I am a Graduate.

It has been a world-wind of time these last eight weeks, late last month I sat in the library of Huddersfield University for the final time, nervously awaiting my final results. During those final few minutes as I watched the clock tick to 9am it felt as though my past four years at University flashed before my eyes, there was so much I would change, but it’s too late now, all I can hope is that I had done enough to secure that 2:1 that I never imagined would be possible.

9am came, and I had done enough. A surreal day to say the least, and an achievement that would stay with me for the rest of my life. 

While I applied for many graduate positions back in September – December, I had yet fully to decide between further education or a graduate position, six months down the line it seems neither have been achievable as of yet. I am currently working flexible hours in a part time chat moderation position in order to pay the bills while looking for my next step whatever that maybe. 

On Wednesday the 16th July 2014 I graduated, with a 2:1 in BA Computing in Business (Hons) that day marked two things in my life. The end to a painful and torturous four years of further education, and the start of the rest of my life.

Graduation Day

WWDC…

My friend and I religiously get together for every Apple WWDC, have done for years now. Both Apple buff’s we were excited to see what this years WWDC would bring… Hopes included;

An iPhone 6 with NFC capabilities, wireless charging (to get around the European law in regards to the Micro charger starting in 2015), along with an impressive new battery, and front and back facing camera capabilities.

An iWatch, a market that Apple are seriously going to miss out on should they not get their act together especially when you take a look at the both practical and stylish Moto 360.

Along with the standard upgrades on an iPad (with expected finger print unlock) and an upgrade on the Apple TV including bringing iTunes Radio to the UK.

So after the event to say I was disappointed wouldn’t even cover it. Basic software updates for the iPhone, iPad and Mac basically taking what they could from Snapchat & Dropbox while throwing in things such as mirroring and texting through iMessage which are cool sure, but there a whole lot cooler when you have a fine piece of hardware to do them on.

 

This WWDC only added fuel to my fire in the argument that Apple is a dying brand, and trust me it pains me to say such a thing, but its true. Samsung is making substantial gains on the mobile market and has seriously been able to implement cutting edge technology into it’s products something which Apple was able to achieve with the iPhone three or four years ago now. Instead I am left wondering if Apple is going to become another Blackberry… Which is a terrifying thought. Tim Cook it’s up to you.

Life after eBay…

So it’s been a while, right.

This time last week I was sitting my last exam, and little did I know exactly one week later I would be a wondering unemployed mess. Having been in education for over eighteen years, when the time eventually comes for you to go out and get that job, it’s sudden as one of my friends put it. Despite the fact you know it’s coming, all your really working towards is that freedom after your last exam. Well when the euphoria of that last exam has been and gone, what your left with is the sudden realisation that you have no plan, no income and well, in my case nothing.

When my credit card bill goes out at the end of the month I will be £400 from maxing my current account overdraft of a whopping £1,400… Sure I have savings, lots of savings, but there savings, I’ve never been into them and I don’t want to start, because I’m worried about when I will stop… So to raise some extra cash I turned to eBay to sell some old course books and other bits that I had lying around the house that were an easy £20 or so… Having listed a few items I was greeted with an inbox message, which (in much more simple terms than they put it) explained that I had not previously met the previous selling regulations and would no longer be allowed to sell on eBay.

Confused by this message I turned to their ‘live chat’ service to get some clarification, I explained politely about my situation and how I used to list a lot on eBay but due to personal circumstances & living arrangements I stopped as I was unable to meet my duties as a seller, what the person behind the other computer went onto explain is that this is now a life ban, and should I of listed more and increased my average detailed seller ratings by just a small percentage then I would have been allowed to continue selling on eBay but it’s too late now. Over 2000 feedback, 2 years of work, all gone. Of course they had the cheek to say I could continue buying there, but of course on basic principle I am going to be getting my goods from elsewhere.

I Googled around on the topic, and it turns out it’s not just me, many other highly rated eBay sellers have been removed for a very small glitch in which they have been able to meet all of their orders expectations, but to me that’s just life, it shows there is a human behind that computer, and it is a very small amount of time / orders that are affected in the scheme of things. 

So what’s next, well eBay I’d watch out because with your ridiculous fee’s I do think people are going to be shifting away from the site to sell their more general non-specific goods, instead I am now selling on the following sites;

- Esty (Takes just 3.5% fee’s, really cute site for homemade goods, vintage items and crafts)
- Facebook (There are both local and topic specific selling groups that have been set up on eBay and charge no fee’s!!!)
- Amazon Marketplace (I’m not the biggest fan but it’s perfect for what Amazon was designed for – selling books)

And for Lego specific items I continue to use Bricklink & Brickowl, you can find my Bricklink store here: http://www.corascreations.co.uk

 

In the meantime, adios!!

The Fear of Self Employed

I’m under two weeks away from finishing University forever, and it’s safe to say right now I have as much of an idea as to what I want to do as I did four years ago… Which isn’t much… However reality has hit, I need to grow up, start earning a living.

When I was 16 I auditioned for multiple TV roles, I always wanted to be an actress no two days the same I swore that I would never become someone in an office, that just wasn’t someone I could be. I remember the day I went for my final audition vividly, at which I swore that if I didn’t get the role I would give up acting for good and move onto something I was good at, that would make me a decent living, that was a career in IT.

Safe to say from where I am now, you know what happened in that final audition, and recently it’s felt like that day all over again torn between doing what I love, being self-employed, working for myself, making a living that I enjoy, and the reality of earning a safe, steady income, one which can get me straight on the property ladder, but not one that will necessarily make me happy. 

Over the summer I hope I can find the balance, the sooner the better because with the final student loan payment came the sense of fear that I have no source of income now, any money that goes out of my account isn’t going back in.

Houses.

I’ve been quite quiet. I know. The truth is… Im not even sure what I’ve been doing with my time recently, Easter always seems to be the strangest time of year for me. The start of Summer, with bank holidays galore my social life seems to explode, and with the fear that I actually have to grow up and get a job and have responsibilities soon, the social explosion has been bigger than ever.

One thing I have been doing during my time away is looking at houses… My whole ‘post university’ life seems to change every other day, from travelling, to working for myself, to getting a job, to getting a house, I just can’t seem to find out what I actually want to do. Probably because I want to do it all, and I want to do it all now, but of course that’s impossible… 

So this week it’s been houses… I moved back home at 14 months ago, having broken up with my partner before that I’d not lived at home for three years, and it’s safe to say I really didn’t imagine that I would of been here quite so long, and before now I’ve never had to look for my own place, and to be honest I didn’t realise the amount of time and effort that has to go into such a thing. I need somewhere at the right price, in the right location, with parking… Then theres viewings… Trailing all over the place to view somewhere that looks nothing like it did on the photos… So I’m going to have to go, but in the meantime I will be sure to try and keep you updated on the hunt. 

OkCupid’s brave actions to highlight Mozilla CEO’s narrow views.

It’s been a while since my last post, and since then I’ve really been trying to think of something new, and most importantly worthwhile to talk about here. Now although this story concluded about a week ago, I want to highlight some fantastic ethical judgement of one company – in this case OkCupid, that made me really happy.

This story began with Mozilla’s relatively new CEO Brendan Eich donating $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign to end same-sex marriage in California.

Upon hearing this OkCupid decided to act, those visiting the site through Mozilla Firefox would be told that they were unable to access the site from the browser, due to the actions of Eich, and asked users to change browsers in order to access the site.

A very risky move, with potential to loose potential customers unwilling to change browsers or a smart one that brought fantastic publicity to the site. Well regardless of your views, or theirs in the reason in which they did it I for one am happy they did. Bringing awareness to this, led Eich to resign after just a few months as CEO. With OkCupid releasing the following statement “If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal.”

Now my personal views aside why exactly did OkCupid pull the trigger on this risky campaign, well with 16% of all internet users using Firefox therefore approximately 16% of all site visits coming from the browser first and foremost the power of publicity was likely to overweigh that of customer loss.

Secondly, how many of those 16% have another internet browser installed on their computer… exactly!
Therefore how many were likely to go to the effort to change browsers to visit the site… I’d say 50% plus as a guess..

Finally, the relevance of this campaign makes it all the more powerful. Had Eich donated to another campaign irrelevant to that of love then OkCupid would have had very little reason in changing their browser status, however love is what OkCupid do! and therefore the relevance of Eich’s actions made the impact of OkCupid’s execution all the more powerful.

It’s Over.

So for those of you who follow me on Twitter you will know that yesterday I finished the last of my university assignments. With only three exams and my dissertation to go, the end is nigh and it’s safe to say it feels very surreal. Four years of hard work, and submitting those last few assignments I realised there was very little else I could do to change my grade, a grade that in return could change my life.

So what’s next…

7th May – Dissertation Submission

8th May – E-Commerce Exam

12th May – Systems Strategy Exam

13th May – Strategic Management Exam

27th June – Results Day

16th July – Graduation

 

As it stands, when the 16th July does role around I have nothing, no plans for the first time in my entire life. As children we go to nursery, then primary school then high-school, with many of us going on to college or sixth form, and then others choosing to go to University. Now I am at the end of all that education, and I’m an adult with at least some life experience I wanted to take that freedom and make the most of it.

So… I’m going travelling.

A few old high-school friends just headed out to South East Asia for 6 months, and come the 18th July I will be heading out and meeting them to do the same. Well… Not exactly, I am just ‘going with the flow’ heading east I’m looking to visit Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, then up to Hong Kong, maybe a little bit of China (however I am unsure having previously done a seventeen day tour of China back in 2008) then Tokyo, New Zealand, Australia (Where I would like to spend sometime, perhaps get a working visa and stay for a few months maybe even the full twelve, who knows) then Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and up into America where I am looking to visit a lengthy number of states, then Canada and back home. While that’s the plan / the dream who know’s how far I’ll make it before ‘something comes up’.

When I was concerned about getting behind in the ‘rat race’ of graduate employment a good friend of mine said when your forty what will you regret more, not joining the rat race, or not travelling the world. Another said how she would “love to do that”. Both made me realise something. We all have the chance to take life into our own hands, it’s actually having the guts to go through with the experience that makes us believe that we can’t.

Let’s hope in twelve months time I’ll be blogging from some amazing location, whether it be a beach, a rainforest, or a squat.
With even more life experience and stories to tell.