it provided societies for every kind of activity and thousands of new students to meet and connect with. It sounded like paradise and it was without any hesitation that I applied for the top unis in the UK.

EXETER

After a very hard exam period in July, I finally got the results and the confirmation that I would be moving to Exeter University in September.

My mind went wild as I was thinking of all of my wishes and fantasizing about the social life I have always dreamed of: new friends, getting invited to house parties, having a group of people who would include me, a possible boyfriend (or even just a guy that would look at me)… My mind went wild.

Excited, terrified and hopeful, I arrive in Exeter and it goes without saying that September 2013 until December 2013 were by far the best months of my life.

Everything I dreamed of became a reality!

Although I had a very rough first couple of days, I was so determined to create for myself the fantasy I have longed for so much that no one could take my eyes of my focus.

The next two years were filled with everything I have ever dreamed of: 10/10 guys flirting with me, my first love, my first heartbreaks, loads of friends, loads of parties… and more: managing my own event, being one of the only students to be backstage with well known DJs, being on stage with them, having guys waiting outside for me to finish conversations with venue managers to then cook for me at 3am in the night… My life was a dream! A real roller coaster of emotions. And just like that, I have made up for those 5 years of absence of social life.

However, reality came knocking on my door: all of this time, I did not study properly. I had mediocre marks, failed an exam, and had no idea where my head was at when it came to my future and career.

For the past 2 years, I have been spending the money of my parents to fulfill a void inside me that was finally complete, but I was not investing any time in my future success.

One day, I went into the Career Zone, a space for students to look up job applications and what not. There was a guy who was always sitting there. His name was Femi.

During my 2 years at University, I noticed him many times working hard, not on lectures as the rest of the people, but on “career stuff”, that “stuff” that didn’t even cross my mind to organize at the time.

This time, instead of the usual small talk, I decided to sit right next to him and ask him what he was up to. He started explaining to me that he was applying for summer internships and hackathons. I didn’t understand half of the things he said but when I saw his CV I was in awe. Google internships, awards, certifications, high marks… his CV was golden.

As competitive as I naturally am, I started thinking of my own CV and realized I had nothing. It was soul breaking. I started to think about how doomed I was and about how I would never get into anywhere when I graduated. But that stress turned into motivation very quickly and I started applying as well to summer internships. I asked advice to my parents in order to know what to put in my CV and Cover letter. I also explained my motivation of wanting to build my career and start to work in a company early on, instead of waiting for me to graduate.

My parents were so thrilled and relieved that I was actually considering to work instead of wasting my evenings in clubs that they proactively went through their contact list and after a few messages, I got a last minute internship in PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It took me a lot to admit this. Actually this is the first time that I admit that my first experience was handed over from my parent’s hard work.

Both of my parents came from households that did not have the resources to give them much. From my father’s side, he didn’t even have the money to go to university as he was from a little village up in the Italian alps. It was his hard work that got him a fully funded scholarship to one of the top Business courses in the world, at Bocconi University, in Milan and he ended up being the best of his promotion with his 100 cum laudeum. This proposed him into INSEAD, another top Business School in the world where he met my mother, whom herself graduated in Engineering in Oxford after a very VERY hard working college.

These were my parents, two brilliant individuals. And then there was me.

Spoilt, a real princess, mediocre at school, no friends and full of demands.

Fully “sponsored” by my parents to go to an English University, away from home, I didn’t even propose to take on a part time job to contribute to the cost.

For me, taking their money was absolutely normal, and the word “student loan” was unknown to me until a friend kindly explained it to me in a non judgmental way.

The worst part was that, at that precise point in time, I did not realize how lucky and spoilt I was to have such incredible, loving and brilliant parents, granting my every wish. That realization will come later on in my life, with a burning sense of guilt and Imposture Syndrome.

But for now, at that point in time, I was happy to finally start puffing up my CV with big company names. I was a bit more relaxed and finally ready for my new adventure and my first professional journey.

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WHAT TO PACK FOR UNIVERSITY

THE ULTIMATE PACKING LIST

Packing for University can be a stressful and useless when you miss out on the essential bits. Instead of doing a blog post with 10 or 20 items, I have instead created for you a PDF for Students (see below)Previous fresher’s have used the packing checklist for their own packing therefore it has a proven record of being useful. You will find the list by clicking on this link

HOW CAN WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (ONLINE OPPORTUNITY)

I have done my best to keep this website up-to-date. However, not living in Exeter anymore, this can be a challenge. If you are about to move to Exeter and want to get involved with this blog then please do not hesitate to contact me via my Instagram account. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who would like to get into blogging, influencer marketing or just generally gain some experience for their CV. Again, you can contact me for more details on how this may help you!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU

Over the years I have created many guides and checklist that aim to help you save time. Here are a list of them just in case you might miss out on a few:

  1. The Essay Decoder: a resource to help international students understand what is asked in an essay. This resource was given to me by one of Exeter’s top Senior Lecturers.
  2. Do’s & Don’ts at University Guide: a resource that gives you 70+ tips about university life. These recommendations range from social life, to love life, to reputation… I wish I had this guide when starting.
  3. The Ultimate Packing Checklist for both Catered students and Self-Catered students. A resource that aims to help you save time when preparing yourself for University.
  4. My 1st E-Book: a resource that has help me become a boss at Time Management. Moreover, it has also helped me create more time for what I love and get to my goals faster. It is lengthy, however it is arguably the best Time Management piece of research out there.
  5. My Before & After CV Transformation: a resource that has collected my CVs for the past 7 years to help you not only craft a great CV, but to also show you that everyone can start mediocre and grow exponentially.
  6. How To Land a Job Faster Guide: a resource that aims to give you all of the tips and recommendations I have used during my career. This will help you avoid some common mistakes students do when starting off with their job applications.
MY OBJECTIVE IS AND WILL FOREVER BE TO HELP YOU

To conclude, the aim of this website is to help you have the best fresh start at University and with your career. There is nothing that gives me more happiness and joy but to hear your positive feedback on how helpful my content has been. Contact me if you have any feedback for me!

BEST OF LUCK WITH IT ALL!!!!

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31 DOS AND DONTS AT UNIVERSITY

If you clicked on this blog post, it’s because you are about to go to University and you are looking for a few tips. Luckily for you, I already compiled a Do’s & Don’ts Guide (see below) that you can download right now.

My aim is to help you have the best fresh start at University. Let’s get right into it!

#1 BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR PROFESSOR

Your lecturers and professors are experts in their fields. The higher the University ranking the better the quality of expertise they have. Moreover, it is extremely useful to have a good reference from a professor. Employers will open up to you much more easily.

#2 LEARN HOW TO USE A WASHING MACHINE

Make sure that you know how to use a washing machine. Know which clothes go with what temperature and colors. Ask your mother, ask everything she knows about a washing machine. Remember that washing machines in halls do have a fee. In Exeter, it is at least 5 pounds. Its even more if you use a dryer therefore do take that into account.

#3 THINK ABOUT YOUR FAMILY

It obviously depends on the type of family you have but most parents are worried and sad to see their babies leave the nest. Call your family at least once every two weeks. Tell them how you are going they are dying to hear from you. This is something I did not do and it still haunts me today.

#4 WHY ARE YOU AT UNI?

Know your purpose. Where you want to be in 5 years time? What is your passion? What does your ideal life looks like? Learn why you are doing what you do and what is your motivation. Usually people who are about to go to University, are thinking about obvious problems. For example, they stress about making new friends, partying, having a good degree and fitting in. But those are all short term goals. What about your story of your life? What about the plot of your existence? Think about it because, as vague as it might sounds, your student life is the perfect opportunity to invest a huge amount of time and energy in your ideal outcome.

#5 TRY STUFF OUT

Get involved in projects with people, do extra curricular activities and apply for jobs in the summer. Try and figure it all out as early as possible because the sooner the better.

I don’t know about you but I had absolutely no clue about what I wanted to do at University. I chose Business & Management because I thought it would be the course that would open the most doors (or close the least). A lot of people are in that situation: they don’t do much and they just think that this kind of revelation will arrive later on, somehow. And some of them did get lucky: it did happen that way. The best way to avoid the doubts is to test things out and understand a bit more about the working environment. 

#6 SAVE THEM BENJAMINS!

Your consumer choices matter. Some freshers are so excited to go to uni that they want everything to be perfect: the perfect plate, the perfect jar, the perfect mug, the perfect cutlery, every thing color coordinated and that’s fine… if you can afford it.

Just remember though: the average student goes into University with 4 plates, 4 glasses and 4 of everything and ends up with one plate and someone else’s fork. Things get broken, things get lost, things get borrowed and never given back. You can’t spend your uni life worrying about that person giving you back your mug.

#7 DO NOT TELL EVERYONE WHAT YOU THINK

Let’s talk about trust. When you arrive to uni, everyone is in the same boat. Everyone is scared and excited, as it’s kind of a daunting experience. Excited people tend to be super nice to everyone. Loads of people will be nice to you. It is only natural that nerves and anxiety make you want to pour your soul out to someone, to share thoughts and opinions about certain situations or even people. You can open up, you can say what you want about yourself but I highly recommend you wait to pick the person that will receive extra information from you.

Also, gossip always backfires. Be as positive as you can. Everyone is nice at the beginning, but not everyone has good intentions. This does not mean that you shouldn’t be friendly smiley and open. Relax and do not worry: the right friends will come. People who attract most friends are the ones that smile, who are confident with themselves and relaxed. 

#8 MAKE FRIENDS IN YOUR COURSE OF STUDY 

Imagine you are sick or one day or that you can’t go to lectures because you have a doctor’s appointment, or something else… it is very important to have a group of people you can count on. They shouldn’t be just acquaintances you feel embarrassed to ask favors for, but people that you know will be there for you and vice versa.

Not everyone will give back what you give. Make sure you have a few options when you start creating those relationships, just in case. Always give. Karma works both ways.

#9 PRE-SET ALARMS 

Sometimes you will want to go party the day before a morning lecture. In that case, set your alarm before you go out. Or just schedule a bunch of them for the next days.

#10 GIVE PEOPLE A CHANCE TO SURPRISE YOU

Do not judge someone straight away. Be humble enough to understand that you do not own the truth. Your perception is not necessarily how things are, so it is very important that when you meet someone for the first time, no matter how arrogant they look, no matter how loud they are, keep an open mind because at the end of the day, everyone has a story and everyone is going through battles you know nothing about.

I know that some of you will judge other people, it’s normal, when you go to a new university, a new environment, your brain is processing so much information that you have to go sometimes through stereotypes in order to organize what you are seeing a bit better… it’s kind of a psychological thing, it’s normal. Just keep an open mind, someone might surprise you.

#11 BRING YOUR PARENTS OVER 

Most people do not know if they should bring their parents or not. I always tell these people to bring their parents, and not only that: make the most out of their presence. Parents are not there to ruin your life, they really want to make you happy. So don’t feel like it’s not cool to have your parents around the first few days, that’s not true: as far as I’m concerned, I’ve seen a lot of parents during fresher’s week.

#12 GET RID OF THE BUREAUCRATIC CHORES

Do all of the bureaucratic stuff as soon as possible. When you arrive at university, you will have to do so many things such as checking the room and do the inventory. You will probably have to go to a bank and open a student bank account, or have a new phone contract if you are international student. Just do as much as its needed as early on as possible so that you can fully focus on meeting new people.

#13 JOIN A SOCIETY

I’ve realized that a lot of people do not join societies either because they think they can’t do the activity, or because they think that it’s pointless to join a society. If you are ever hesitating of joining a society my big tip for you is just try things out, because you never know what you can fall in love with.

For instance, the surf society: I didn’t know how to surf however I loved being part of it because of the people. Some people didn’t know they liked the Cheese society or the Quiddich society or the Business society. All of these societies have potential friends in them. Once you’ve found your crowd, you’ll be the happiest person ever therefore explore what is available.

#14 LOOK FOR THOSE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES

If you going to a university in the UK do make sure you make the most out of the opportunities you get. The fees are usually 9000 pounds (we’ll see with Brexit). Students think that they only pay for lectures. That’s a shame because universities have a lot of services that students just don’t use. For Exeter, there is a whole room called the Career Zone that is suppose to give you tips about your CV and Cover Letter. It has a website with loads of job openings. There are also many guest speakers that come to talk at the university and loads of projects that you can get involved with.

I guess that what I am trying to say is: make the most out of your degree not only from an academical point of view but also from an extra curricular point of view. Research what your university has in store for you.

#15 LEARN ABOUT TIME MANAGEMENT TO CREATE MORE TIME FOR WHAT YOU LOVE

Managing your time is a skill that you need to try and master as earlier on in your career and if possible during your student life. 

#16 PEOPLE ARE AS SCARED OF YOU AS YOU ARE OF THEM

Talk to random people. Go up to them and start a conversation. If you are outside or in the smoking area of a club, and you see someone alone chilling, go up to them. Make a comment with a big smile and start a conversation: you never know what will comes out of it. 

Everyone is in the same boat, especially in freshers so just go for it, don’t worry about anything else.

#17 “STICK TO YOUR YEAR” IF POSSIBLE

For every girl out there who falls in love so easily or is just attracted to the wrong guys. I am not going to tell you what to do with your life, who to chose or whatever. I just don’t recommend to go for a senior, a person who is in his last year of uni. Especially if you are a fresher.

Usually guys in their last year don’t really go for relationship material. Obviously, it’s not true for everyone, there are always exceptions. I am not going to paint every single situation with the same brush. Just be aware of it. 

#18 GET TO KNOW YOURSELF AND LOVE IT 

A lot of people feel that they absolutely need someone else to fill a void within themselves. One of the best lessons to learn is to know and be serene about who you are. Getting to love yourself is something that is so crucial and at the base of every success. Confidence comes out of it, positive results come out of it, new opportunities come out of it… once you do it you can literally conquer anything you want.

#19 KNOW WHEN TO ADAPT

Not everyone thinks like you and its quite hard to really understand that to the core. Everyone struggles with it. Maybe for you it’s normal that in a certain situation you react in a certain way. Imagine you have a friend that did something that, in your opinion, is completely wrong. That friend is saying “I didn’t do anything wrong, I don’t understand why you are making such a big deal out of this.

They are not trying to be nasty or petty, you guys simply don’t have the same way of thinking and that’s why most students gravitate towards students from their same background. 

#20 PUT YOURSELF FIRST

You do not owe anyone anything. And this is something that I personally struggled a lot with. It can be anything: people asking you for favors; guys in bed demanding or expecting a certain behavior from you… Do and say things if you really want to, but learn how to say no and learn to put yourself first.

#21 BRING SOMETHING FROM HOME

Bring something from home that will make you feel better. Personally I was not at all homesick in my first year. But some of you guys get homesick since day one in University. It can be anything: a peluche; a letter; a photo; a photo album. Bring it.

#22 YOUR PEOPLE ARE OUT THERE SOMEWHERE! 

Find people that will enable you to start fresh. The reason why I insist on this is because so many people remain in their comfort zone and stay with the people they already know. Get out of that comfort zone: there are so many people out there. Make sure you are not missing out on meeting potentially great friends. Don’t just stick with the group: stay continuously open to new friendships.

#23 LEARN HOW TO BUDGET 

It’s one of those skills that you need to learn for life therefore I have 2 very basic methods. If you are super organized or generally a tidy person then write every expense. That’s the ultimate way to actually learn about yourself, about what you buy, about your mistakes. Learning from those mistakes will make you even better at budgeting next time around. To correct a problem you first need to be aware of it

If you are slightly more lazy, and you can’t be bothered to write everything down, decide on a weekly budget and cash it out every Monday. Swiping a card is the worst you can do

#24 WANT TO FIND LOVE? BE THERE AND BE CHILL 

Some of you maybe are going to go to university hoping that you will find the love of your life. If you are looking for someone that you want to share your uni experience with, that’s fine. Just remember to arrive with the mentality that you will be fine on your own. Stay serene: everything that happens, happens.

Obviously that doesn’t mean, “I am going to sit in a room and if it happens it happens” because sitting in your room you is not helping you to meet someone. You really need to put yourself out there, go to events, talk to people, introduce yourself, be sociable… with no expectations. Take things day by day.

#25 WHAT DO YOU VACUUM?

Don’t vacuum insects (spiders) or liquids (sick). Yes, people actually do this. A friend of mine vacuumed a spider and it made babies in the hoover.

#26 DO NOT OVERWORK YOURSELF: LEARN TO FOCUS 

If I could go back in time I would tell myself: Francesca, do not get into 5 million projects, you only need two really good ones that you focus on. Focus on your degree and focus on that one project that you really want to be good at. A lot of people think they can do a lot of projects. I though it too, it’s stressful and not always true.

#27 BEWARE OF PROMOTERS BEFORE EVENTS

Before you come to uni, promoters really try and contact through Facebook groups. Just buy one event ticket, not the whole pack. A freshers band that gets you into a lot of freshers events, even for just 2 nights and just go with the flow when you arrive, queue with your flatmates, you know you don’t know what they are going to do anyway. Don’t really spend too much money on events tickets, that is my main tip.

#28 HIGH SCHOOL VS UNIVERSITY

High school is different from Uni. Yes, you will see people behave in a certain way. That’s ok. But most people in uni aren’t that cliquey. I met so many freshers this year that are incredibly mature, talented and ambitious. I really want to encourage you to get out of your shell, to get out of your comfort zone because it’s by doing it, that you grow the most.

#29 KNOWING HOW TO COOK WILL SAVE YOUR WALLET AND BODY 

Cooking from scratch healthy meals is the cheapest and healthiest option. In my first year at uni I’ve put on like 3 / 4 kilos

#30 GO IN FRONT!

Do not sit at the back of the lecture because you don’t hear much. You certainly don’t engage as much either. If you sit at the back, you will hear all of the people, all the chitchats. If you are going to your lecturers, at least make sure you understand it fully.

#31 NEVER SET HIGH EXPECTATIONS 

Do not be surprised if you realize that some of your friends are not really your friends. Real friends can literally be counted on one hand, people you can trust. And to actually understand who’s who will take a lot of time. The real friends stick no matter what the situation is and it will hurt to see that some people didn’t.

HOW CAN WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (ONLINE OPPORTUNITY)

I have done my best to keep this website up-to-date. However, not living in Exeter anymore, this can be a challenge. If you are about to move to Exeter and want to get involved with this blog then please do not hesitate to contact me via my Instagram account. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who would like to get into blogging, influencer marketing or just generally gain some experience for their CV. Again, you can contact me for more details on how this may help you!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU

Over the years I have created many guides and checklist that aim to help you save time. Here are a list of them just in case you might miss out on a few:

  1. The Essay Decoder: a resource to help international students understand what is asked in an essay. This resource was given to me by one of Exeter’s top Senior Lecturers.
  2. Do’s & Don’ts at University Guide: a resource that gives you 70+ tips about university life. These recommendations range from social life, to love life, to reputation… I wish I had this guide when starting.
  3. The Ultimate Packing Checklist for both Catered students and Self-Catered students. A resource that aims to help you save time when preparing yourself for University.
  4. My 1st E-Book: a resource that has help me become a boss at Time Management. Moreover, it has also helped me create more time for what I love and get to my goals faster. It is lengthy, however it is arguably the best Time Management piece of research out there.
  5. My Before & After CV Transformation: a resource that has collected my CVs for the past 7 years to help you not only craft a great CV, but to also show you that everyone can start mediocre and grow exponentially.
  6. How To Land a Job Faster Guide: a resource that aims to give you all of the tips and recommendations I have used during my career. This will help you avoid some common mistakes students do when starting off with their job applications.
MY OBJECTIVE IS AND WILL FOREVER BE TO HELP YOU

To conclude, the aim of this website is to help you have the best fresh start at University and with your career. There is nothing that gives me more happiness and joy but to hear your positive feedback on how helpful my content has been. Contact me if you have any feedback for me!

BEST OF LUCK WITH IT ALL!!!!

Uncategorized

TOP TIPS FOR FRESHER’S WEEK

Fresher’s week is one of those events in your life that can either go incredibly well or… incredibly wrong. Sometimes nerves get the best of you and you end up curled up in bed because you can’t seem to get out there and meet new people. I was literally crying the first few days of my fresher’s week as I literally thought I was going to end up with no friends, yet again.

Thankfully, I ended up having a lot of fun. However it was only because I had a strong mindset and did things that most people do not dare to do, such as going to an event alone and randomly starting a conversation with a group of people who can clearly see that you are alone. It takes balls… You can find more about my story in the video below:

Since I do not expect you to do that, I have come up with many videos about fresher’s week and compiled them into this blog post. They are all from different years, time and people therefore this will give you a more well rounded understanding of what kind of tips you should follow! Enjoy!

2016

In 2016 I was excited to start Fresher’s Week as it was going to be my last Fresher’s Week for me! If you want to feel the excitement then check out my 3rd year self speaking about the topic:

2017

One year later I was at the end of my university experience after 4 years, bringing a more mature perspective to the topic:

2018

After graduation, I decided to stay an extra 6 months at University to interview a few students in order to bring more opinions to the table and to my Youtube Channel as I welcome all sorts of POV in the discussion!

Lucky you! There are two videos!

and to finish it off… a nice little vlog!

It wouldn’t be a complete blog post if I didn’t vlog about fresher’s week! You can find more vlogs on my Youtube Channel.

HOW CAN WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (ONLINE OPPORTUNITY)

I have done my best to keep this website up-to-date. However, not living in Exeter anymore, this can be a challenge. If you are about to move to Exeter and want to get involved with this blog then please do not hesitate to contact me via my Instagram account. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who would like to get into blogging, influencer marketing or just generally gain some experience for their CV. Again, you can contact me for more details on how this may help you!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU

Over the years I have created many guides and checklist that aim to help you save time. Here are a list of them just in case you might miss out on a few:

  1. The Essay Decoder: a resource to help international students understand what is asked in an essay. This resource was given to me by one of Exeter’s top Senior Lecturers.
  2. Do’s & Don’ts at University Guide: a resource that gives you 70+ tips about university life. These recommendations range from social life, to love life, to reputation… I wish I had this guide when starting.
  3. The Ultimate Packing Checklist for both Catered students and Self-Catered students. A resource that aims to help you save time when preparing yourself for University.
  4. My 1st E-Book: a resource that has help me become a boss at Time Management. Moreover, it has also helped me create more time for what I love and get to my goals faster. It is lengthy, however it is arguably the best Time Management piece of research out there.
  5. My Before & After CV Transformation: a resource that has collected my CVs for the past 7 years to help you not only craft a great CV, but to also show you that everyone can start mediocre and grow exponentially.
  6. How To Land a Job Faster Guide: a resource that aims to give you all of the tips and recommendations I have used during my career. This will help you avoid some common mistakes students do when starting off with their job applications.
MY OBJECTIVE IS AND WILL FOREVER BE TO HELP YOU

To conclude, the aim of this website is to help you have the best fresh start at University and with your career. There is nothing that gives me more happiness and joy but to hear your positive feedback on how helpful my content has been. Contact me if you have any feedback for me!

BEST OF LUCK WITH IT ALL!!!!

Uncategorized

TOP SECRETS TO HAVE FUN AT EXETER UNIVERSITY

Exeter University is considered like it’s own little bubble. The beautiful campus, the 20,000 students you know directly and indirectly, the unsaid rules you will follow… Over the years, I have been giving my best tips in order to survive Exeter University specifically.

My favorite thing about Exeter was the fact that it was next to Exmouth, one of the beaches in the South West. You can go there when it’s sunny with a group of friends and a few beers.

In this video, you will see one of my first ever clips about Exeter University. On the scale of things it is quite old but some tips never go out of style. I see this as a nice warm up to the upcoming videos.

The video below was made a year later and definitely has a few extra tips you can notice. I definitely recommend watching it despite the weird angle.

If you think that you need extra tips about a particular topic you should not hesitate and contact me here.

To top it all off, I definitely recommend the three golden rules explained in the video below.

Again, it’s one of my oldest video but I just wish every incoming fresher could watch and retain the messages I convey as they were an essential part of my happiness and success at Exeter University.

HOW CAN WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (ONLINE OPPORTUNITY)

I have done my best to keep this website up-to-date. However, not living in Exeter anymore, this can be a challenge. If you are about to move to Exeter and want to get involved with this blog then please do not hesitate to contact me via my Instagram account. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who would like to get into blogging, influencer marketing or just generally gain some experience for their CV. Again, you can contact me for more details on how this may help you!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU

Over the years I have created many guides and checklist that aim to help you save time. Here are a list of them just in case you might miss out on a few:

  1. The Essay Decoder: a resource to help international students understand what is asked in an essay. This resource was given to me by one of Exeter’s top Senior Lecturers.
  2. Do’s & Don’ts at University Guide: a resource that gives you 70+ tips about university life. These recommendations range from social life, to love life, to reputation… I wish I had this guide when starting.
  3. The Ultimate Packing Checklist for both Catered students and Self-Catered students. A resource that aims to help you save time when preparing yourself for University.
  4. My 1st E-Book: a resource that has help me become a boss at Time Management. Moreover, it has also helped me create more time for what I love and get to my goals faster. It is lengthy, however it is arguably the best Time Management piece of research out there.
  5. My Before & After CV Transformation: a resource that has collected my CVs for the past 7 years to help you not only craft a great CV, but to also show you that everyone can start mediocre and grow exponentially.
  6. How To Land a Job Faster Guide: a resource that aims to give you all of the tips and recommendations I have used during my career. This will help you avoid some common mistakes students do when starting off with their job applications.
MY OBJECTIVE IS AND WILL FOREVER BE TO HELP YOU

To conclude, the aim of this website is to help you have the best fresh start at University and with your career. There is nothing that gives me more happiness and joy but to hear your positive feedback on how helpful my content has been. Contact me if you have any feedback for me!

BEST OF LUCK WITH IT ALL!!!!

Uncategorized

STUDYING A UNIVERSITY DEGREE IN THE UK

Studying a University Degree in the UK was precisely what I decided to do back when I was 18! I graduated from Exeter University with a 2.1 in Business & Management. Therefore today I am going to talk about the structure of the degrees and courses in UK Universities!

Three or Four Year Course?

Some universities and courses in the UK like to offer the choice between a 3 or a 4 year course. This means that you can either study three years in a row in your university of choice, or you can decide to take an Erasmus year abroad or a year in Industry, like I did.

An Erasmus year abroad means that travel to a new country, and university, during your 3rd year. On the other side, an Industrial experience means that you take a year out during your 3rd year, to work and get some experience on your CV. You may also decide to do half-half: you can study for 6 months and then you work for another 6. I chose the Industrial Year. I therefore graduated in Business and Management with Industrial Experience with Mandarin Chinese.

Every university functions differently but in my university, I did my first and second year in Exeter, and then I did a third year abroad (I worked in Germany) and then came back to Exeter for my 4th year.

The Marks Of Your Degree

For those who do not know the marking system, this is how it’s divided:

  • 70%< you have a 1st, which is the highest grade;
  • 60%< you have a 2.1, which is the mark that is acceptable to get into all the big companies;
  • 50%< that’s a 2.2 and unfortunately your degree is not worth that much in the eyes of huge multinational companies, unless you are in Oxford or Cambridge. 
  • if you have then anything below 50% is a pass
  • if you have under 40% then you’ve failed
The Credits of Each Year

Now that I’ve explained the marks I am going to explain the credits: every year you have 120 credits and that 120 credits is divided between your modules.

Your modules will be worth either 15 credits (which is the most common one) or 30 credits. If your module is worth 15 credits, it means you are only going to study it over a term. If it’s worth 30 credits, that means it’s going to be spread out on 2 terms.

In universities they say that there are 3 terms but there are actually only 2:

  • from September until end of December
  • from January until end of March

The third one is just for exams and then partying after exams, at least in Exeter.

The Weights of Each Year

Each year has a different weight and coefficient. At the University of Exeter, here is how it goes:

  • during your first year, marks don’t count. Whether you have a first of a pass the marks.
  • 2nd year counts
    • if you do a 3 year course, then it counts 3/7th of your total degree
    • if you do a 4 year course, then it counts for 2/7th of your total degree
  • 3rd year counts
    • if you do a 3 year course, then it counts 4/7th of your total degree
    • if you do a 4 year course, then it counts for 1/7th of your total degree
  • 4th year counts for 4/7th of your total degree
Module choices

The more you progress year by year, the more you will be able to choose your modules.

When you arrive as a fresher, there are lodes of compulsory modules and most of the modules are imposed on you and that is normal because the University acknowledges the fact that most of us do not know what they want to do. The system therefore decides for us and lets us choose around 2 modules.

In second year, there is a bit more freedom and in final year there is substantially more freedom. I had to choose all of my modules except for two of them which were compulsory. The rest was basically me choosing what I wanted to do.

For second and final year, your modules will be chosen during April of the year before. Therefore make sure that you do your research in time so that you get the modules that you want. Unfortunately, it happens to a lot of people that they want to be in a module and that there is just too much demand for that module.

On the other hand, if you think that you made a mistake back in April and you feel that, by talking to other people, you want to change modules, you can. At least in Exeter, you can change your modules up to beginning October. However I strongly recommend doing it September because sometimes they don’t allow particular changes.

The rest of the adventure will highly depend on what university and what course you chose! 

HOW CAN WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (ONLINE OPPORTUNITY)

I have done my best to keep this website up-to-date. However, not living in Exeter anymore, this can be a challenge. If you are about to move to Exeter and want to get involved with this blog then please do not hesitate to contact me via my Instagram account. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who would like to get into blogging, influencer marketing or just generally gain some experience for their CV. Again, you can contact me for more details on how this may help you!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU

Over the years I have created many guides and checklist that aim to help you save time. Here are a list of them just in case you might miss out on a few:

  1. The Essay Decoder: a resource to help international students understand what is asked in an essay. This resource was given to me by one of Exeter’s top Senior Lecturers.
  2. Do’s & Don’ts at University Guide: a resource that gives you 70+ tips about university life. These recommendations range from social life, to love life, to reputation… I wish I had this guide when starting.
  3. The Ultimate Packing Checklist for both Catered students and Self-Catered students. A resource that aims to help you save time when preparing yourself for University.
  4. My 1st E-Book: a resource that has help me become a boss at Time Management. Moreover, it has also helped me create more time for what I love and get to my goals faster. It is lengthy, however it is arguably the best Time Management piece of research out there.
  5. My Before & After CV Transformation: a resource that has collected my CVs for the past 7 years to help you not only craft a great CV, but to also show you that everyone can start mediocre and grow exponentially.
  6. How To Land a Job Faster Guide: a resource that aims to give you all of the tips and recommendations I have used during my career. This will help you avoid some common mistakes students do when starting off with their job applications.
MY OBJECTIVE IS AND WILL FOREVER BE TO HELP YOU

To conclude, the aim of this website is to help you have the best fresh start at University and with your career. There is nothing that gives me more happiness and joy but to hear your positive feedback on how helpful my content has been. Contact me if you have any feedback for me!

BEST OF LUCK WITH IT ALL!!!!

Uncategorized

SELF CATERED OR CATERED ACCOMMODATION?

Choosing between self-catered and catered accommodation has always been a dilemma for incoming students. So much so that I made a few interviews which go through arguments for both sides, my recommendations and a few interviews from people in both catered and self-catered halls.

BOTH SIDES

In this video, I give you arguments for both sides of the medal. I personally never stopped and thought much about accommodation. The only thing I wanted was to be on campus and in a good environment for making friends. Personally, where I lived did not stop me from meeting over 1000 students during my first two years at university.

SELF-CATERED ACCOMMODATION

In this video, the girls definitely recommend self-catered accommodation, going through the good sides of it. Showing you their mentality will help you understand if you relate to their thoughts.

CATERED ACCOMMODATION

In these videos, we go through why the girls chose catered accommodation and what they think about their situation.

 

All in all, if I could go back I would go catered as cooking was the last thing I wanted to do during my fresher’s year and I also had the rest of my University life to be self-catered. Remember that only in your first year you get to live in halls: the rest of your uni years will be shared houses. Since you will have to cook without a doubt in 2nd and 3rd year, why not give the catered life a try? But that’s just me! Hope the videos above gave you a few insights!

HOW CAN WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (ONLINE OPPORTUNITY)

I have done my best to keep this website up-to-date. However, not living in Exeter anymore, this can be a challenge. If you are about to move to Exeter and want to get involved with this blog then please do not hesitate to contact me via this Contact Form or via my Instagram account. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who would like to get into blogging, influencer marketing or just generally gain some experience for their CV. Again, you can contact me for more details on how this may help you!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU

Over the years I have created many guides and checklist that aim to help you save time. Here are a list of them just in case you might miss out on a few:

  1. The Essay Decoder: a resource to help international students understand what is asked in an essay. This resource was given to me by one of Exeter’s top Senior Lecturers.
  2. Do’s & Don’ts at University Guide: a resource that gives you 70+ tips about university life. These recommendations range from social life, to love life, to reputation… I wish I had this guide when starting.
  3. The Ultimate Packing Checklist for both Catered students and Self-Catered students. A resource that aims to help you save time when preparing yourself for University.
  4. My 1st E-Book: a resource that has help me become a boss at Time Management. Moreover, it has also helped me create more time for what I love and get to my goals faster. It is lengthy, however it is arguably the best Time Management piece of research out there.
  5. The Time Management Actionable Sheets: a summary of my E-Book. These sheets have conserved the absolute essential actions you need to take to make the most out of your time. Do not skip any steps!
  6. My Before & After CV Transformation: a resource that has collected my CVs for the past 7 years to help you not only craft a great CV, but to also show you that everyone can start mediocre and grow exponentially.
  7. How To Land a Job Faster Guide: a resource that aims to give you all of the tips and recommendations I have used during my career. This will help you avoid some common mistakes students do when starting off with their job applications.
MY OBJECTIVE IS AND WILL FOREVER BE TO HELP YOU

To conclude, the aim of this website is to help you have the best fresh start at University and with your career. There is nothing that gives me more happiness and joy but to hear your positive feedback on how helpful my content has been. Contact me if you have any feedback for me!

BEST OF LUCK WITH IT ALL!!!!

Much affection,

Francesca Michaud

Uncategorized

RELATIONSHIPS AT UNIVERSITY

Relationships at University was by far the most interesting, soul breaking and exciting part of University. It really spices up your whole uni experience and can also burn you down. However, it is the best way to grow and rise from the ashes like a beautiful phoenix.

I have made quite a few videos about relationships at University. Each one had it’s own purpose but I advise you to check them out!

My Experience

The video below was quite popular on my YouTube Channel as a lot of people enjoyed the details I went through and my honest opinion. I go into details about my first impressions, and each step of my “boy interaction” journey.

Break Up Yay or Nay?

This video is more me blabbing about what I would do if I had a boyfriend or girlfriend while going to University! This takes into account different scenarios, except for the one in which the couple has been in a long distance relationship prior going to University.

Why I wait

In this video I go a bit personal and, if you manage to ignore my red face, you will get deep with me and understand why I like to wait when socializing with guys.

Most girls have an internal debate whether they shouldn’t worry about the labels affecting them if they sleep around or whether they should wait, stop themselves and be picky. I explain my point of view and I hope you can understand that this is my own situation and opinion and shouldn’t be applied to each individual facing these kind of choices.

The Golden Reputation

Finally, in this video I talk about how to live your best life at university without damaging your reputation (if that’s of interest to you). The advice I give has really resonated with most people watching it from my YouTube Channel. I think that it’s because I give different options for different types of individuals.

The reason why I allow myself to make these kind of videos is because, back in the day, I was actually very caught up in these kind of problematics and ended up having the best reputation while doing everything that I wanted to do, without giving people the chance to judge me.

Another Perspective

I just thought I would add a completely different perspective and opinion. I firmly believe that I do not own all the answers and the more variety I can showcase in my blogs the better!

I really hope these videos help! I will probably do more of them in the near future as it’s something I definitely enjoy talking about!

HOW CAN WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (ONLINE OPPORTUNITY)

I have done my best to keep this website up-to-date. However, not living in Exeter anymore, this can be a challenge. If you are about to move to Exeter and want to get involved with this blog then please do not hesitate to contact me via my Instagram account. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who would like to get into blogging, influencer marketing or just generally gain some experience for their CV. Again, you can contact me for more details on how this may help you!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU

Over the years I have created many guides and checklist that aim to help you save time. Here are a list of them just in case you might miss out on a few:

  1. The Essay Decoder: a resource to help international students understand what is asked in an essay. This resource was given to me by one of Exeter’s top Senior Lecturers.
  2. Do’s & Don’ts at University Guide: a resource that gives you 70+ tips about university life. These recommendations range from social life, to love life, to reputation… I wish I had this guide when starting.
  3. The Ultimate Packing Checklist for both Catered students and Self-Catered students. A resource that aims to help you save time when preparing yourself for University.
  4. My 1st E-Book: a resource that has help me become a boss at Time Management. Moreover, it has also helped me create more time for what I love and get to my goals faster. It is lengthy, however it is arguably the best Time Management piece of research out there.
  5. My Before & After CV Transformation: a resource that has collected my CVs for the past 7 years to help you not only craft a great CV, but to also show you that everyone can start mediocre and grow exponentially.
  6. How To Land a Job Faster Guide: a resource that aims to give you all of the tips and recommendations I have used during my career. This will help you avoid some common mistakes students do when starting off with their job applications.
MY OBJECTIVE IS AND WILL FOREVER BE TO HELP YOU

To conclude, the aim of this website is to help you have the best fresh start at University and with your career. There is nothing that gives me more happiness and joy but to hear your positive feedback on how helpful my content has been. Contact me if you have any feedback for me!

BEST OF LUCK WITH IT ALL!!!!

Uncategorized

MY UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE AT EXETER UNIVERSITY

CONTEXT

University has been the light at the end of a dark tunnel my whole entire high-school life. I did not have a lot of friends back then (literally just one…). It was a very hard time for me and it made me want to literally escape to another country.

I chose the UK because of it’s reputation and social life. Whereas in French and Italian universities you can have 8h of lessons per day, in the UK it is very common to only have 10h per week. I needed that freedom of my time in order to focus on the social life I never had. I wanted to give myself the space to understand what I wanted to do with my life.

It is with great confidence that I say that I would do it all over again and fly to Exeter University.

THE BEST DECISION

I needed a fresh start. I needed to be in a place where no one knew me. 

Exeter was my heaven: a beautiful campus that hosted over 20,000 students. There was no way I was not going to meet people and find a community in which I could fit in.

Compared with what I experienced, the parties were 10 times better. Societies really spiced everything up and I truly was never bored. Here below you can find a video I made about a typical day in a life.

THE EVOLUTION

I went from a naive, loveless and demotivated girl to a powerful, confident and successful student. 

In my first year, I had marks that would average 45% and yet I still ended up graduating with a 2.1. I practiced self-love, my standards for guys went higher and I found my motivation. 

My time management skills went from sub 0 to optimal thanks to my first e-book about Time Management. I also got to taste the struggles of mental health and learned how to deal with myself during the dark times.

HACKER LIFE

I am mostly proud of hacking the system. Apparently, to graduate well, you needed to study all the time since day one. I only truly started studying in my third year

With a few hacks in my fourth year, I managed to not only get a very good degree mark, but I also managed to get the Mandarin Chinese title added to my Business and Management course, making me look even more brainy than what I actually was. 

Working smart has also helped me understand more about the application process and I have had many career opportunities that came from my applications during second year for my year in industry.

If all of this wasn’t clear enough, this video below will help you understand everything more clearly!

MISTAKES

I made many mistakes… Too many. Firstly, bossing around my events team, in my second year, taught me leadership. Secondly, failing many project helped me focus on one project at a time and achieve my ambitious goals. I learned that not all the people you consider your friends are your actual friends, and that, to keep good people in your life, you should give and not just expect people to entertain you and deal with your problems. I learned that I didn’t owe anything to anyone, that guys are not allowed to expect anything of me, that I am allowed to change my mind and do what I feel like, not to adapt to their needs and desires.

MY MOTIVATION

I have found my motivation. My first job during my year in industry has lead me to find an activity that gives me life and which I am still working on to this day. A way to escape the “real world” that wants me to work from 8am until 5pm every day so that I can pay the rent and the transport that gets me to that same demeaning job. It gave me fire and the discipline to start something new and disrupt the status quo.

CHARACTERISTICS

Everyone told me that I was going to be cold in the UK. The weather in Exeter was actually not bad at all. We had more sunny days than I was promised (probably global warming) and I was so happy to have the beach right next to Exeter, an hour in the train away. 

Exeter is, however, very expensive. I definitely recommend saving money before joining.

BONUS VLOG

No one:

Me: here is a vlog about my university days and my mistakes with guys.

 

I loved my University experience. Most people go to University to learn study and learn how to adult. I went to the UK because I knew it was one of the only places that would allow me to go to University to learn how to live.

University was a pause. A pause where everything stops and you get to think about your future, try things and discover yourself. I discovered my potential and understood once and for all what I will live by and what I wont. It is time to create the life I desire.

HOW CAN WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER (ONLINE OPPORTUNITY)

I have done my best to keep this website up-to-date. However, not living in Exeter anymore, this can be a challenge. If you are about to move to Exeter and want to get involved with this blog then please do not hesitate to contact me via my Instagram account. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who would like to get into blogging, influencer marketing or just generally gain some experience for their CV. Again, you can contact me for more details on how this may help you!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU

Over the years I have created many guides and checklist that aim to help you save time. Here are a list of them just in case you might miss out on a few:

  1. The Essay Decoder: a resource to help international students understand what is asked in an essay. This resource was given to me by one of Exeter’s top Senior Lecturers.
  2. Do’s & Don’ts at University Guide: a resource that gives you 70+ tips about university life. These recommendations range from social life, to love life, to reputation… I wish I had this guide when starting.
  3. The Ultimate Packing Checklist for both Catered students and Self-Catered students. A resource that aims to help you save time when preparing yourself for University.
  4. My 1st E-Book: a resource that has help me become a boss at Time Management. Moreover, it has also helped me create more time for what I love and get to my goals faster. It is lengthy, however it is arguably the best Time Management piece of research out there.
  5. My Before & After CV Transformation: a resource that has collected my CVs for the past 7 years to help you not only craft a great CV, but to also show you that everyone can start mediocre and grow exponentially.
  6. How To Land a Job Faster Guide: a resource that aims to give you all of the tips and recommendations I have used during my career. This will help you avoid some common mistakes students do when starting off with their job applications.
MY OBJECTIVE IS AND WILL FOREVER BE TO HELP YOU

To conclude, the aim of this website is to help you have the best fresh start at University and with your career. There is nothing that gives me more happiness and joy but to hear your positive feedback on how helpful my content has been. Contact me if you have any feedback for me!

BEST OF LUCK WITH IT ALL!!!!