Intern Feature – James: Elexu Internship and What to Do After

Thursday, September 27th, 2012|About Elexu, Advice, Elexu Team Posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Today’s post comes from James, an Elexu intern who’s last day was this week. He writes about his experience with Elexu and what he might do next. Good luck James!

I have just completed an internship at Elexu and it has been a blast… that’s right working for pretty much nothing has been a blast. I finished university with an ambition to embark on career in public relations. As with higher level positions today you need some experience, but you can’t get a job to gain experience. I know it’s a vicious circle. I applied and Elexu decided to offer me an internship that would not just be experience to put on the CV, but they vowed to also help me develop my skills further They made it clear to me that when looking for an intern they look at personality, thinking process and potential which is similar to how Google recruits. Grades are just a doorway.

Elexu is an emerging organisation, therefore unlike other internships, this one did not require me get anybody coffee. Instead I had my own responsibilities, tasks, independence. I also really noticed that the work I put in changed the organisation’s progress. Everything I did had an impact.  I heard that if I was in an already well established company, it would take a lot longer to get to this level and have less of an impact. At Elexu, I didn’t feel like an intern. I had little restraint, got support on my ideas and could be creative in a cooperate workplace. Plus, the staff and other interns really made this experience the best it could possibly be.

What’s next? I could try to purse my career in public relations in a period of high youth unemployment or go back to working a retail job which would provide money but it would feel like I was taking a step back. Here is a interesting option 3.

Teach English as a Foreign Language.

I just started a TEFL course; it has taught me that I don’t know English as well as I thought I did. Did you know there are around 20 tenses in the English language? They help you get to a teacher level of English and how to handle a class of eager learners of all different levels. Doing this course gives me the opportunity to see some of the world and learn about different cultures. Not only can I teach them, but they can teach me their language which would give a CV an edge in the future along with the internship. Some options include South Korea, Brazil and Japan.

If you would like to know more about this check out the TEFL Academy website http://www.theteflacademy.co.uk.

Good luck new Elexu interns.

-James

Elexu Intern

A Visit to [Space]

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012|Elexu Live Events, Event|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Today’s post comes from Elexu intern Yanet who writes about a  visit to one of Space’s events, where she got to meet artists and see some amazing art. Have a read about the fantastic event.

[SPACE]  studios is one of the biggest art spaces provider in Europe opened its door the last weekend to visitors and artists. [SPACE] provides support and resources to artists to make the great art of our day whether that be exhibition space or supplies. [SPACE] provides a platform for creative people to experiment, develop and meet like minded people. Last weekend they decided to host one of their end of year exhibitions and invited Elexu along.

 

 

It’s amazing how things can change when you see art in front of you and not just through a picture on the internet, it has a much more powerful impact. An artist’s world is different than the normal world we live day by day. I am told they try to live by emotion and not routine, they have a constant desire to create that drives them. For me  it  was a great experience!  I got to meet different artists,  got introduced to different concepts and styles that I didn’t know existed. Pieces of art had  a number of different effects as you looked on  some gave me  energy, some optimism, others waves of negative emotions but they all gave me waves of creativity. Each studio offered a new experience.

Between brushes and paintings artists were totally open to share their views about art, movements, concepts, similarities  and this made us to get know them a bit better, a great unique experience to see the artists behind the art. Their art was just incredible and if you have the cash they are available to purchase right there, a bit more extra cash and I would have walked out with some serious art. Most of the artists that we met there had exhibitions all around the world and they were continually traveling with their works so many different people get a chance to see their work physically. My favorite quote of the event was  “Art is a parallel stage where the artist connects with himself and this connection is reflected in such as brilliants art pieces, each piece of art had the
artist’s personality infused with it.”

 

We had the opportunity to meet sculptors and modern technology artists it was very curious walking through lego machines converted in music machines and at the same time could see mini sculptures that were tiny but had so much detail you thought such a feat was impossible… you had to be there to really understand.  I would say it was an excellent experience and I would like to thank artists such as Robert Aberdein (sculptor), Esther Ainsworth (sound artist and Dj) or Endry Kosturí (Painter) who helped me understand their art.

I recommend everyone should try to go to a art gallery at least once because you will never know how you will react when you see a piece of art that has an effect on you. It is a different day out from the regular social activities and can offer a unique experience.

Check out [SPACE] for upcoming events or support for artists at  http://www.spacestudios.org.uk/space.

 

 

A Strange Conversation with a Stranger

Thursday, September 20th, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Today’s post comes from Sam who tells us his strange conversation with a stranger on the train and about how sometimes we should talk to strangers.

Tragedy had stuck! My phone had run out of battery and the train hadn’t even departed from Waterloo. I was about to endure 45 minutes of painful silence and not having unlimited information at my figure tips, however fate had another plan when “Paul” stepped onto the carriage.  After a few stops on the busy train Paul ended up sitting next to me and straight away started up a conversation about how people don’t talk to each other even though this train is full of people no conversation were happening. In my lack of headphone state I replied which gave him the go ahead that I wasn’t scared of a stranger trying to talk to me which most people give the vibe of when talked to by a random.

During the conversation he asked what I did and I in turn asked what he did, he laughed a nervous laugh like he was having a internal battle and he said “do you know what I will tell you”, he leaned in and whispered in my ear “I provide protection for women of the night” (if you dont know what this means please stop reading). In my astonishment all I could mange was “does it pay well?” and apparently it does and also he would never touch those girls with a 50 foot poll (good to know, this whole convo was a curveball). I also found out that the reason his arm was bandaged was because he had to deal with a punter who had brought a baseball bat into the room and started getting rowdy with one of the girls..you can guess what happened. Paul also told me that last week he was bitten by a giant pig (I saw the teeth marks and a picture of the pig), this guy wasn’t very lucky to be honest.  Before my stop I also received advice to visit Thailand, I had to promise him I would go to a club called the “couch and condoms”,  received encouragement to become a full psychologist, a story about how he made a fool of himself at a Muay Thai fight and saw a picture of his girlfriend back in the Isle of white. He was a colourful character and honestly made my train ride home.

This got me thinking people really don’t talk to people anymore. Can you imagine if you had a chat with the person sitting next to you every time you went home, you would most likely here some fascinating stories. Also when we do talk is not even a real conversation it’s normally about that crazy guy on some reality show, pop politics or about the contents of hello magazine. Most of the time  half way through the person supposedly listening will get out their phone, we have all these communication device’s but we don’t properly communicate. Maybe we should sometimes voluntariliy turn off the electronic device in out hands so we are not distracted from what non screen world has to offer.

My recommendation is every now and then spark a conversation with a stranger, take a risk, choose a topic that isn’t superficial, tell a personal story because you can tell a stranger almost anything (anonymity is a powerful thing) and don’t shut out the world by looking at your phone because you don’t know what you might learn and what stories you might hear. A stranger might make your train ride home too.

 

Style it Soho

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012|About Elexu, Elexu Team Posts, Event|by Sam Watson|2 Comments

Today’s post comes from Tanya who writes about the first event for Elexu competition “Style it Soho”. Read about the inspiring participants and how to take part in the event.

2012 has been an unforgettable year for London we have seen  fantastic sporting talent but now we are seeing the fashion talent that London has to offer during fashion week. We have astonishingly creative people working in the capital, bringing energy and ideas as well as generating business. Over just a few days fashion week showcases Britain’s best fashion designers, puts London’s creative industries on the front pages and brings in over £100 million pounds worth of orders alone. The international press are attending from 42 countries to illuminate 62 catwalk shows and 20 presentations to take place over five days. Dress smart.

Well Elexu has got caught up in the fashion spirit and is currently holding a competition for the visually creative in the fashion field giving young stylists, models, photographers and  fashion bloggers the opportunity to showcase their talent and meet similarly-minded fashion-forward young people.

The ongoing competitions first date was inspiring! Many well-known retail, dining and entertainment establishments, including Aqua Spirit London and Vintage Magazine Shop,  graciously donated their locations in the fashion hub that is Soho. Stylists brought their makeup and clothes, aspiring models brought their bodies and photographers brought their camera to create a number of unique photo shoot opportunities to show off the talent that they have.

This fantastic event provides a young people with the chance to mingle with one another and build connections for the future. They were able to work together with the resources they may not be able to access normally and with Elexu’s help we were able to create a great opportunity and showcase their talent. The event was charged with energy and creation and it was inspiring to watch the participants do what they love. They were all very talented and I look forward to the second event day for Style it Soho which you can be a part of!

TAKE PART IN STYLE IT SOHO!

Do you picture yourself running show at a catwalk? Modelling on the runway? Or being that influential fashion blogger who decides what hot and what’s not? If yes to one of these, enter Elexu’s STYLE IT SOHO competition for the chance to win some fashion swag and be ready for future fashion competitions.

For full details, just join the Elexu community at http://elexu.com/invite. Use VIP access code STYLEIT1 to fast-track your request.

Three Tips for First Year Uni That Are Not in the Brochure

Thursday, September 13th, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Today’s post comes from Elexu intern Sam who gives some personal tips for the first year of university.

As a recent graduate from student life I have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the university experience, however there are somethings they don’t tell you in the brochure, so I thought I might write a few practical tips to enjoying first year of uni.

1) FIRST YEAR YAY! Second year yeh! Third year, this was a stupid idea going to university.

First year is the greatest time of your life, the first year students are the envy of all  because FIRST YEAR MARKS DON’T COUNT, that’s right all you have to do is pass and you get into second year where the grades do count towards your degree. This is the opportunity to go out every night, try new things where normally you would be scorned by the adults in your life and generally act like how students are portrayed in movies.

Also I was told university was easy before I went, well I don’t know what he was studying but it wasn’t. Its lots of hard work, you spend days on a laptop and staying up all night researching, so during the first year don’t hold anything back.

2) Prepare thy self  and delete family from thy social networks.

Be prepared not for class but having no one telling you what to do. The uni I went to had a large catholic contingent. When they were let loose from the sight of their strict parents eyes they went WILD. At no other uni would you say “damn that was a crazy night partying with Catholic house, they were doing shots off each others bodies”. Which brings me to say get rid of all family from Facebook because there will be unflattering photos of you popping up that you really don’t want your parents to see. This allows you not to worry about the judging eyes of family and just enjoy yourself. However, you are in charge of yourself so always try to think before you do something because your actions are all your own now and mum’s not there to tell you that it’s not a good idea to go out the night before a presentation.

Picture below is one that my parents reacted to saying “why is the girl pointing a giant knife at you”, I explained that our UV rave suits looked like CSI suits so we setting up a crime seen while getting ready to go out.

3) Societies!

Definitely join a club or society because its one the easiest ways to make friends and provides some great times during your student life. Try to find one that generally interests you but if you can’t join the drama society, you get a great mix of people and you can just be the curtain person. Also don’t be afraid to go to things on your own because you will have to talk to people then.

I was a member of the windsurfing club which allowed me to go to an awesome windsurfing student festival where my uni beer pong team beat Kent uni. Best bit was being the first person running into the local pub in a full Spiderman outfit shouting whilst all the locals were still there, they hadn’t been kicked out before the uni event started. I’ll never forget the looks they gave me.

Welcome to the Real World: Freelancer

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012|Advice, Guest posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Our guest blogger this week is Rob Roper, currently studying Broadcasting journalism and Media communications at glyndwr University Rob talks about life after university and the world of freelance. His blog: http://robroper.wordpress.com/

And so the fact remains; if my degree ended tomorrow, what would I do? Fortunately for me this is not the case and my education will (thankfully) go on for another 12 months. But what then? I will be in the very same hypothetical situation posed at the beginning of this paragraph. The unknown, mass-unemployment and many other nasty real-world things. To subvert my mobile phone providers slogan; the future isn’t bright.

Since starting my course I have been told by lecturers, guest speakers, hairdressers, next-door-neighbors and my Nan (you get the picture) that it is going to be very very (very) hard to get a job when I leave Uni. But I know this, I have been told over and over again (not that it makes it any easier).

So what would my plan be if tomorrow I was no longer a student but a respectable functioning facet of society?

Simple, I would be become a freelancer.

“Oh, simple hey Rob? Just saying ‘I’ll be a freelancer’ doesn’t mean you instantly become a freelancer. I want to be a millionaire; it doesn’t work like that”

All right then fictional voice of reason, who invited you in? I know it’s not as easy as just saying that I will go freelance, but that is the first step.

The Times of India published an article earlier this month with some guidelines for any budding freelancers;

1. Discover you area of interest and proficiency

This I think is a bit of a no-brainer; don’t go freelance if you don’t really know what you are going to do.

2. Approach the right people

Networking, a word that makes my business cards curl. But it is a great way to get work but more importantly converse with people in the same situation as you are.

3. Use social media

If you don’t already need an excuse to not close that laptop lid; you can find work on Facebook…apparently. More and more businesses are on it, surely it can’t be a bad thing to investigate.

4. Email marketing

Most companies have a contact email, drafting a mail shot and sending it out via email is a great way to drum up interest. Throw enough mud as they say…

5. Search online

Google is quickly becoming the solution to virtually all of my problems in life. But again, it is there because it is good at what it does; searching for businesses hiring freelancers is probably one of the more effective tips that takes the least effort.

6. Price your service

How do I price my own services. Minimum wage? By the hour? By the job? By its success? It is something that any freelancer needs to get to grips with and will learn their lessons quickly.

So if it all ended tomorrow, would I be ready? Probably not.

But then again I don’t think anybody ever is. In closing if I could add another point to that list (which I can, because its my blog poast) it would be confidence and naivety and god knows I have bags of that. I’ll be fine.

There is Fiction in Fashion

Thursday, September 6th, 2012|Advice, Elexu Team Posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Today’s controversial blog post comes from Christy Rathbone a student and intern at Elexu. She writes about how to break free of the designers grasp on your personality and that everyone should just wear what makes them feel great.

Walking into a bar you cannot help but notice the clashes of colour and the various different shades of fake tan. We “tanorexics” are overcome with that familiar musty, sweaty, cheap-branded fake tan smell lingering in the air. Sexy. After managing to control my gag reflex I notice layer upon layer of leopard print, gold hooped earrings, leggings worn as trousers, huge hair extensions and my new pet hate; wellington boots worn as everyday shoes. WHY? You’re not at a festival and you are definitely not a farmer, your nail extensions prove that.

Whatever happened to Girl Power? All I see is ladies dressing for boys these days. We have nothing to be proud of. Everybody looks the same. High street. Polyester. Clones. Fake.

 Brands have taken over. Triple the price for a quarter of the quality, just because a name, icon or even sticker is recognizable to the designer lover’s eye. These items cost a fraction of the asking price to produce and I bet you wouldn’t want to know where in the world it has come from. Horrific.

Fashion does not have to be expensive. If you’re one of those people who think second hand clothes are disgusting then you have a lot to learn and should probably stop reading this column.  I feel sorry for you.

Charity shops can provide you with unique items. Picture the perfect dress that you can wear out, and not see three other girls that are skinnier than you, sporting the same outfit (the only difference being that some idiot spilt a lovely glass of red wine down yours; typical Friday night for me).

Older garments are a lot less flimsy and less likely to break compared to high street copies. If you get home and realise it isn’t you, cut it, hem it, sew on buttons or jewellery – basically do what you want to make it more you. Keep in mind that nobody had much money in the sixties but looked fabulous with what they had to work with and creativity was key in the 80’s.

Ditch the fashion magazines; they make you feel ugly anyway. Fashion is about expressing yourself, if your friends do not like what you wear, stuff them. If you disagree with my opinion on fashion then Go Girl, at least you have one. It makes a change.

Every girl is a different shape and size and you have the right to look and feel amazing. I am addicted to long skirts, they make your waist look tiny and if you don’t like your legs – Hey Presto! But I do get called a granny by people who aren’t into my look. Especially by my Mum. Do I care? Nope. Take the good with the bad and never feel scared about expressing yourself.

If we were made to follow the crowd then why is everybody different?

 

Jumping On Stage With Colourshop

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012|Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

Update 1/10/2012:

Elexu is launching a new competition for songwriters tired of keeping their songs in a drawer.

Upload your original song for the chance to win two tickets to a cool concert in London.

How to Make “The List”

- Join Elexu at www.elexu.com/invite using VIP code MUSICEV1

- Upload your original song

 Then come out Tuesday, 23 October for a live workshop featuring networking and advice from top UK music producer Jason Grant.
 
You’ll have the opportunity to meet others on the same path as yourself and share ideas. This will be a chance to unleash what you have hidden inside. Check out www.elexu.com/live/Music-Eve for details.

 

Today’s blog post comes from Colourshop band member and Elexu intern Deigo Salvati who talks about what inspired him to play music and his experience with going on tour.

Jumping on stage and performing is just the best experience I have ever had, people shouting my name and groupies waiting back stage…just kidding. My first time playing a musical instrument was when I was six years old and I played a really simple and silly piece, however this sparked a passion that has shaped my adult life. The performance most likely sounded pretty basic however I practised and can now play confidently… especially when the ladies are listening.

Since then I tried to play every single day of my life. I started with classic guitar and then moved to classical piano. My first composition dated back to 2000 and my last one just some days ago. I have no intention of stopping.

I have been touring the last two months with my band Colourshop around UK and abroad. Touring is the most rewarding and exciting thing I have ever done in my life. At this moment it is not matter of being famous which I’m not, it’s the matter of having the possibility of having my thoughts and music shared with other people. This is the kind of experience that I need to be inspired in order to write new songs, this is what drives me and is most likely then main reason for other people getting into music aswell.

Everything I write comes from my personal experiences. I can’t just write down words if what I have to talk about doesn’t belong to me. It could be a person, a good experience, a bad experience or even a simple smile crossing my way home. A song without personal meaning is hard to perform to the fullest because you don’t have a connection and I believe that the audience can feel that.

I had the best tour experience in Poland this summer. I played in an Arts Festival full of painters, photographers and artists. People were just amazed by our music; they asked us for pictures and for autographs. As I said I’m not famous (yet…heheh) but that day I felt like I was.

Sometimes I feel that something I can’t explain in words may be only be explained by music. I think this formula really suits me. In the end music is a universal language that can actually reach everyone and I encourage everyone to try to learn to play a musical instrument it could shape who you are and provide you with new experiences in life.

Check out my Facebook at www.facebook.com/colourshopmusic for links to music, performances and the upcoming event in line with Colours shops new album.

Written By Diego Salvati