The first tip I want to share is about how to get your finances in order. I remember as soon as I was old enough to have a bank account my Mum took me to Natwest and I put all my savings into an account. When I went to University I suddenly had completely different needs to my weekly pocket money! Luckily, Natwest has a really good Student Account so I signed up and want to share my experience getting through those tough financial years!
I’m all about freebies and benefits so I really loved having the account and took full advantage of what you get with it. The biggest benefit to me was the overdraft. I didn’t even understand what this was until I had this account. Basically it’s an arranged amount of money that you can use, interest free, that in time you can pay back. It’s a really good safety net between bills going out and money coming in, or during those terms where things got a lot more expensive! You can apply for up to £500 in Term 1 and up to £2000 after that. So it makes a huge difference. It’s so easy to apply for this account online, and it really helped me going into the branch and talking to someone about the amount I had coming in and what would be a sensible overdraft to have. Then when I left University, I chipped away paying it back and it didn’t cost me a thing.
You also get a Coach Card so things like 1/3 off standard adult coach fares in the UK with National Express and 10% off coach fares to places in Europe with Euroline. Oh and my personal favourite, 10% off travel to festivals in the UK for when you need to let your hair down after all the exams! I do everything on my phone so you also get online and mobile banking. Something I use a lot now is paying people using just a mobile number which is really good for paying mates you owe money to or paying your landlord! You can also transfer money between accounts using your app which is really handy if you’re out and about and need access to money quickly! You can also set up texts to tell you when you’re close to limits so you don’t have to worry that you’ll accidently go over. Getting your finances in order is really important and it can be quite daunting, so make sure you check out the Natwest Student Account here http://goo.gl/pwP9wV.
So with your money in order, now it’s time to find a job! When I left University I applied for as much work experience as possible and this really helped me build up my CV. I had a part-time waitress job to get me through, so be prepared to work doing something completely different whilst you get the experience you need elsewhere. I had a journalism degree, so I applied to every newsroom and offered to do absolutely anything and work every shift no one wanted to! In time, my experience and contacts built up, so I applied for about 50 junior positions from researchers to runners, and I finally landed my first job in London! Those first six months were key, and I would advise you to put your social plans on hold and just to work as hard as you can and meet as many contacts as you can because it really pays off.
Finally, do something you enjoy. I hit a real low when I left University because so many of my job applications were rejected. I found that when I went to companies and roles within them that really suited me, I was so much more productive and also so much happier. Don’t be afraid of being knocked back, it happens to everyone, and it’s really good life experience that will make you stronger.
So whether you’re just about to start uni, are halfway through your exams or are ready to carve your career after leaving, I’m wishing you all the best of luck and really hope this helps! So I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes “Good things don’t come to those who wait, they come to those who work really hard and never give up”
- sponsored by Natwest