A Hard Day’s Night, the Beatlemania

The Beatles is one of the most renowned English rock bands formed in Liverpool, in 1960. Composed by four members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, the group became widely regarded as the greatest and most influential act of the rock era. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as “Beatlemania” and until today, they are recognised as a symbol of the ideals shared in the sociocultural revolutions in the 20th century.

Well, my mother is a great fan of Beatles since she was a teenager and as I grew up listening their music I also became a fan. As my mom’s birthday was close, I decided to visit the Beatles Story attraction in Liverpool on her special day and make something special in her honour. Although having some problems that delayed my train, it was a lovely time around the city. The journey from Birmingham to Liverpool is quite long so I recommend taking some food and water with you. Liverpool Lime Street station is the best one to get into the centre of Liverpool. From the station, it will only take about fifteen minutes on foot to reach the Albert Dock, a complex of dock buildings and warehouses where you can find many attractions including several museums and places for food and drink such as restaurants, bars and cafes.

The Beatles Story is among the Albert Dock’s attractions together with the International Slavery Museum, the Tate Liverpool, the Museum of Liverpool and the Merseyside Maritime Museum. The Beatles Story is the world’s largest permanent exhibition purely devoted to the lives and times of The Beatles. It is possible to hear the story unfold through audio guides available in ten different languages. In my opinion, this takes visitors on an atmospheric journey through the lives, times, culture and music of the band. The exhibition is not that long but quite lovely. Inside you can find memorable items such as guitars and clothing. In addition, there is insightful information about the first steps of band and the time at the Abbey Road Studios. Moreover, you can go into a stunning authentic replica of the Cavern Club in the early 60’s and a fascinating underwater trip on the Yellow Submarine as well as precise information about one of the most iconic albums of the band: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

At the end of the exhibition, I recorded a short video with a message to my mother and also have bought some souvenirs, birthday’s gifts of hers. She loved the surprise quite well and next year I am planning to come back again to the Beatles museum, but this time in her company.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Developing my global career

What would be the best thing to do on a Saturday? Most people will probably think about doing something to have fun or just lying in bed for a couple of minutes more. Well, it is a good plan, but it depends on what are your further plans. In my case, a Saturday is just one more ordinary day that can be used for achieving my future goal: to work as an international business executive.

Last Saturday, I have been in my first event, named as “Develop Your Global Career”, outside Aston campus. It is one of the biggest careers’ event in the Midlands aimed at international students and offers a series of workshops and networking opportunities to support them in developing their global careers. The event was hosted by the University of Birmingham and sponsored by the CPA Australia, one of the world’s largest accounting bodies with a membership of more than 150,000 finance, accounting and business professionals in 121 countries across the globe. This international organisation also provides some core services that include education, training, technical support and advocacy to members. Besides the host university, many students representing 15 universities from the Midlands have attended the event. It was pretty good visiting another campus, the University of Birmingham is much older than Aston, so it is easy to find many buildings with a traditional British architecture. Moreover, it was nice seeing new faces, meeting new people and improving my network. In addition, I could learn about new organisations who had delivered presentations about skills and attributes that organisation are looking for in global graduates. I also gained insights into international opportunities by listening speeches of two undergraduate students who told us about their work experience in many different countries.

Furthermore, I attended a workshop to learn more about visas for working in the UK. The information presented has broaden my knowledge about how to apply and be prepared for working in the UK after my studies. Moreover, I had the opportunity to have my picture taken by a professional photographer for free. I am still waiting for receiving this picture, but I am sure it will be a pretty good one to use on my online social network such as Linkedin and Facebook.

In conclusion, it was a busy and nice day and spending a Saturday like that makes me feel good. This event reinforced my feelings that I am in the right time and place, doing the right thing in my life here in the UK. In my opinion, business is not just about skills, knowledge and profit. The most important aspect when doing business is people. Not to mention that, connecting with people should be a natural thing if you want to succeed. Colin Powell, a former US Secretary of State once said, “There are no secret to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

 

 

Thanks for reading, see you next month! (first picture is not mine, the weather wasn’t good for taking outdoor pictures haha)

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Holte Enders in the sky…

As most Brazilians I enjoy football pretty much and as in Brazil, going to a football game is a nice way for having fun here in the UK. Last night was one of these moments, Aston’s International Office invited some International Student Ambassadors to watch an Aston Villa football match playing against Southampton for the Premier League (the top English football league) at the Villa Park Stadium in Birmingham.

Although I have been at the stadium twice before, this time the occasion had a more special flavour because the International Office awarded us with VIP tickets and access to the Centenary Club Lounge. We arrived early at the Villa Park and visited the official Aston Villa store where you can find many types of souvenirs. Further, we went into the Centenary Lounge where we made a quick stop waiting for the game’s initial whistle.

Aston Villa Football Club are a professional football club based in Witton, Birmingham. The club was founded in 1874 and they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Such tradition can be seen along the walls of the Centenary Lounge where pictures from past days in the Villa’s history are exposed. Another interest aspect is the passion of Villa fans to their football team, even if the club has not been doing well in the championship. At any game, at any time and with any weather, good or not, it is easy to hear fans signing one the most famous Aston Villa’s chants “Yippi Aye Eh, Yippi Aye Oh. Holte Enders in the sky…” this song was inspired at an original version – (Ghost) Riders in the Sky – a cowboy-styled country/western American song written in 1948, and was recorded by more than 50 performers, including Johnny Cash. Since the 1960s, it is a terrace song of the Aston Villa Football Club. The words have been modified to include the line “Holte Enders in the Sky,” a reference to the occupants of the vast stand behind the goal at the southern end of the Villa Park stadium.

It was a cold night and the game had a tie result in the end, with one goal for each side, but the result did not mitigate the fun we had over the night. Among our group there was Robin, who works for the International Office at Aston, he is a Brummie (colloquial term for local inhabitants from Birmingham) and a huge Villa fan. It was nice to learn more from him about the team and see him performing a supportive role to the team during the whole game. Moreover, two of the ambassadors have never been in a football game before in their lives, so it was nice to help them understanding the rules of the game. I am looking forward to the next game, even without VIP seats, it is always a good way to have fun in the UK and it makes me feel a little bit more like home in some way.

 

Thanks for reading.

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International Student Ambassador

Among all the volunteering experiences I had in my life, the most recent one has become pretty interesting. As being a recipient of a Santander Scholarship, I was invited for the International Office at Aston to take part as a member in the International Student Ambassador scheme. I was flattered and keen to start after they told me about the characteristics of this kind of job.

The job consists in a part-time position to promote Higher Education and Aston University to potential students and their friends and family, inside and outside campus. An important point is that with my experience as a student living on campus, I can provide information to future students using my insights about all aspects of the University and life at Aston, such as the use of facilities, gym, library, classrooms, and also other aspects of life in Birmingham. As Ambassadors, we are supposed to engage in a number of activities such as conducting campus tours, assisting at education exhibitions and incoming visits to the university, assisting in web-based activities such as Live chats and Skype campaigns and presenting on student life at Aston and in the UK, even at recruitment fairs around the country.

This week I was assigned for my first campus tour and the experience was great! I helped to conduct a group of 25 people composed by high school students and teachers. We have been around the whole campus and I could share my knowledge and experience with them. Now, I feel more confident to do the next tour by my own and I hope to be involved in this venture even more in the future. I really like activities that involve talking and meeting new people. I am sure that I will have many stories to share with you!

 

Thanks for reading.

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Aston: first month, a myriad of experiences.

Time really flies when you have many different things happening at the same moment. After my first month as a master’s student at Aston, I am flabbergasted and busy due to a huge workload of assignments. It seems that I have not had a busy schedule as that for ages, and even though I am used to learn how well I can manage my activities and time, the experience at Aston has become an amazing challenge to me.

Firstly, I am living alone for the first time in my life. Hence, I have been forced to think not just about lectures and assignments, but also the basic stuff I need over the week to be able to only focus on my studies. Secondly, it is a different country! Although I had been here before, it was just for holidays. It is a much more challenging experience when you have to deal with basic needs such as grocery, laundry and clothing in a daily basis. Metrics, systems and sizes are different from my home country, so it is always important to look for such information and be adaptable to those situations. Just to give you some food for thought. Back in Brazil I used to wear medium size clothes but, here in the UK, I can barely find anything below larger or extra-large that would fit me. Moreover, I am not fat at all! Furthermore, my experience among students from more different countries than I’ve ever imagined! It starts with my flatmates, Italy, Philippines, India and China. I will save a post dedicated to them next month. Nevertheless, I can also mention my classmates, group mates, friends from the different societies I joined and other students that I have met around the campus. Great people! It has been challenging to remember every name and get to know them a little bit better. This experience has been really rewarding. I always considered myself as being “a citizen of the world”, but here I just discovered that the world is bigger than I thought, and as in Brazil, people are much different from each other, even if they belong to the same country, nation or world region.

For my readers I just would like to say that, now that I am completely settled down, I will try to post at least once a week on the blog. I do not want you to miss anything that happens here! It has been really an amazing experience and turning point in my life. So, see you next week.

 

Cheers!

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Arrival in the UK and the Luggage’s Challenge

Let me say that, first of all, being back in the UK will always be a pleasure but, this time I had some difficulties taking the same route I took last year. Everything went fine when I left Recife. I took a flight to Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo, and things started to be complicated when I reached there whislt I was waiting for my next KLM flight to Amsterdam.

As my friend Michael posted recently, Air France employees went on strike which also affected KLM. Fortunately, I bumped into some friends from my city who were waiting for the same flight. At least I had company to endure this extra time of delay. And after two hours of delay we’ve finally taken off. The flight was great. KLM’s crew is one of the best I know.

Therefore, the Air France’s strike was still making my life a little bit hard. After a 10 hours flight from São Paulo, I had another hour of delay to take the next flight to London. So you are probably thinking “It’s fine Julius, it happens…” and I agree with you, it does really happens. Part of me was frustrated and maybe this feeling was provenient from my anxiety to come back to Britain after one and a half years. Among all the European countries I’ve been, the UK has a special place in my heart. It is hard to explain that, it’s just a good feeling when I am here. But, let’s stop with tenderness and go back to my adventure.

Flight from Amsterdam (love that place) to London was fine, and landing there was just perfect. So I’m here again, happy, excited, after leaving the border control, and another surprise… my luggage was damaged and one of the wheels was missing! Sure, I should have complained about it with the air company but, come on I was so tired and just wanted to leave Heathrow Airport (fourth one in the trip). Then, I decided to move on (it was a cheap luggage anyway) and met my Brazilian friend Israel, who has been living in the UK for past three years. We took the underground and train heading to his place in Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent, a two hours journey.

Hey! But don’t forget. My luggage was broken and I had to carry it all the way, around the streets, tube and train. Such a lovely entrance in Britain! It couldn’t have been different… haha.

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Introducing myself and expressing my emotions about being selected as the recipient of the Aston University Banco Santander Scholarship

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Julius

My name is Julius Silva. I am from Recife, a beautiful coastal city located in the Northeast region of Brazil. The city has 1.5 million inhabitants and it’s also the capital and largest city in the state of Pernambuco.  I live in Recife’s metropolitan area, the fifth largest metropolitan area in Brazil with a population of 3.7 million people. History in this Brazilian region is quite rich. Pernambuco was first settled by the Portuguese in the 16th century but, during the 17th century, it was also occupied by the Dutch over almost three decades. The city is also known as the “Brazilian Venice”, because of its many rivers, small islands and over 50 bridges in the city center.

I was graduated in Business Administration in 2012. My experience during my graduation was expansive, rich with many activities and cross-cultural experiences. I always felt very comfortable around people and that is one of the reasons I chose to study International Business. My choice for the MSc in International Business at Aston University is based on the UK’s reputation for high quality of education. I strongly believe I will acquire knowledge and skills that will contribute to my professional and personal development. Moreover, I will be prepared to achieve my future goal, to work as business consultant. I aim to improve relations between my home country and the UK. But, I also desire to work with organisations committed to generating benefits to society, and primarily companies or organisations in emerging economies such as China, India and other nations in East Asia and the African continent.

I have a diverse employment history in Brazil. Currently I am a volunteer part time working as a business consultant. I am responsible for data reports and twice a month, I am a guest commentator at a radio show where I comment on my findings to the general public. In this job, I create scenarios through comparisons of data in order to find specific patterns between various aspects of Brazil and other nations. I also have a solid experience in Supply Chain and Procurement in manufacturing plants in Brazil.

I am a very talkative and easy-going person. My hobbies include cinema, I am film fanatic. Also I like to work out at the gym, play basketball and chill out having a drink in a pub or at the beach.

The Santander scholarship will allow me to gain and share knowledge made up by connections with people from different parts of the world. In my view, every encounter creates an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences. I am sure this experience will expand my global perspective.

 

Follows some pictures of Recife. Enjoy!

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Leaving Brazil to initiate a new phase of my life in the UK

It feels like yesterday when for the first time I started learning about geography while in elementary school. I remember that one of the things I most liked to do was to glance at the world map trying to memorize the countries’ names and capitals by region.

After first steps into high school my family have encouraged me to take the studies of languages more seriously. English was the first choice; a natural selection as music and video games became an efficient way to communicate and make friends throughout my youth.

Through my studies of languages the world seemed to get smaller every day. I was able to connect with people from different parts of the world and establish good friendship relations with them. As a result, nowadays, I consider myself a citizen of the world. I believe that some of my major characteristics are being communicative and very interested on getting to know new people with different cultural backgrounds.

I am very keen to start my new life in the UK while studying on a masters course at Aston University. I am certain this period among students, professors and staff will bring a myriad of experiences to share in this blog. It will be the first time I am leaving my city, Recife, for a long period and I believe I have made the best decision in my whole life so far.

Follows a picture of Recife’s ground zero. Hope you enjoy the blog.

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