7 December 2013

Half Time Whistle

Honestly, I seriously underestimated the complexity of my final year! I know that the Christmas holidays are just around the corner, things will be fine has the 'Half Time Whistle' sounds for this part of my final year at University. It's not all been stress and deadlines for I have been busy with other ventures that seem to be improving this blog. Blogging is not a waste of time!

Back from the summer I had plans to see another side of Birmingham for my time as a student in this city is dwindling, I wanted to experience the Balti Triangle. Being curious about discovering Birmingham's most famous dish I found Sparkbrook to be like a scene from 'East is East!' I chose to eat at Shabab Balti Restaurant where I had a delicious Balti dish, worth the price I certainly ate well during my Balti session. Getting to Sparkbrook was a memorable task for the walk from the Maltings showed me the lively neighbhourhood of Highgate, it was an eventful evening. I'm glad that I hadn't discovered the Balti Triangle until this September for it showed me Birmingham has many different international communities that open my eyes to a new side of this vibrant and emerging city. I might well return to Sparkbrook before I say goodbye to university life in Birmingham. No, I really can't answer that! 

Chinatown, Birmingham gave me a new found zest for this blog, I subconsciously created my 'Chinatown - Birmingham's Oriental Heart' blog from a simple visit to the Chinese Quarter on the 4th of November with my friend Kelly. We do try and make time for a Bubble Tea or two at Caffe Chino for all this academic reading for our Dissertation's can get very tedious, so a little break down Cathay Street sorted us out. Getting to grips with Day In Supermarket proved to be a lesson of discovery for I learnt about some of the different products that sat on the shelves ready for purchase, compared to the usual visit to Tesco it was very interesting to see another culture go about their grocery shopping ways. I look to Birmingham's Chinatown as my first stepping stone on my way to visiting Hong Kong as I have learnt a lot about the Oriental cultures from this part of town and real-life stories from my friend Kelly. I found Oolong Tea, I had not found this tea for a ages plus it was loose leaf! 

From an academic point of view this semester has been crazy with the constant barrage of new assignments that quite frankly have too many words! I admit that things have been tough but I'm learning that pushing through the stress works a treat because there's nothing more fulfilling to finish or formulate a piece of final year coursework. The dreaded Dissertation hasn't been too brain-taxing so far, I'm actually enjoying the process at the moment so I hope that positive term of phrase sticks for the remainder of the year. I'm putting the finishing touches to my draft Literature Review, my experience so far with this research project has rubbished the whispers of previous final year students as they put the fear in me for what terrible stress that final year would bring us. I have adopted a blase train of thought, stressing isn't really worth my time! I'm going to embrace my Dissertation! Nothing good comes easy!

The Christmas holidays are insight, for the last few weeks have been a struggle to say the least. Aside from the Dissertation I have been studying two other level six final year modules, Operations Management and Strategic Management have been the highlight! Operations Management has so far been really quite interesting for its allowed me to focus on functional practices from my placement in Newark last year, so I have a lot of material to utilise for my 3,000 word essay. Strategic Management has been the bane of my life just recently for it can only be described as 'laborious!' Yes, strong words I know, but the presentation that me and my group presented yesterday took some stress to complete. Our company was Merlin Entertainment, they own Alton Towers. So we had a lot of work to do for us to grasp the subject let alone be familiar enough with the company in the first place. The whole experience has been a worthwhile process even the drama! It's done now!

I would like to think my blog has reached new audiences throughout the last three months, further broadening the types of visitors that boost the overall viewings of my blog. Using social media platforms like Twitter has gained the support from 'Visit Birmingham' for my Brum orientated blogs have been a hit with their social media team well most of the posts have been retweeted, I see that as a positive step. I took part in a promo video for 'Visit Birmingham' for their Christmas campaign, highlighting one of my favourite things to do in Birmingham at Christmas. I hope to remain in contact with Birmingham Airport as I was delighted to be contacted by their social media team after posting my blogs on their official BHX Twitter feed.

To the left is the promotional bag I received from the event I attended on Thursday, which was hosted by 'Visit Berlin' to showcase its new 'Pink Pillow Collection' hotels in Berlin that cater especially for Gay and Lesbian guests. I remember checking a strange looking email to find that I had been cordially invited to an exciting event, well I was very surprised for I never get invited to fancy events like this one! I made use of advice given to me by a fellow Blogger and friend to design some Blog business cards for the event to publicise my Blog website further. I exchanged business cards with the spokespersons from 'Visit Berlin' and 'Out Now Global' to see what opportunities may arise from attending this event. I'm hopeful to book a trip to Berlin soon, I say watch it Deutschland!

I Better Work!

Joseph Harrison

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