Guest Blog: Marketing student Lottie Gregory talks about her experience on the LU Global: America Business Trip – Boston to New York

If you’re thinking about going on this trip, or this idea is completely new to you, I have some insight that you won’t want to miss out on.

Travelling to America was one of the most rewarding experiences during my time at university, as you gain a sense of both independence and self-accomplishment for taking a step to enhance your career. The trip was full of departmental-specific visits, organised sightseeing and free time to explore what the cities have to offer, spending 4 full days in Boston and 4 full days in New York over the Easter break. During this time, you gain invaluable knowledge from company visits and the connections you make could just help land your dream job in the future.

Both first years and second years found this trip beneficial despite being at different stages of university. As a second year studying Marketing, it greatly relates to the modules you study and helps to explore what sector or industry you may want to specialize in.

Boston is a vibrant and welcoming city. During the stay, we visited the companies Fablevision and Dyn (Oracle). Fablevision is a modern, urban creative agency focusing on animation for educational solutions. We learnt the skills behind the creative pitch process; how the company markets to and with clients; and all about the creative workplace and culture. Visiting Dyn was also very insightful. It is an entrepreneurial tech company owned by Oracle and we discussed many topics, from how digital marketing works behind user experience design, artificial intelligence and robotics, to the future of the subscription economy. A panel of VPs also gave us insight into working for the company, their recruitment process and their career stories.

I really enjoyed Boston and we found our bearings quite quickly, especially the location of the Cheesecake factory. A big highlight was visiting Harvard University, walking around like Elle Woods for the day and seeing where Matt Damon spent his freshman year. Boston was such a beautiful city and seeing it from the heights of the Skywalk Observatory was incredible. Although, nothing could beat the views of New York City.

Starting the second leg of our trip, we travelled to New York. It was an entirely different experience to Boston, in terms of both culture and business.

We visited the companies ComScore, PWC and attended an Alumni event with a panel, including one from Hello Fresh NY. At ComScore, there is a lot of focus on consumer insights, competitor intelligence, buying behaviour and audience measurement. We met with the National Director for Media Planning and learnt about the key skills of employability, including adding contacts on LinkedIn; how to identify your competitive advantages and play to your strengths; ending with the importance of choosing the right modules. Our visit at PWC included a boardroom meeting with 6 young associates who discussed their career experiences and the differences between working in the UK and US. It was very useful for the Accounting/Finance and Business students, and valuable experience to see the different types of work cultures. In New York, there was so much to see, from exploring the 9/11 memorial in the depths of the buildings foundations, and being toured around the United Nations HQ, to walking along Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and taking in the views of New York from the height of the Rockefeller.

Overall, I can’t stress enough how much you gain from this trip. It boosts your CV; adds to your academic modules; and helps to gain connections with Lancaster alumni. You also gain a great new group of University friends; and meet some of the most amazing people that you may not have crossed paths with on campus.

Despite being anxious about not revising for these 11 days over Easter, you’ll find you have gained some unique stories to share at future interviews and much more interesting content to add to your summer exams. If this is a trip for you, definitely research the companies you’re visiting, plan your questions and be prepared to make the most of this amazing opportunity!

 

               

Guest Post: Annie Thompson – I Discovered These Incredible Hidden Gems in Lancaster

Hey there, I’m Annie and I’m a Marketing with Psychology Final Year student who likes good food and visiting unique and nostalgic places. Lancaster is a smallish city with its small-town charms, and I absolutely love finding new places and cool things to do here!

Now, if you love puzzles and challenging yourself then you need call up some friends and family and head down to Lancaster Escape Room… It’s an awesome activity that will entertain everyone and is ideal for teambuilding activities. One themed room, one hour, up to 8 ‘comrades’. It is up to you to hunt down clues and piece together the puzzles and break out. Pretty much Prison Break IRL, if you ask me. Get that sweet 10% student discount while you’re at it too. #GoTeam!

Oh, what’s that? You’d like some brain food after all that detective work? The KF Oriental Supermarket is right across from the Common Garden bus stop. It will provide you with all the ingredients you need to whip up a DIY delicious yet budget-friendly curry yaki udon or spicy ribs with fried rice and so much more! A lot of local students have no idea that they can stock up on interesting snacks, sauces, spices and even ingredients for a good ol’ fashioned hot pot. Or you know, there are instant ramen as well… (For those of you that aren’t too adept in the culinary field yet.)

And… Since there is always room for dessert, ice cream would definitely rank at the top of my cravings. The Walling’s Dairy Farm is such a cute little café/take away place on Garstang Road, a bit of a journey but is it worth it? Definitely! A must-try on a day out with your mates or on your cheat day! If you simply want some ice cream, look no further than the Walling’s store in Alex Square. A double-scoop cookie dough ice cream cone on a hot summer day will be something that I will truly miss after I graduate this year…

If you were wondering what landmarks or attraction that are of historical importance to the establishment of Lancaster city, then Lancaster Castle is a monumental trademark of the city. You can purchase guided tour tickets on the University Web Store. Discover the dark past of the Castle and how it was first served as a prison in 1196, as well as how it witnessed some of the most notorious trials in history such as the Pendle Witches. For you history buffs that are interested in more landmarks, I also paid a visit to the Lancaster Maritime Museum and learnt a lot about Lancaster’s maritime trade past, and its involvement in the fishing industry of the Lune Estuary. The upstairs exhibitions were pretty cool, really well put together and a delight to your audiovisuals.

Did you know that every Wednesday and Saturday, there are market stalls in Lancaster city centre selling fresh produce, accessories and trinkets, authentic street cuisine from all over the world, and many second-hand sale items etc. A chance for you to pick up some food that’s not from the local supermarkets… And get this, there are even freshly made crepes! I always go for my savoury ham and cheese fix, it never fails to perk up my day!

Besides good food, the other ‘love of my life’ would be gaming. We are inseparable. I happened to wander into the retro gaming store Game Over one day and was instantly intrigued by the selection of games and other knick-knacks they had in there. I must have said “Oh my God, I used to play that when I was younger!” a dozen times. I even picked up some collectibles to gift my ‘geeky’ friends, in case they also needed a nostalgic trip down the memory lane and rediscover some oldies but goodies.

Last but not least! Williamson Park with the spectacular Ashton Memorial – overlooking over 50 acres of woodlands and with views across Morecambe Bay to the Lake District Fells. On a gloriously sunny day, you could admire the glistening lake water under the sun, and the park coming to life with children, dogs and happy folks and the exquisite architectural design of the Ashton Memorial. I also popped into the Butterfly House and the Mini Zoo and honestly, I felt so giddy! Through the looking glass, I witnessed some of the most beautiful species of butterflies as well as some of the most gruesome ‘mini beasts’. Warning: not for the faint of hearts. But the park itself is a perfect way to take a much-needed break from the studying and reconnect with nature.

Don’t forget, if you’ve got any cool places that you love or came across, connect and share it with us on the LUMS Social Media.

Food Shopping in Lancaster

As a student, food shopping can be an event much like laundry: an annoying but necessary task that we often try do as quickly and with as little thought as possible. However, by taking stock of the various shopping options available in Lancaster, planning ahead a bit, and being a savvy consumer, you can save a considerable amount of money and improve the quality of the food you eat.

In this piece I’ll lay out the main food shopping options you’ll have as a Lancaster student, and their respective pros and cons. Hopefully, having read it, you will avoid the fate of living solely off Pot Noodles and Greggs pasties.

Campus Convenience Stores

As a first-year student, you’re likely staying in accommodation on campus, so your first ports of call will be Spar and Central. Spar is centrally located nearby to Alexandra Square, whilst Central is on the other side of campus near Pendle and Grizedale colleges. These are relatively small stores that provide convenient access to basic cooking ingredients, drinks, and lunch foods. Though they are useful for bits and pieces, you’re probably best off not making these shops your go-to for a weekly shop: prices are higher than supermarkets and the selection is limited.

The Farmers Market

Every Thursday, in Alexandra Square on campus, there’s a farmers market which sells all manner of local produce, handmade and homegrown foods, and lunches ranging from sushi to hot dogs. It’s a good way of getting hold of local ingredients as well as local delicacies – such as ‘lemon cheese’. Yes, really (its less weird than it sounds).

Sainsbury’s

Going to Lancaster’s largest supermarket on a Wednesday became something of a ritual for me during my first year at the university. Why, you ask? Well, like a more wholesome version of the free bus trips to the Sugarhouse on a Friday night, on Wednesday there are free buses from the university to Sainsbury’s – and back. Sainsbury’s has by far the largest selection of food on offer of Lancaster’s food shops. There are all the staples you’d expect: meat, vegetables, ready meals, alcohol, frozen foods, world foods; as well as a butcher’s counter, delicatessen, and bakery. Sainsbury’s strikes a good balance between value and quality – their own-brand goods are generally of a high quality compared to other major supermarkets. Furthermore, much of their food is ethically sourced or locally grown – for example, all of their own-brand fresh meat is British. There’s also a selection of non-food items, such as homeware and toiletries. The bus takes you to and from the carpark, meaning its easy to buy and transport large quantities of food. This is your best bet if you want to do a week’s worth of shopping at once and save on money.

Lancaster City Centre

Beyond Sainsbury’s – but, handily, only a short walk away – are the shops of Lancaster’s city centre. There’s Marks & Spencer if you’re looking for something more upmarket, but on a student budget there are some cheaper stores that will probably be of more use to you. Home Bargains and Poundland can be very useful for toiletries, tinned foods, and essentials like tea and coffee. There’s also Iceland, which specialises in frozen foods, has some nicely priced fresh fruit and vegetables, and is also handy for those summer barbecues you’ll no doubt be having. Lancaster is a fairly compact place, so its easy to drop into all of these stores in one trip – or have a quick look through before you do a big shop at Sainsbury’s.

Morecambe

Just outside of Lancaster is Morecambe, which has some great budget options for food shopping. There’s Asda, which is a similar size to Sainsbury’s and has a huge selection of food at low prices; and Aldi, one of the ‘German discounters’, with very cheap prices but a comparatively limited selection. Although both of these options are cheaper than anything available in Lancaster, they’re also further away, so you’ll need to take some time and money out to reach them on the bus. Fortunately, buses to Morecambe can be taken straight from the university underpass.

Online Shopping

Of course, if you don’t fancy venturing out on the bus for your shopping, there’s always the option of home delivery. Both Asda and Sainsbury’s offer this service, and it has been extremely useful to me in saving both time and money. I often find that being able to sort products by price, and being able to see all of the special offers together in one place, leads to me spending much less money on food than I otherwise would have. Additionally, once you’ve done a few online shops, the websites will remember which products you buy frequently and suggest them to you, making shopping even more convenient. The downside of this option is that there is a minimum spend of £25, and you’ll also have to pay a small fee for the delivery. This can be alleviated by ordering a few days ahead of the delivery date, or by spreading the cost amongst a few people by ordering a shop with a few of your flatmates or friends. The latter option is especially useful as you can buy products in bulk amounts, saving even more money.

That just about covers all of the main options for food shopping in Lancaster. With a bit of knowledge of the choices available, its easy to find the sort of food that you’re after. Plan ahead, save money where possible, and use all of the resources at your fingertips.

Packing for university

With the summer months coming to an end the countdown to the start of university is finally upon us!

At this point you might be starting to wonder what exactly you should pack, for your first week, and the year that lies ahead of you. This makes it the perfect chance for me to share some packing tips, and advice, for your first week at Lancaster University.

Bedroom decorations: When I first arrived at university and waved goodbye to my family, I admit, it did feel a little strange starting my degree in a new and unfamiliar place. However, I recommend packing some homely items such as photos, bunting and cushions as these will give you a chance to spend some time decorating your room, and will really make your room feel like home quicker!

Freshers Week: In your first week at Lancaster University, you will be welcomed into university life with the Fresher’s Week. Throughout this week there will be various welcome events, activities and freshers fairs to attend, whilst also being a time to get to know your flatmates and make friends throughout your college. To prepare you for the freshers week, bringing along playing cards and board games to use with your flatmates during the evenings are a great way to get to know each other! It’s also a great idea to pack fancy dress items, as you never know when you might need these for a college or society event.

Stationary: In freshers week you may also need to attend some lectures which will introduce and welcome you to your course. I recommend packing some stationary and a notebook for these, and also bringing along a planner, so that you can make a plan of the lectures and events to attend in the first week – This will mean that you won’t end up forgetting or missing out on an event!

Food basics: During your first week at Lancaster University you can spend some time exploring the campus, and head in to town to get some food shopping, plus any items you may have forgotten to pack. As you may find yourself busy with freshers events and activities, it is a good idea to pack a few basic food items such as tinned food and pasta so that you have some food to eat before you get to the shops.

Freshers flu: You may be lucky enough to avoid the freshers flu but by packing a basic medical kit including lemsips, paracetamol and throat lozenges you can remain prepared for if you feel ill during your first weeks at university!

When packing your kitchen and bedroom items, don’t forget to make sure that they aren’t already provided by your accommodation. If you’re not sure you will use something, you can always buy things in Lancaster, If you need them.