Presenting my presentation skills?

On Wednesday I did some work for university, well, sort of for the university and it was sort of scary. A lot of my posts are about me being introverted and so I signed up for ‘revision skills’ presentations to get out of my comfort zone. I’m a student ambassador at university and signed up for a program within student ambassadors which is run with another university nearby where we go to schools and colleges (sixth form) and promote higher education to the pupils, sometimes as young as year 8. One of the newer things is going to visit year 11’s in schools and talk about revision.

To be honest, I’m not very good at presentations, the last presentation I did was in first year about a virtual fund and why we invested in the companies that we did and I had virtually no knowledge on the finance industry. I survived that and I have no idea how, but I put it down to my first year ‘syndrome’ where I signed up for everything and anything and did things that I wouldn’t normally do. I went to a finance conference with nobody I knew except for one person. By the end of that weekend I had made a dozen friends from universities across the country so that was great. I wonder if getting older has made me do less reckless things? I’ll have to try and find some crazy things to do.

On Wednesday I was nervous (but not so much that I wanted to be sick) and fortunately one of the staff members was with me so he did a lot of the talking which was a relief. I did most of the talking about revision strategies as I’m still at uni whilst the staff member graduated 6 years ago so he doesn’t have to do any revision anymore. Lucky. There were meant to be 3 ambassadors but 2 dropped out so it was just me and the staff member as he didn’t want me to do the presentation by myself, in front of nearly 200 year 11’s, which I’m grateful for. I didn’t do too badly, if I say so myself, I did stumble a few times and started talking really quickly but hopefully I’ll get better as I do more of them. It wasn’t too bad for my first presentation and I know what to do for the future ones, and hopefully this’ll help in the future. If I can get through a presentation about revision of all things to a group of year 11’s, normal presentations should eventually become easier, right?

Step one of attempting to be more extroverted – check.

Just have to make a step two…

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Musings or complaints?

I got two job rejections yesterday. That shouldn’t be so surprising to me nowadays but it still makes me really upset. One was because I can’t do group interviews. I just freak out and nerves take over and someone who’s more talkative ends up going through to the next round even if I could be a better worker :/ Any tips for getting better at that?

I spent a lot of this morning reading articles/blogs on LinkedIn and some of them are inspiring, or they’re informative. The ones I think are funny (or strange? annoying?) are the ones about candidates and recruiters. One said that it’s a candidate’s market and they can choose a job, and that recruiters had to cater to them. I have seen nothing of that sort. At all. Maybe that’s just how it is in the UK? Sometimes I feel like recruiters here don’t understand candidates, or maybe vice versa or even both? I know what recruiters want, and most of the time the thing I don’t have is usually speaking up in a group exercise (is that a quantifiable thing?) or knowledge/passion for the company. If a candidate makes >100 applications, what are the chances that they actually want to work for you? We’ve been told to only apply to a few places and then you can do those applications really well, but what if they all backfire? Then you’ve only applied to a few jobs and have nothing else. It’ll feel like you’ve wasted a lot of time and energy, especially when you really do want to work for a particular company and they don’t take you past the first round. Maybe there is something wrong with you as a candidate, but it doesn’t make anyone feel any better when an employer turns them down after spending hours on the application. They take a few minutes, possibly less to read and make a decision and I know they have lots of applications to go through, but I feel like it’s a tall order to be asking for so much from an applicant who has so many other things to be doing (university work, paid work, volunteering, sports, societies…).

Another thing is that we have to plan for the future. Right now. At this very second that I’m typing this out. It’s really interesting when I tell people I’m final year and am not quite sure what I want to do yet. They give me this funny look, as if to say, well what have you been doing for the past few years? I’ve done a fair bit of stuff, thank you very much. I even read a blog by the careers service at my uni which said that you don’t have to know what you want to do just yet…and yet whenever you tell someone that they think you’re crazy. Please pick a side! How can they call us indecisive when they can’t decide if having a plan is good or not? When I started uni I wanted to be a banker. I joined the trading and investment society, made my way onto the committee and got a spring week in a bank. That opened my eyes to banking. I didn’t particularly like the people. The work was fine, the people not so much. I decided banking wasn’t for me and turned to finance. Tax, more specifically because I’m methodical and detail-orientated and like to know the really boring (not to me) and smallest details of everything. I need to know how things work and how to get around things. I don’t even know if I want to do that anymore. I want to travel, teach English and just live somewhere else for awhile. I spent the summer working in hospitality, I probably couldn’t do that for the rest of my life but who knows? I’m good at hospitality, I know what the guest/customer wants and I know how to get it to them. A lot of people I’ve met shouldn’t be in hospitality, or just customer service. Sure, I may not be too confident in a group situation but at the end of it, I could be better with the client than them because I know how to take a step back and let the client speak and actually listen to their concerns. I’m a good listener. I think. I listen to my friends, my younger sister, my parents, kids I tutor, people at uni, people at work. I listen to everything and everyone, but there’s no job like that, unfortunately (I suppose a therapist is the closest?). I attempt to retain everything too, I’ve had to pretend many times that I’ve just met someone when I actually met them a year ago at some uni thing which they forgot but I didn’t. Is that creepy? I don’t think so…I just like to remember the people I meet and how I met them. Especially if I’ve met them a few times and they still don’t remember me. Maybe that’s the world trying to tell me that I need to change? Is it me that’s the problem?

I’m thinking too much about this, I have so much uni work to do and yet I spend a lot of time just thinking. Ah, if only I could spend all my time thinking about maths :/