- great stuff by smart students -

Blog

Writing a Blog: Blog tips in 30 seconds

Posted on Aug 12, 2015

Its astounding how many people want to write a Blog, but when given the opportunity, respond with "But I don't know what to write or how to write it". Its totally understandable. I totally get it a ...

Read More

As you climb the ladder of success, be sure its leaning on the right building...

Charlotte

Posted by Charlotte on Aug 04, 2015

opera mauve-raptor

Finding and securing a job is always a stressful time. It doesn't matter whether you're 18 or 80 (!) it is still up there with moving house and getting married for the stress levels. So being a student, moving out of the comfort of your parents’ home and then realising you need a job to fund the beers is not a nice feeling.

Taking the first step to getting a job can be scary, and quite rightly so, as there are many companies and agencies out there that play on your vulnerability, which isn’t nice but unfortunately happens, so how do you stay safe whilst securing work at University?

A few of the top things to be wary of are: 

1.     Too good to be true? Adverts that entice you in with a payment on £100 per hour to pot wash in a greasy spoon café I can promise you are not genuine! They will use phrases such as ‘a once in a life time experience’ to make you believe the opportunity they are offering you makes you want to click the apply button. You can always call the company/agency directly and ask about the role, and always ask to go in and see them to gain more information.

2.     Terrible Grammar. Anyone who writes a job advert and cannot spell or format correctly is not a person you want to be working for. This can extend further to fake logos and incorrect URL’s. Always check with the company directly if you think something is wrong. Companies should not allow poor adverts to go out carrying their branding and may reflect poor working practises.

3.     Protect your Identity. If you have applied online for a role and without any interview or phone contact you get asked to send a copy of your ID and bank details, DON’T! Any company or agency will need to meet you face to face with these documents in order to be able to carry out Eligibility to Work Checks in line with HRMC. Just as if a bank calls you and asks for your account information over the phone, do not send your details without meeting first.

4.     Paying Admin Fees. You do not need to hand over any money for ‘admin fees’ or ‘payroll fees’ when applying for roles. If a job states you need a DBS check or a certain up-to-date certificate you may need to complete these before commencing work, but this would be upon successfully being placed into the role. Agencies do not charge you to find you a job, the cost is covered by the client so you don’t need to pay to get a job.

5.     So how do you stay safe whilst job hunting? You can apply directly with companies both online and in person if you know they are hiring. Using sites such as LinkedIn will be able to provide you with a list of recommended jobs for you. You could also use a reputable and safe agency such as Unitemps.com (shameless plug) which specialises in finding work for students and graduates so it won’t affect your studies.Using an on campus agency that is owned by the University also allows you to gain Employability Plus points and here at Northampton points mean prizes (!) but will also support you when you leave University by recognising your transferrable skills and being able to tailor them to your dream job.

We all recognise that first step on the ladder to success isn’t fun and it is sometimes difficult to get up in the morning for, but staying safe and securing that initial job will help you climb a lot quicker than those who don’t!

Good luck!

 

News

Would you like to help businesses and develop key skills?

Posted on Jun 23, 2017

Summer is here and we are looking for new talent to join our passionate team of student consultants!

An innovative and unique service, Raptor Student Consultancy provides students opportunities to work on projects and help businesses, charities and community organisations.

Students work in teams to address a business problem or deliver a particular service for a client organisation. Whatever your career plans you can benefit from taking part. Raptor will provide you with an opportunity to:

  • Contribute to the local community and gain solid work experience
  • Tackle strategic problems by offering assistance in areas such as market researchdigitalmarketing and other business services
  •  Boost key employability skills such as team working, self-management, problem solving and communication
  • Gain an awareness of the commercial, behavioural and social contexts of professional environments
  • Earn money!

If you are a current student or a recent graduate looking to gain some experience, earn money and succeed, then this platform is for you.

 

To apply please register and email CV’s to raptor@northampton.ac.uk

FREE Marketing Review for the Month of July

Posted on Jun 23, 2017

We like to help you as much as possible, here at Raptor, and for the month of July, we are offering FREE insight into your business marketing needs. The Raptor Marketing Review consists of a face-to-face consultation where we take you through a specially designed questionnaire to gain a thorough understanding of your business and its marketing needs. We look at everything you are currently doing on your chosen marketing channels and review it! Following the consultation, we prepare a report covering:

  • Company goals

  • Current marketing activity overview and results

  • Target market/audience

  • Current marketing activity assessment

  • Recommended changes

  • Website

  • healthcheck

If you would like to take advantage of our free reviews GET IN TOUCH

Students use their consultancy skills to shake up a local business

Posted on Nov 07, 2016

During the last term Raptor Consultancy was involved in a number of projects, our student teams were engaged in supporting businesses throughout Northamptonshire and beyond. One of the standout innovative projects involved delivering a Democracy Audit for the first time.

What is a “democracy audit” and why should it matter?

“Well, a democracy audit is an assessment of an organisation's internal democracy, and it should matter only to people with an interest in democracy”.

So said Martin Strube, a partner at Co-operative Solutions, a Northampton based co-operative partnership.

“Co-operators, community groups, voluntary organisations, trade unions, working men's clubs, charitable trusts.  All of these should have an interest in the quality of the democracy they are experiencing and how that quality might compare to similar groups and organisations.” 

Last term this audit formed the basis of a work experience module for students at the University of Northampton.  Four business studies students were engaged in running an audit at a locally based cooperative organisation. Guided by Martin and the Raptor Student Consultancy scheme, the students observed meetings, looked through archives, interviewed members, and generated reports. 

Meeting for the first time at the Library Café, Martin and the students quickly developed a rapport.  Martin introduced the concept and explained what he was trying to achieve:

“We are trialling a tool for comparing democracies and the efficiencies of those democracies.  We're looking at ways of making the comparisons empirical/numerical as well as anecdotal.”

Over a period of several weeks, Martin and the students observed meetings, interviewed staff, and ploughed through documentation. 

Arising out of this experience, they commented:

“It was great to be a part of building this new process and implementing in a real scenario. We were able to achieve the goal of measuring democracy within a commercial co-operative setting and providing fresh insights.”

Alex Fuentes added that “Thinking deeper about business processes and speaking with people at all levels are key aspects that I will look to apply during my career.”

Thu Nguyen stated “Raptor has been great for teamwork and working with organisations to learn some professional skills.”

The host organisation commented: “The whole team were amazing and we have truly benefitted from the whole experience. The results of the audit provided us with some insightful recommendations and we feel like we’re in a much more informed position moving forward. Thank you for all the hard work.” 

 

To hear more about the Democracy Audit, interested parties are invited to attend a regional co-operative conference and seminar being hosted by Northampton University on November the 9th.  Contact 01604 893570 for more details.