Learn Something New Before Work: Eventbrite Summer School

Phew what a hot and sunny day it is in the City of London today!

For those of you working in the city or indeed heading in that direction, then you may want to take advantage of the early morning coolness of this sunny climate and get yourself along to one of the fabulous Eventbrite Summer School events happening over this shiny new month of July. Let me explain a little more here on the blog today.

Make a Flower Crown with Rose & Wolf

Make a Flower Crown with Rose & Wolf

For people unfamiliar with Eventbrite themselves, they are a fantastic online website that anyone can register to use and find new and exciting events taking place in their area. Or indeed you can use the site to promote your own event and manage the ticketing and registration process.

It's event management made simple and I personally love using this site because it's where I find all sorts of inspiration in all sorts of places for fun, educational and interesting things to do and get involved in. From completely free events and taster classes to more involved paid weekends full of festival fun, learning and anything else that you can possibly think of in between. Many organisations and companies from the big to the small are now using this online service to get their event out there to the right audience in a timely and well organised, useful manner. 

Learn to meditate with Emma Mills London

Learn to meditate with Emma Mills London

Every now and then Eventbrite themselves put together a programme of events and encourage people to go along, get involved and learn something new. The July summer school that kicked off today is no exception and across the rest of this month anyone interested in taking part will be able to book themselves a spot to pop along and participate in a range of very varied activities before they head out to work (or indeed play) that day.

Do you fancy a little morning meditation? Want to know how to make your own floral crown for an upcoming summer festival? Or do you desperately need some expert advice on how to maintain your bike so that you can make the most out of your passion for cycling this summer? Well this programme has something unique to offer pretty much everyones needs.

I love the idea of squeezing in a little something extra before your working day starts. Whether that be something stimulating, relaxing or educational there are many things that you can choose from. With prices ranging from absolutely free to around the £5-6 mark you can be sure of injecting a little fun into your day without breaking the bank. Plus with these bright and early summer mornings why not get out of the door a little earlier, make your way along to an event and make the most of the summer weather whilst socialising with some new friends or just having fun with your current work colleagues.

To find out more and reserve your space take a look at the listing page: Eventbrite Summer School and if you find yourself heading along and learning how to play the ukulele, trying your hand at latte art or brushing up on your language skills then be sure to let me know and share your fun and photos!

Happy 1st of July everyone, keep safe and happy in this heat and see you again very soon.



The Big Bang Internship Awards 2015: Where Creativity Begins


Today I wanted to share with you some exciting news about a new Internship Award launching this summer on the 1st of July. 

The Big Bang Internship Awards.

Now if you're creatively minded and looking to gain absolutely invaluable experience in a leading London Creative Advertising Agency, or if you know someone who is, then this post is definitely one for you. No matter what your previous background or experience, this could be the challenge that you've been looking for. Sound good? Read on ...

Big Bang Internship Awards 2015

Now first just a quick disclaimer but one I hope won't affect your enjoyment of this post as it really has no bearing on it. This is a new scheme that has been created and set up by the team at my husbands company Daniel Marks London who are specialist Headhunters in the Creative Agency and Advertising arena. With clients that range from global agencies within WPP, Omnicom and Publicis to smaller Independent Creative Agencies they are well placed to support such a scheme and to get the right expertise on board. I wanted to bring this to you today given the educational and careers nature and the fact that I just think it's a truly brilliant idea, no bias just real excitement for the potential entrants!

Designed to nuture and bring on board new creative talent wishing to get a foothold in the world of advertising this is a compelling new initiative to help people find an inroad into a competitive and challenging world, a world where it can be tricky to get noticed and truly make your mark.

In essence, all applicants to the scheme must answer a Creative Brief. Then, after initial submissions from the 1st of July to the 21st of August a shortlist of the best 50 entries will be selected and a panel of 10 Judges, all Executive Creative Directors from Creative Agencies, will review them with a view to offering 6 week Internships to the applicants that they see potential in. Up to twenty places could be up for grabs and this could well lead to a formal job offer and at the very least will be a great experience and opportunity to learn more about how the creative industry works from the inside. 

It’s also worth noting that all applicants who make a considered effort in their creative submissions will be invited to attend a free seminar, where Team Daniel Marks will be presenting alongside industry figureheads, on ways to find work in the creative advertising sector, initiatives to get a head start within the industry and offering general recruitment advice and career guidance on the day. Held at a venue in London with the details sent to all applicants who entered after the results are in, this will be a great learning and assistance tool to all who choose to take part. A great added incentive as everyone will have an opportunity to get something from participation in the awards be that from the specialist team at Daniel Marks London, or from an industry perspective with key figures from leading agencies.

Big Bang Internship Awards 2015

So how can you get involved? Well as mentioned submission opens from the 1st of July. For other key dates in the process please review the details provided in the brief. Take a look to see what is required for entry and get your creative thinking caps on now!

BRIEF: Download the full brief here: The Big Bang Awards

SUBMISSION: Submit your completed work and application to: bigbang@danielmarkslondon.com

Wishing you all the very best of luck and if you know someone else who may be interested then share the love and get them involved as well! If you have any questions ahead of your submission you can Tweet the team @teamdanielmarks using #BigBang2015 or drop them an email to theteam@danielmarkslondon.com    

Happy Wednesday all.



The Many Ways To Keep Learning New Skills

Learning in life doesn't have to stop when you leave your School or University gates for the final time. It's been well documented that one of the keys to maintaining happiness and wellbeing is to keep on challenging yourself and learning new skills. Not only does continued learning boost self confidence and help us to continue to engage with life and those around us but it's been shown to boost your resilience helping to keep you enlivened and curious as you continue to grow.

Learn New Things

Now this doesn't have to mean spending a small fortune or heading back to the books in the same way you might have done during your more formal early education. There are all sorts of things out there to get involved in. From the very straightforward to the downright fabulous but totally bizarre. Today I thought I'd put together a little list of ideas. Please feel free to add your own learning experiences to this selection in the comments below - let's make this an ongoing gathering of great things to all get stuck in to and enjoy!

Just as a side note: Most of the actual physical courses on this list are London based due to my personal location and experience. If you are not near to London but have some great suggestions for your own local area please don't hesitate to share below for other readers.



1. Learn something for FREE: In this day and age, with the huge popularity of Social Media and more specifically YouTube, there's a ridiculously huge number of ways to access free online tutorials to learn about all sorts of things. 

Right now I'm using YouTube to learn and practise Yoga daily, I'll share a little more about that later down the line once I'm further in to the experience. But when it comes to finding a quick, easy and free way to learn something new then one of the best places to start is with the Education Channel. Here you can pick out videos on all sorts of things whether you have an hour or 20 minutes to spare. From Humanities, Medicine, Business and all sorts of other stuff in between, the channel will automatically generate its most popular videos in a wide selection of disciplines.


Another YouTube favourite of mine, for much shorter, totally different but equally inspiring snippets is The School Of Life. New films every week on a variety of topics, will intrigue and entertain you in equal measure. Think of them more as short soundbites to stimulate the mind. A great channel to visit for ideas that you might then want to take up for further learning.

Thanks to a recent Twitter chat and some great fellow blogger recommendations, another area of free online learning that I'm really starting to enjoy and explore is the world of podcasts. Here are some of my favourites that I would recommend taking a listen to:

Stuff You Should Know is a podcast that basically does exactly what it says - discusses common topics, things that we should really know but maybe don't, how things work etc.

Being Boss - This series of podcasts for creative entrepreneurs is not necessarily technically for 'learning' I suppose, but is full of inspiration for people who've set up their own business and need a little extra encouragement along the way every now and again. 

2. Learn something totally different: As mentioned above, learning new things doesn't mean going back to the high school history books. New skills come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and there are so many great courses to get stuck into these days. 

From Ping Pong, Poker, Kite Fighting and Paper Cutting The INDYTUTE has some of the most unique, fun and unusual lessons and courses on offer that I've ever come across. I haven't had the chance to give any of them a go yet but just browsing through their selection I'm extremely tempted and am sure I'll be popping along soon - and no doubt reporting back here on the blog! Check them out for some fun ideas that you can sign up for right away.

3. Learn something crafty:

These days you can pretty much take a course in anything that you can possibly imagine within the arts and crafts genre and get stuck in to all sorts. Whether you want to learn the basics of sewing over a period of weeks or spend a short afternoon making jewellery or icing biscuits - you name it, you'll be able to find it! Doing something crafty is a great way to switch off and refocus your mind and energy, a fun thing to do and share with friends and a lovely way to gain a unique sense of achievement often in a very short space of time.

Two of my favourite crafty picks include:

Make your own Fascinator - With the summer racing season just around the corner why not pop along to a Fascinator making course and spend an afternoon making your own unique creation instead of spending a fortune on buying one in the shops. I took part in such a course a few years ago for a friends hen party and, despite the fact that I did injure myself a few too many times with the needle, it was still a most engaging and satisfying afternoon of creativity.

Ice some biscuits! I haven't tried this course but I've tried the biscuits and they're just as beautiful as they are delicious. If you've got a steady hand and a fair bit of patience then an afternoon learning these delicate, beautiful icing skills could be right up your street. Have you tried it? Any thoughts or other suggestions?


4. Learn something new about yourself:

Sometimes we all just need to take a step back and focus on learning more about ourselves. Why we do things, how we can move forward in certain situations, how we can learn to do things differently. This might all sound a bit hardcore, perhaps intimidating or to some just total nonsense but you'll be surprised how many interesting, and perhaps challenging but ultimately rewarding, things there are out there. Ways to help you learn more about yourself and feel more comfortable in your own skin.

From personal experience here is one of my favourite picks. Something you might never have considered before but may be incredibly useful. You don't have to travel the world to find yourself!

Free Your Inner Voice. Way, way back when I was studying Musical Theatre in my college days I started to have some serious issues with my voice, namely my voice decided not to work anymore which, when you're training everyday to be a singer and an actress, can be a bit of a tricky hurdle to have to overcome!

A great teacher that I had at the time took me along to a class run by a friend of hers called Free The Inner Voice. Now I won't lie - this is not the sort of thing I would have picked out to do on my own accord. The sessions primarily focus on chanting, setting an intention and then working with it, finding ways to release whatever it is that's stopping you from moving forward. 

It's very difficult to explain and summarise in a few short sentences on a blog but the subsequent chanting courses that I took part in during that time really did have a huge effect on where I was at that point in my life. Even down to the very simple fact that when I went home after that first two hour session, for the first time in years I was able to relax the muscles in my face that had been holding themselves so tightly trying to shoulder the load of what was going on inside of me. Whoa - heavy I know! But that's not what this is all about. With clients as diverse as M&C Saatchi, Lenny Henry and the NHS - Nikki, the genius teacher behind all this, can work with individuals or teams of people to help you with all sorts - from a fear of public speaking to perhaps something a little deeper. You never have to reveal anything you don't want to but even so, you'll still be amazed at the results.

Finally if you're reading this thinking that it's all very well but it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks! It's NEVER too late to learn. Try reading these two articles to help you find new thinking behind learning new things:

Four Short Lessons On How To Learn A New Skill - Inc.com

How To Learn A New Skill Fast - Forbes.com

What are your thoughts on learning new things? Do you like to keep challenging yourself in life? Do you think you'll try any of the above? Or does the thought of learning something new scare you and if so what is it that makes you so nervous?

I'd love to know your thoughts - and any feedback or ideas on the above suggestions or those that you may have of your own.

Bye for now everyone. Happy learning and have a Happy Monday!


City Runners Build Stamina And Strength With Workout @ Work

When you work long hours in the city, keeping fit and taking care of your own wellbeing can all too quickly take a back seat. It can be hard to find the time and difficult to gain access to the right resources. This was exactly the problem that Alison and Barbara, Founders of Workout @ Work, stumbled across during their increasingly hectic schedules working as Lawyers in the capital. So they decided they would do something about it!

Today I chat to Alison in more detail about the idea behind their company as well as the new Stamina Training programme they are launching specifically for busy city runners of all levels and experience. Perfect with the upcoming London Marathon as well as other long distance events over the coming months. So read on to find out more, including how you can get involved, as well as pick up some top tips if you're currently preparing for an event and are after some training and race day advice ...

Photograph  : Workout @ Work

Photograph: Workout @ Work

1. Hi Alison, could you begin by giving us a brief introduction into the idea and passion behind your business Workout @ Work?

Barbara and I met at law school and became great friends. We started our working lives in the office and soon found there wasn't much time to take care of our health and wellbeing. Together we spoke about creating something that would not only allow ourselves to be healthier and happier but also our colleagues too.

Before long the concept of Workout @ Work was born offering wellness days and wellbeing programmes to corporates in the city. This year we've also started to offer group exercise classes in the beautiful Hyde Park so even if your workplace doesn't yet have a wellness programme you can still have access to affordable, active classes. 

Photographs  : Workout @ Work

Photographs: Workout @ Work

2. Your newest programme 'Stamina Training For Runners' sounds perfect and with the upcoming London Marathon is, I'm sure, a much needed resource for runners all over the capital. What's the thought and purpose behind this new project? 

We know that lots of runners either run on their own or with a running group, but we wanted to create something different to give the body a break. With lots of marathons, half marathons and charity runs coming up in the next few months we thought it was a great time to try out something fun with the aim of helping runners around the capital run faster and better.

3. What are the added benefits of stamina training - why is it useful as an add on to regular marathon training?

Stamina training is a great way to improve your fitness and can help you run faster! Incorporating a mixture of drills, exercises and stretches into your regular running routine improves endurance, strength and running form.

4. What will the training offer to those interested in taking part?

Our trainer will put participants through their paces with a variety of exercises tailored to work on the muscles that you use most in marathon running. For example, participants will work through proper stretches to build flexibility in the muscles which will help the body be more efficient and less injury prone.

They will also complete a series of short boot camp style exercises including things like:

  • Skipping to help build the calves, glutes and quads.
  • Weights and push ups to help build a strong upper body providing a strong torso and stable base for running.
  • High knee drills to improve the running stride as the body learns to pull from each stride to the next.
Photograph  : Workout @ Work

Photograph: Workout @ Work

5. Can anyone participate and how can people get involved?

Yes, the programme is open to everyone and our trainer can adapt each exercise for varying levels. Participants simply sign up on our website www.workoutatwork.org or email us at contact@workoutatwork.org for more information.

6. Who will provide the training and how do you choose the trainers that you collaborate with?

Our personal trainer Ros will be taking the stamina sessions. She's a fantastic trainer and knows how to help people achieve results. We're lucky to work with a variety of brilliant, experienced trainers.

For us, it's important to work with the best, it's a given that our instructors have great qualifications including first aid and are fully insured. It's also key that our trainers are fun, friendly people who understand what it's like to work a hectic schedule and still want to squeeze in time to keep fit.

Time is precious and they work efficiently so you can achieve results faster.

7. Do you have any top tips for people currently training for the London Marathon or another long distance running event?

Yes! We've consulted with marathon runner and friend of Workout @ Work Amanda Hardy for her top ten tips. Amanda has run several marathons and has a personal best of an incredible 3 hours 13 minutes so she really knows her stuff.

Photograph  : Workout @ Work

Photograph: Workout @ Work

Amanda's Top Ten

  1. Devise an achievable training schedule and build up your distance slowly to prevent injuries.
  2. Take up targeted classes such as yoga to help elongate your muscles which will contract as a result of long distance running. Weights and core work will build strength, for example for navigating tough hilly sections.
  3. Carb-loading requirements will vary per person. Use your long training runs as an opportunity to trial different ‘night-before’ and ‘race-morning’ meals to determine what works best for you. Don’t overdo it ... you often need less than you think.
  4. It's very important to be well hydrated before the race. I typically try to drink as much water as possible the day and evening before but cut back the morning of the race. Ladies generally have to wait in long queues to get to a toilet, and there are typically queues at bag drop-off. Factor this in when planning your time on race morning to avoid unnecessary stress!
  5. Wear your planned race kit for your longest training run to test whether chafing or discomfort will be a problem. Use Vaseline if required - comfort will be key to an enjoyable race.
  6. In chillier conditions, wear a tracksuit over your kit to keep as warm as possible before the race. I feel the cold therefore I also take gloves and a beanie! These extra clothes won’t go to waste – put them in the charity bins just before you head to the start line.   
  7. Plan your energy in-take during the run. Again, energy supplement sources and quantities will vary per person. I like Gu because I find the consistency of the gel, as well as sizing of the sachet, manageable.
  8. Study the race profile to avoid any unwelcome surprises along the route. It's a good idea to have a ‘race strategy’ in mind and know where and when to expect the tougher parts of the course.
  9. Don’t go out too fast! Many runners make the mistake of going too quickly in the earlier miles (the hype of the race will get to you). This may lead to hard, slow paces at the end. Rather try to maintain a comfortable speed throughout the run.
  10. Finally, enjoy the adrenalin rush you will get from being amongst the hustle and bustle of all the runners, as well as being spurred on by the cheering of the supporters lining the streets. Use it as motivation to push you through.
Photograph  : Workout @ Work

Photograph: Workout @ Work

8. After all this hard work I'm sure you'll agree it's also important to rest and unwind! What do you find is the best way to switch off and recover? 

Absolutely! I love a relaxing bath and a good novel. I think it's important to take time out and rest the body and the mind. Practicing 10 minutes of mindfulness a day also does wonders for the soul.

Photographs  : Workout @ Work

Photographs: Workout @ Work

Phew what a great idea and a fantastic set of tips and advice for runners, whether you're just getting started or you're well on your way to your first or next marathon. There's something here for everyone.

It's so important to make time for the things you are passionate about as well as to look after your own fitness and wellbeing. If running is a passion of yours but you're struggling to find a balanced approach to your training amidst a busy schedule, then the team at Workout @ Work may be the people to help and advise you.

They also offer a number of other great services specifically tailored to an individual companies needs so if your company is looking to implement a fully rounded wellness programme for it's employees then don't hesitate to get in touch to learn more. From fitness, to golf, to manicures and beauty for those in a busy whirl of work, there's a wide range of activities available suited to everyone.

If you'd like to get involved with the stamina training classes or have a question about any of the other services that Workout @ Work have to offer please get in touch using the links below:

Email: contact@workoutatwork.org 

Phone: +44 (0)7522 759 093 

Tweet: @workoutatworks

Thank you to the lovely Alison and Barbara for sharing the great work they are doing here today on the blog.


Have a wonderful hump day everyone! Don't forget to head over to @CareerBloggers tonight at 7:30pm for this evenings #CareerBlogChat - a Blogging Special. 

See you all on Friday for a new post to wrap up the working week.