Is an internship the only way to find the job you want?

Starting to consider graduate jobs is a tough time for most young people.  If you are not one of the lucky ones who knew from the age of seven that you wanted to be a doctor or a scientist,  even deciding when to start can present all sorts of issues.  Even for those who know the direction they want to go in, it is not always easy to know how best to go about it.  Will a graduate scheme be the only way to get a foot on your chosen career ladder?  Or should you start applying for internship positions to build experience and make contacts?
University careers centres can be very helpful with these kind of questions, but turning up with no concept of what you want from your future, and asking them to wave a magic wand and come up with all the answers is unlikely to yield results.  These careers professionals are very well informed about the best way to get into the majority of graduate careers, but are less likely to have a good grasp of your skills, interests and background.  So it is often not worth making appointments with careers advisers until you have at least some concept of what they might be able to help you with, and the sector or roles you are interested in.  This can be as vague as ‘media’, ‘health’ or ‘consultancy’, as the careers advisors will be able to tell you more about the possible roles and graduate jobs that are available in each sector.

It is good to get thinking as early on as possible what the best route in your chosen career might be.  The reason for this is simple – applications for graduate schemes and internship positions can open as early as September in your final year of being an undergraduate.  For those who need to be interning in order to gain experience in their chosen career, it is often advisable to start applying for internships in your first year, so that you can gain experience in every university vacation.  Graduates thinking about law, journalism and advertising will thank themselves later if they have invested this time in gaining contacts and skills during their holidays.  Those interested in more corporate jobs such as accounting and finance will often find that a graduate scheme is the best way in, but your application to one of these is much more likely to be successful if you have completed an internship prior to your application.

Graduate jobs need not be a headache if you invest in a little bit of preparation.  Whether it is internship positions or a graduate scheme that will help you achieve your goals, all you need to do is decide what they are as soon as possible, and you should find yourself on a smooth path to success.

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Glass louvres can reduce bills

There are several architectural features that can decrease energy expenditure and might be considered in the design of a new development. Since awareness of environmental issues has risen – plus energy costs – these technologies can be good ways of combating either excessive heating by the sun and/or using the sun’s energy to heat space where possible. Foremost amongst these features are the brise soleil and external louvres. The first is a catch-all term for different sun barriers, from the simple to fairly complex versions. glass louvres are another way of controlling the amount of solar heating that a building receives.

Modern offices and other buildings often have big windows. This has a number of benefits, including giving them a light, spacious feel, cutting down on the need for indoor lighting and, to an extent, heating – even in Britain, where the sun cannot be relied upon. However, in the height of summer this can result in a different problem, as the space quickly heats up and starts to feel like the inside of a greenhouse. This, in turn, results in an environment that is so uncomfortable that a cooling system is needed. Air conditioning has costs associated with it, as does heating. The question therefore becomes: how to use the sun for heating when it is needed, but not to allow it to overheat the space in hotter weather?

The brise soleil and external louvres can be set in such a way as to exclude the sun’s rays at their most intense. The angle of glass louvres, for example, can be adjusted to block high-angle sun characteristic of the summer months of the year or the middle of the day. At the same time, they allow low-angle sun – characteristic of winter months – into the building. This means that you get the best of both worlds; the sun can be used for heating in cooler weather but excluded in hotter weather. In more sophisticated cases, the louvres are actually movable, meaning that they can be adjusted at the time if the weather is abnormally warm (or cold). These systems are more complicated and therefore expensive, although the building may earn back these additional costs in lower heating and cooling bills. Nevertheless, even fixed systems can go a long way to reducing energy bills and making buildings more pleasant, all year round.

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Kickboxing London -€“ where to start

Many people have heard of kickboxing, and think of it as something they might be interested in doing, but don’t quite know where to start.  There are all sorts of clubs and leisure centres which offer kickboxing London, but the variety of styles and approaches can be rather confusing for the novice kickboxer. Looking for a kickboxing club should not be too much of a headache, though, as long as you have some idea if what you are looking for.

One type of kickboxing is Zen-Do, which translated from the Japanese means ‘all paths’ and originates from the traditional Karate style of Wado-Ryu and Mu-Gen-Do fighting system.  Sensei Hironori Ohtsuka founded the Japanese martial art of Wado-Ryu Karate in 1934, after studying another form of karate called Kiu-jitsu.  The full name of this style means ‘way of peace’, which indicates that the intention was to use it as a means of solving problems in a non-violent way.  Karate-Do means ‘way of the empty hand’, as karate is studied without the use of weapons.

Karate took off in the UK in the 1970s, when the first wave of instructors pioneered Wado-Ryu karate in the UK.  Meiji Suzuki came to this country  to teach at the Tonbridge Club in London’s King’s Cross. Whilst he was here he decided to expand his martial arts knowledge by challenging  the strict training system he was accustomed to.  He travelled to Yugoslavia and trained with the national team coach there, who was an expert in kick-boxing.  He then developed  a system called ‘the unlimited way’, so called because it remains open to new ideas and techniques.  The focus of this style of fighting is finding the most effective and correct answer to the problem of a fight.  If a fighter loses, he will consider his mind, body and technique in order to find out what might have gone wrong.  As Zen-Do is not bound by tradition, like some martial arts, it is constantly evolving.  Another reason for its popularity is that it is not just physical in nature, but it represents the development of the mind, body and spirit in a continuous cycle.

If you are looking for a kickboxing club in London and are interested in a form of kickboxing that allows for some creativity and expression of individuality, then it could well be that Zen-Do is for you.  But if you feel you might be better suited to a more rigid discipline, the modern kickboxing London scene is sophisticated enough that there will certainly be a club out there to suit your demands.

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Is it necessary to make audio visual conferencing standard practice?

The uses of video conferencing in the business sector are well documented, as the need for many businesses to communicate frequently with colleagues around the world grows increasingly in our modern day ‘global village’.  Telepresence video conferencing is so well developed that we can fairly accurately create the experience of a face to face conference with participants from Texas, Adelaide and Dublin all able to take part from the comfort of their own offices.  It seems odd, though, that audio visual conferencing seems to be struggling to take hold of the personal communications market.  Although Skype is very popular for those who wish to communicate with friends and relatives abroad, there seems to be very little demand for mobile telephones which allow us to see the person we are chatting to.

In its early days, video phone technology was extremely pricey, costing users about 90 dollars a month.  Currently, however, modern technology has reduced the costs to next to nothing.  Webcams and highly advanced smart phones mean that cost is no longer a factor in discouraging us from using video conferencing. In its early days, many people thought that videotelephony would become widespread, but it is still used fairly rarely.

This may in part be because videophone calling tends to be a poor substitute for real face to face conversation.  The conversation tends to be focussed around a video screen and a small camera, and participants often look at the screen rather than the camera, which prevents them from having direct eye-to-eye contact with each other.  Some have theorised that videotelephony may be less popular than expected because people actually prefer less direct communication. Texting, instant messaging and email are much more popular than video calling, which suggests that written conversations which can be executed at one’s convenience is, for most people, preferable to recreating the experience of face-to-face conversations.  In addition, some people see video cameras as an intrusion.  ‘Why does my friend need to see what I am doing?’ ‘I don’t want to feel I have to look nice for a phone call,’ and ‘I don’t feel comfortable being watched’ are all common responses when people are asked about this kind of technology.

It does seem interesting that video conferencing has proved so popular and effective in business, but most of us are reluctant to embrace it on a daily basis. Perhaps telepresence video conferencing puts too much pressure on us to be fully involved in a conversation, when actually we quite like to be able to do the gardening or cook dinner while chatting to our friends and family.  audio visual conferencing does seem to be here to stay, though.  Perhaps we had better just get used to it.

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