GUEST POST – Marketing and Advertising Undergraduate Irina Teti shares her first hand experience of life as a student in the digital age!..

When it comes to students there is no time to breathe.

We’re all in a rush, drowning in deadlines, struggling, running around. Nearly two thirds of us are working part-time and studying full-time, but having no-time. It’s the simple course of events: we start university thinking we know what time management is and then we leave with completely different settings. It’s the path that we must take to get ready and jump into the workplace. But how many of us land on our feet? We must take the opportunity to practice before jumping, test our abilities and demonstrate our talents, we must already have the ability to venture into our workplace before the course of studies is finished.

In other words we must ensure experience, but how do we create experience if before working we’re stuck with studying?

Some of us manage to get experience during their part-time job adventures, but most of us are working around administrative, bartenders, and shop assistants positions. Nothing to take away from working in pubs, that from personal experience as well as being a lot of fun helps us to develop key skills including team-working, stress management, multi-tasking ability, tasks organisation, prompt-ness and quickness among others.

Furthermore, each of us already owns an individual innate skills/abilities set which is not to be taken for granted. We all have passions, hobbies and a number of skills that we have developed over the years, maybe facing situations that have nothing to do with work but that particularly affect our approaches to it. We have stories, and they are unique – and we think that no one cares but someone does. Small and medium enterprises are seeking those stories and capabilities that come with it. They are looking for our uniqueness.

Skills Hive is the network that connects us with these companies to create mutual help and satisfaction between the two parties. The awareness of Skills Hive, how it works and how useful it is for us is rising among students but it’s not enough yet. Even my awareness was not enough when creating my profile, nevertheless I got work! And it’s not about getting a job, because we are in London and that’s usually quite easy; it’s about getting a range of flexible roles which will build up my experience combining my natural aptitudes (that in the first place I had to present, refine and promote) with some of the aspects of what I am studying.

I’m a marketing student at University of Greenwich and I am way too busy; I will have to deal with many of the aspects of the subject, that for those who don’t know are promotions, advertising, public relations, human resources, research and everything that revolves around communication. I created my profile in the first year without knowing much about it apart from I had to write about me. To describe myself and what are the characteristics I have and no one else does, to say why a business should seek to have me. And I’ve done that, I branded myself as a student which is learning about customers and their (alcoholic!) needs in a pub but as a photographer as well.

Irina working for Photo4Me.com

Irina provides flexible customer service resource to photo4me.com between lectures at University of Greenwich

I’m currently providing support as a flexible worker in customer service for Photo4me, a company which sells wall art and that allows me to bring my passion for photography into my role and to learn some backstage insights that will be very useful when looking for a full-time job. Skills Hive is structured around a system of tasks proposed by companies to students and freelancers, who can implement the activities. Tasks make work flexible, short-term but also repeatable, giving us the opportunity to earn on personal and material level.

Skills Hive won’t chain us to a commitment that would be impossible to squeeze into our already-too-short-days. It leaves us being bright yellow bees, flying (solo or in a team) from one flower to another, in some kind of symbiotic relationship; the only thing to be squeezed will be tasty honey into our tea!