Monthly Archives: July 2014

My Last Blog and VIVA by Alana Finn

Alana Finn
Throughout my two years at CEIL, I’ve been a part of the CEIL Social Media team- in order to battle my objective. My main weaknesses were that I lack confidence in myself and that I was shy around people and often wouldn’t talk to anyone. From everything I’ve done in CEIL, I feel as if I’ve overcome these.
Because of my weaknesses I had trouble talking to people and I slowly overcame these. Saying it was hard is an understatement; I couldn’t talk to groups of 4 to 5 but I couldn’t really talk 1 to 1. It was difficult but with the help of the team, I began talking visitors on tours. Sometimes it didn’t go well and I felt many time I could have left but I wanted to get better. I wanted defeat my demons.
However, some opportunities such as the SLT talk didn’t go as I wanted because I wasn’t organised enough, allowing me to learn that I need to prepare. Even though something’s don’t go as planned I know that I can learn and develop from mistakes, using them as influence for future opportunities. And I can always do better next time.
Recently I’ve attended interviews for university, and although I was nervous I managed to impress them enough to get conditional offers.
As I’ve improved my confidence, I found it easier to get new opportunities that allow me to develop my skills. Some on these have also helped me with my schoolwork, so I’ll be one step ahead in university. Although I still have some trouble with confidence, I’ve got better and feel like I can do the best I can.
The CEIL blog also allowed me to develop my communication skills as I had to arrange meetings with our professional blogger and interns, then checking back with the CEIL to see if the space and laptops would be free. I feel that becoming the social media team’s leader in my second year as it helped me understand that I do have skills that are desired able for leadership. I used these skills when our art class began the set up for the exhibition.
I would often use my Centre Management time to organise, write blogs and post them. Therefore I was able to use my time effectively. Doing simple tasks that all interns do, such as answering the phone, as helped me with my confidence.
I wish that I’d learnt to take every opportunity when I can. I didn’t apply for a scholarship and really feel that I should have but the idea that I would fail held me back.
I am so grateful for everything CEIL has offered me and wish I could do it all again- even the low points.

CEIL by Enrico Bernardi

Enrico Bernardi
I have been in the CEIL for about 9 weeks now, and I have nothing but positive opinions about the place and the people in it. Firstly the building is great it’s clean, neat, organised, has somewhat modern design and has a business yet relaxing atmosphere that allows you to work on centre management and study with comfort, there are also laptops the can be used (within CEIL) for whatever reasonable needs you have, for instance researching universities to apply to. Being an intern in CEIL and doing centre management allows you to gain a wide range of skills that will give you the upper hand for getting a job as it gives you first-hand experience in many aspects, you just need to incorporate them into your CV. Secondly the people running the place Lynn, Penny and Marcel and great people, there kind, energetic, understanding, funny and helpful, especially since they help tackle your weaknesses that might stop you from getting a good job, e.g. lack of communication skill, by putting you in an atmosphere where you will have to use that skill one way or another, e.g. by being a leader of a team so you would have to communicate, which might sound like it would be putting you out of your ‘comfort zone’ but it’s a quick and effective way to make progress to increases your chances of getting the job out of all the other competitors and make you stand out more to the interviewer. Last but not least, all of the other interns are great people, they are all friendly and kind when you get to know them which makes the atmosphere of the CEIL a more comfortable and joyful place, there are also a couple of board games present in the CEIL to have some competitive fun against your friends, old and new, which is great to keep you entertained during your free periods and a good way to exercise your brain.

Why I Joined CEIL and How it Fulfils my needs by James Burgess

James Burgess
Initially I joined the CEIL because I saw it as a great opportunity to improve my employability. I felt like I had reached a point where I relied too heavily on my grades alone and actually I needed a back-up plan if they didn’t go as I wanted them to. I also thought of it as something to talk about on my CV. Most importantly I wanted to have an advantage over other candidates because it was becoming increasingly apparent to me that the workplace is getting more and more competitive and I need to give myself an upper hand over other job applicants.
During my first few centre managements sessions I was tasked with reading articles about the importance of attaining a scholarship and how it affects your job prospects after University. I then started to realise that actually the CEIL is a lot more valuable than I first thought it was. It is crucial in enabling me to achieve a scholarship and this would be virtually impossible if I hadn’t become a member. I read that for every graduate vacancy there are 85 applicants and this number is likely to exceed 160 by the time I finish university. The number of graduates without work experience finding a job directly relating to their degree is significantly low time. If a candidate is able to acquire some form of experience in the workplace, it can often be considered by employers more highly than good grades. There have been cases where employers have actually said that they have avoided candidates who purely have good grades because they often show a considerable lack of the ‘soft skills’ that are essential in the workplace.
The CEIL fulfils my needs my developing me as an individual by preparing me for the ‘adult world’, where competition for jobs is at an all-time high. It focuses on my weaknesses and works with me to rectify these so that over time I become a well-rounded candidate. This process leaves me with relevant experience whereby I am able to organise and take part in meetings, conduct tours of the CEIL, act as part of a video conferencing team and even apply for a scholarship. These opportunities wouldn’t be available to me without the CEIL and I strongly believe that they will be vital for me when applying for jobs, particularly after I have finished University.

My CEIL Experience by Shannon Kinnersely

Shannon Kinnersley
The most important aspect of the CEIL is that it is different for everybody, it is a personal experience. This is my CEIL journey, how it has benefited me and why I believe it is important.
Since joining the Ceil over a year ago, I have developed as a person in many ways. I am more grown up in the sense that not only have I aged… but I can deal with more difficult situations than I could before. Also the set of skills I can offer as an employee has improved significantly. I am more professionally aware, which has helped me in my current job and I hope it can help me in the future. I found this transition hard because in order to become better at some of my chosen skills, I had to be put into situations I wasn’t comfortable. For example, I used to dislike talking to large groups of people, leading or communicating with people I didn’t know, but by taking opportunities such as talking to groups of year 11’s, meeting visitors at the CEIL and teaching other students about the CEIL helped me overcome my fears.
Furthermore, Marcel has helped me identify my skills set and allocate tasks which suited me. He is also an excellent judge of character, and had me sussed from the start. Unbeknown to me, I had the can’t do attitude. Marcel helped me to recognise this attitude and that I was very negative towards new things (opportunities and responsibilities) and from his help and tasks this year I have turned into more of a ‘Yes-man’ (or ‘yes woman’….if you like).
I am more successful because of the help of the CEIL, driving me to achieve my goals and understanding their importance/relativity. Working closely with Penny and Lynn has been a key part of the process, as they both have helped me recognise and deal with my issues and praised me when I have been successful. They have really helped me to understand my problems and how to solve them.

For all the opportunities I have had with the CEIL, I am very grateful and would love to stay another year!

My Time in CEIL by Rhys Goodwin

Rhys Goodwin
I joined the CEIL late in January, this was solely because I wanted to settle into and get a feel for my A-levels before I started anything else that’s new. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself and end up having too much work on my hands. The first 6 weeks in the CEIL I spent getting used to the place, knowing where everything is, knowing what to do on CM and getting used to working in more of a ‘work’ environment. After the first 6 weeks I had my first 1:1 with Marcel who gave me a set of objectives for my time in the CEIL. The CEIL has helped me relax and have the ability to concentrate a lot more on independent study rather than talking about irrelevant subjects e.g. football! I have greatly enjoyed my time in the CEIL so far and have full intentions of staying on next year so that I can be as competitive as possible when it comes to applying for jobs.

Starting Year 13 and CEIL by Ben Corben

Ben Corbin_JPG
Starting Year 13, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad nervous. Like most, I’m not entirely sure what I’m in for, or what I’m going to be doing, especially with University just around the corner. Many have the subjects they like, and have one they want to drop, maybe not.

Yet another thing to consider, of course, is the CEIL, and what can it do for you next year. It’s done a huge amount for me this year, helping me tackle my lack of motivation, helping me to write me CV etc. We all have had the chance to sit in on lectures, businesses coming in and talking about their industry, not just the interns. The Samuel Mico scholarships will be taking their placements soon, and next year we’ll have a new set of interns.

Ultimately it is a personal choice, you do what you want to; if you want to tackle your worst weakness then the CEIL will try and help you, if you want to be more well-rounded on your CV, they’ll help with that too.

So, the CEIL can do a lot for me, it can do a lot for anyone. Really though, it’s more of a question of what can you do for yourself?

Personal Statement and UCAS by Levente Nagy

Levente Nagy
The school term is coming to an end now and I have finished my Year 12 Centre Management projects. It is also now time to start applications for universities and we have begun to piece together our personal statements.
In a tutor-supervised session, we were given 3 hours to make something of ourselves and get to a relatively acceptable point of our personal statements and to have a fairly good idea of what it is going to look like.
As I looked around the class, quite a few people seemed to struggle with material to put into their Personal Statement, because they have simply not taken their chances and grabbed opportunities that came their way. I on the other hand, was off writing about the CEIL and how much work I’ve done here and what it’s done for me. This is where I really realised that it was an excellent and wise choice to have joined the CEIL.
I began writing about my very first reason for joining – failing to get a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship and then talked about what the CEIL aims to do and how it’s personally helped me, and before I realised, I had a fairly good sized paragraph shaped up, before I even started talking about what my projects were and what skills I’ve gained from them. And this really picked up my personal statement.
My CEIL section is THE perfect mid-part of the statement, as I have placed it just after my school work, and just before my part time job. It is a fantastic link because the CEIL still involves work and professionalism like a part time job, but still within the school walls so that it’s easily accessible to anyone willing to commit to it.
Excuse the cliché, but it really did “bridge the gap” between education and employment, and so it could for anyone else.

My First Year in CEIL By Luke Maddison

Luke Maddison
Approaching the end of my first year as an associate intern in the CEIL, I can reflect on how far the CEIL has brought me since the start of my time here. When I joined in September 2013, I had no idea what to expect from the CEIL. During my first centre management, Lynn and Penny outlined all the various paperwork to assess our own opinions on our current skills and weaknesses, and explained the structure of the CEIL.

After six weeks of CEIL, I had my first one-on-one with Marcel (he isn’t as mad as he makes out to be). He talked me through his own opinions on my strengths and weaknesses, and discussed them with me. Afterwards, he assigns a project, with the aim of developing your weaknesses to make you more employable. My project is to assist Karam Hayre in the research of the importance of the CEIL with regard to students employability.

I have been working on this project for around 5 months now, and through this time I have developed my team working, communication skills, research ability and my ability to scan a document and pick out the important features.

The main thing I have gained from my time in the CEIL is the opportunities to talk about at university interviews – universities are looking for more than grades, and the CEIL, through projects and the like, develops and helps you to understand your individuality, which is essential for interviews and selling yourself in the future.

Universities and future employers are looking for the best people for their course/job – CEIL helps you to become the best you can be, and gives you a huge advantage over the other applicants.

My Story as an Intern in CEIL so far by Joe Broom

Joseph Broom
I believe that the CEIL has really helped me to improve on skills that will help me on my professional journey. When I started as an Intern back in September 2013, I wanted to improve on my current issues and also gain new skills which would enable me to grasp any available jobs. One of the things that I first learnt was how to correctly write a professional C.V. This included, writing it using a third party format, prioritising which achievements I had were essential enough and appropriate to include, talk about my hobbies and interests using formal vocabulary and how they could help me in the job in one way or another and using my key skills to my advantage when explaining why I am suitable for the job.
I also believe that the CEIL has assisted me in trying to have more confidence when it comes to taking to an audience, especially on the spot. One way in which the CEIL helped me to overcome that particular weakness of mine was to get me to explain to external students what the principal of the CEIL is as well as its benefits. However, I and a fellow intern were unaware that I had to do this until ten minutes prior to the arrival of the students. So like being thrown into a deep pool not knowing how to swim, I had to figure out for myself how to do well on this task. Now as harsh as it might seem, I feel that it really did help me to think and talk on the spot effectively, making sure the information I was giving was clear and understandable to the audience. As a result of speaking to those external students, I now feel much more confident to speak to an audience clearly and in an understandable way.
So in short, the CEIL has helped me in many ways, and I hope that it will continue to do so in the future. It has been a privilege to be a member of the CEIL so far and I am sure all those who choose to join the CEIL will have no regrets about it, just as I did

My First Year In CEIL by Quianna Maw

Quianna Maw

I joined the CEIL after helping out at the achievement show teacher training day. I was helping in the room that Marcel was giving his presentation to. I joined because I wanted my CV to be the best it can be, so that I have a chance at having the career I want the most. However, even though I have only been here a short time, the CEIL has done a lot more than I expected it to; which has surprised me. Throughout Year 11, I found that the pressure that I put under myself, to be the best I can possibly be, and get amazing results, hard to deal with. So, I wanted to make sure that this year was different. I wasn’t sure how to do this until Marcel recruited me at the achievement show. The CEIL make you look at your professional skills, and your professional weaknesses. You then get a project to help you tackle these weaknesses. This is the hard part; however is the part where the results come from. My project was to be a co-leader of the reporter’s team, to tackle my weaker skills of confidence and self-belief. At first, I found this very difficult, and waited for people to give me instructions. This led to me getting nothing done because it was not other people’s job to tell me what to do. I had to use my initiative. After Marcel having to point this out in one of our 1 to 1’s, I made a change and took charge of my future. I wanted to prove people wrong, and show them that I can take charge and get things done. So that’s what I did. I’m glad I did that, as now I’ve been offered to be a resident intern, which I am proud of, as I get to have more responsibility and work towards my career. Not only have I felt a big improvement in my confidence, but I have gained skills in leadership, and taking my own initiative; it also helped me through exam season as I learnt how to deal with pressure. The CEIL has given me the extra push I needed to become my own person, and is continuing to do so. It is hard work, but it gets results, and has shown me that I have more grit than I thought possible.