You must be hard working and be self motivated, but you have always got to try. My main advice is to be willing... Willing to try, willing to meet people, willing to unlock opportunities, and willing to succeed.
Tell Us About
I'm Rebecca Bramhall
Studying: Marketing & Event Management
Company: University College Birmingham. I also work at Paper Chase in Selfridges, Birmingham
What song describes your personality?
Oh, I do love a good song... 'I'm Going To Do My Best" - Beres Hammond.
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step" - Martin Luther King Jr
What interests or hobbies do you have?
I like to cook, art & design as well as being very spiritual.
What challenges do you face?
I would say in that in my first year studying, I had lots of ideas of what I wanted to do. That was hard work and the most important thing is to discover more than one opportunity and not to limited yourself.
What has helped me the most is knowing where to network and making new contacts as well as keeping the communication going and being able to reach out to them when you need them.
Going into my second year, I'm finding that the networking events that I have been to in the first couple of week, are already proving really important as I have gained some crucial contacts.
Would you say that it was important for Students to be networking?
Absolutely! I'd never really thought about it before, but I had heard about it but I always associated it with being professional or if you're recently qualified and having an actual career.
To be an undergrad and just to meet other people and to understand how important it can be. Having been in retail for so long, it is actually about who you know. If you can have a great conversation with somebody, they can see how well you come across and see things in you that you don't necessarily see in yourself. They may put you forward for a job or say "come and work with me". I think it's just showing what else is out there and a lot of young people [in my opinion] who are like me are not at many of the networking events, so I think that you will stand out because we are younger and you are perceived as confident and motivated to do well, which is important as the commercial market is an extremely competitive place to be in.
I attended a networking event at uni last year and one of my lecturers suggested that we all take a copy of our CV's with us to use when speaking to companies and individuals. I just felt that doing this was unnatural for me, just pulling out this piece of scripture [laughs] of A4 paper at a networking event didn't sit right for me, so I didn't. I did decide from that point onward that I would get myself some business cards printed instead.
The first time I ever used my business cards was for a job interview for an events role. So I pulled out my business card and I could see their jaws dropping, and the feedback that I got was so positive that know that I had made the right choice!
So after attending the TAG Network Midlands' Autumn Drink event at Birmingham City University and attending a LoveBrum network event, people have been so receptive when I have been giving them out. So immediately you are able to differentiate yourself, cultivate more follow ups and responses.
How have your found your journey as a Student in finding opportunities for work experience placements within your chosen field?
I was trying to find a placement over the summer with little success, however, I did apply for quite a few through uni as we have someone who specialises in experience for the business school students.
I found that the communication with potential employers was not ideal as some would never get back and the positions would simply be re-advertised. As I'm just a student and with no position at this stage, I think that it was a little unprofessional considering how big the company is.
Moving forward, I did feel that it was a great learning experience and I've realised that I have got to keep the ball rolling and regularly think to myself, what have I got going on in October?...November?, who do I need to meet. Gaining more experience with different people will help me to open more doors and reveal more opportunities.
All this will combine and show my diversity as well as showing my perseverance.
What is your best personality trait?
I am open and happy to talk to anyone. My time in retail has teach me that you need to be able to adapt and relate to a variety of different people and make them feel comfortable around you. I have always been very mature for my age, which takes people back a little.
I have motivated, determined and like to engage with others.
What social media platforms have be beneficial to you when looking to grow your connections?
If you'd asked me this a year ago, I would have said Facebook or Instagram... now, this year I would definitely say Twitter. I didn't know how influential it was until recently.
My lecturer suggested we use Twitter to follow and connect with people and have conservations, so I though okay, I'll give it a go. At that time, I already had an account, but I can't remember the last time I used it. So I deleted old posts off there and started a fresh slate and gradually started following people, commenting and built my followers from just thirty or forty people to the thousand that I have now. You can gain exposure to events news and when others retweet you.
I am so proud of that because I am just starting out and fresh to the scene in a way. On my business cards, I also have a QR code to my LinkedIn. Instagram and Twitter accounts have the same username so that there is a synergy there. I am conscious that you are your brand so being easy to reach and flowing through all social media is important.
Who inspires you at this very moment?
That's a difficult one as I haven't thought about that in a while. I always look up to people who are successfully running events like Denise Morris, CEO of TAG Network Midlands which is very inspiring as there isn't many people doing events that capture and includes everyone, young people from different backgrounds as opposed to just 'professionals only' or just 'sponsors'.
Also, my friend Naomi who runs a business, Candy Bubbles. She started out with the Prince's Trust and build her business against all odds and worked really hard to achieve such a successful brand. She was invited back to celebrate the 40th anniversary garden party for the Prince's Trust and being part of the programme. I always support her. When I ran an event through university at Bristol Street Motors, it was a pleasure to work with her. She has come a long way, yet she is still humble and a great business role model.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
In the future I would like to travel the world, strengthen relationships with family and friends, run a half marathon and progress throughout my career.
What advice or tips of positivity would you like to share with others?
Just don't give up! I sometimes suffer from anxiety and I still manage to be positive.
You must be hard working and be self motivated, but you have always got to try. My main advice is to be willing... willing to try, willing to meet people, willing to unlock opportunities, willing to succeed.