Classicamiga Forum Retro Edition
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Thread: Steve gets a job!
Harrison 14:52 20th September 2010
Have you asked about recycling? Maybe the school would be interested in starting up a scheme.
Stephen Coates 18:56 23rd November 2010
Originally Posted by Harrison:
Have you asked about recycling? Maybe the school would be interested in starting up a scheme.
There is actually a big blue paper bank which I didn't notice until a few months ago. A lot of paper still ends up in the main bins though.

I think one of the main reasons the bins get so full is the extremely large quantity of paper towels that the children use to dry their hands. For some reason though, the staff toilet has a hand drier.

The job is going well. Not had any problems. It is nice to have some money as well .

I am, however, thinking about going back to college next year. I have an appointment with someone at Doncaster College tomorrow regarding their full time HND in Electronic Engineering.
Stephen Coates 22:39 13th January 2011
My 6 month probation ended on Wednesday. I am now sacked. Apparently my boss had a meeting with the headmistress, and she was not satisfied with cleaning. Conveniently though, this only came to light on Wednesday when I got sacked and they seem to have forgotten to tell me about it when I could have improved it. This is odd, as no one has complained directly to me about the cleaning, and even my boss has said it was satisfactory and has improved over time. As he neglected to say specifically what the problem was, I do wonder if there even is one.

I will be making a formal complaint in due course to try and find out exactly what happened. But, its back to the Job Centre for me next week.

Also, I have applied to do a full time HND next year. Took quite a bit of effort as one must apply through UCAS. Therefore you have to fill in a rather complicated and very strict form, then post it to someone in Cheltenham along with a cheque for 11 pounds, who will then photocopy it, scan it into a computer, and both email and post it to Doncaster College which is about 13 miles up the road from me.
Harrison 01:19 14th January 2011
Sorry to hear that bad news Steve. You definitely have cause to start a complaints procedure if they didn't give you any warning prior to this, and you had no idea they were dissatisfied with your work. Employees are well protected in the UK. Go to your local citizens advice as it is free and they can get you started with what needs to happen next.

Also, good luck getting on to the HND. Would the new fee prices effect you on an HND? If so how much would it likely cost? And what was the HND you are looking to take?
Stephen Coates 02:19 14th January 2011
Doncaster College do a course called 'HND Electronic Engineering and Computing Technology'. The bloke who runs the course told me that over the last 25 years or so, the computing stuff has gradually been reduced to the point where there is hardly any anymore, but, from this coming September, they are improving the course and adding some more microprocessory/computery stuff.

As it is an HND it will basically be the next step up from the ONC which I finished in 2009. I did start a part time HNC at Rotherham College in September 2009, but it was a bit rubbish, so I left in January 2010.

The new fees shouldn't affect me. I believe they only affect people who start a course in 2012. So I will only pay the current fees for both years of the course as I will be starting in 2011.

Doncaster College do also have a Degree top up course which you can do by staying on for a year after the HND.
Harrison 09:56 14th January 2011
I think most colleges/universities offer HND graduates the opportunity to take an extra year to top it up to a degree. They did with all the HND courses when I was at university. Some of the people I went to college with, that also went to the same university only initially did HND's for the first 2 years, but then joined us for the final year of our degree course to make up the difference.

Have you also looked at other colleges and universities? I remember when I was looking around I initially planned on going to a different university because they had one of the best computer design courses, covering 3D design, CAD, DTP and graphics... but I still looked at other places and discovered Southampton actually had better facilities and were introducing a new pathway within their graphic design BA Hons degree specialising in Electronic Visual Communication, which covered everything to do with computer design and multimedia, new media and web design, so I ended up going there instead. So it does pay to visit and look around as many places as you can on their open days as you never know.
burns flipper 11:44 14th January 2011
Aw, I remember you being 14 and telling us you were doing your ICT homework, now you're all growed up!

It's worth looking at other places if you're thinking of doing a HND or full degree - but then you have to look at your reasons for going local. When me and my friends were looking at going to Uni, no-one picked anywhere local. We wanted to go to the best place for our chosen fields, and moving away and becoming independant was part of that by necessity. As long as you can fund yourself in some way (I went to Uni when the local authorities paid your fees and gave you a grant, so I managed to scrape by), it's an option you might like to consider.

Also, I don't know how valuable degrees are nowadays. I did a sandwich degree, which means I did 2 years at Uni, then I did a year placed in industry doing actual work (and had to write reports on my progress for Uni), then went back to do my final year. Out of the 150 people on my course (BSc in Computer Science), 142 did a year in industry as part of the course. After we got our degrees, most of us got fully-paid proper degree-related jobs within the next few months but the ones who hadn't done the year out found it very difficult, because they had no practical experience (my degree was very theory-based). If you have experience in the field you want to go into, you have a much greater chance of getting a well-paid job at the end of your studies because of this.

Although saying that, the fact that you're going back to college shows employers you're dedicated to what you want to do which is a very powerful thing to be discussing in job interviews.
Stephen Coates 12:36 14th January 2011
Originally Posted by burns flipper:
Aw, I remember you being 14 and telling us you were doing your ICT homework, now you're all growed up!
I eventually only got a C in GCSE ICT. It is a rather pointless and boring subject. All we really learnt is about how the four functional areas of Tesco make use of ICT. I think I have learnt more about computer related stuff by reading harrison's posts over the years than I ever did in school.

No one else round here does full time HNDs. Rotherham College where I did my ONC does a part time HNC, but I already attempted that, and it was rubbish. I could go to Sheffield Hallam University (a former polytechnic) and do a degree course, but a) I would rather go to a college, and b) an HND is probably more practical and is more of a step up from my ONC (degree courses do tend to be aimed at those who have only A Levels). You do only need one A Level to get on an HND course, but personally, I think you would struggle on an HND with A levels, even if you have more than one.

It is obvious by having a look round Doncaster College that their facilities are much better than Rotherham's. For starters, they have more than two rooms and the equipment appears to be permanently set up on benches and not shoved away in cupboards. I had a discussion with the course leader at Doncaster and the course sounds ideal. TBH, I'm not sure you will find many similar courses which include programming/microprocessor stuff unless you did a degree in Electronics.

You do have to consider the teachers though as well. Even though the equipment at Rotherham is poorly maintained due to lack of a technician etc, some of the teachers there were excellent, and if you have the enthusiasm, you can certainly make the most of what is there. For example, John who was in charge of our course knew just about everything. He used to teach a computer/electronics servicing course so knows a lot of practical stuff and was able to get a good understanding of my computer based project. As an ex chemist, he was also able to help with another student's project which was to build a pH probe (coincidentally, this student has a degree in chemistry) and also had a very good understanding of science. He made some excellent course material and was perhaps the world's best person at creating diagrams in Microsoft Word. He retired last year though.

My maths teacher at Rotherham was also excellent. You would be pretty much guaranteed to learn/understand something from him even if he did allow you to take in your entire folder into his phase tests, and the tests had virtually identical questions to last weeks practise questions (just slightly different numbers).

I am certainly not moving away anywhere. I'm currently at a point in life where I have more important things to worry about than getting rid of the parents ASAP, drinking away my student grants and getting loads of girlfriends. Somehow I doubt that would help me pass my course anyway.

Originally Posted by :
Also, I don't know how valuable degrees are nowadays.
I gather they are quite useless, but I might as well do one eventually anyway. If you look at the current jobs market, you will see why I was in no rush at the end of my ONC to get a degree.
Stephen Coates 14:56 26th January 2011
I had a meeting with the department manager the other day. She later sent me a letter which mentions the following:

At the meeting I highlighted the comments on your review which your friendly personality and reliability in timekeeping and attendance, however there was a continuous reference through-out the 6 month period to lack of methodical process and acceptable standards of cleaning.
has documented the number of occasions when this poor standard has been highlighted and unfortunately there has been no improvement.

Apparently they were generally just not very happy with my cleaning. Also it appears that mopping a floor and then walking over it is a lot more serious than I thought it was.

On the positive side though, they have said they will give me another months wages as they terminated the contract immediately, whereas they should have given me a months notice.

It wouldn't surprise me if something a bit fishy is going on somewhere though.

But to make matters worse, I have just received an invoice from Rotherham college for 236.76, which as far as I am aware, I do not owe them.
Harrison 16:05 26th January 2011
At least they are giving you one months money now. Although I agree that something isn't right there. Doesn't sound like the followed official procedure and are now covering their tracks. Probably less hassle just to accept the money and put it down to experience.
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