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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Free Tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt London


The TechCrunch Disrupt conference comes to London once again December 7-8, 2015. The FlatClub & TechCrunch Disrupt partnership continues for another year - and those of you in London can benefit greatly from our camaraderie. It’s time to earn a free ticket to TechCrunch Disrupt 2015 in London!

Just like the years prior, all you have to do is offer your flat, or a spare room, to a TechCrunch Disrupt participant, free of charge. When you do, you’ll be given one free ticket to Disrupt, a £1440 value!

We were lucky enough to attend Disrupt in 2014 when they were in London last, and it was a great time; our hosts who joined us also enjoyed themselves. Speakers this year will include:

Thierry Henry - Top goal scorer for Arsenal FC, Investor in London Startup Grabyo.
Thierry Henry has been nominated as World Player of the Year on two successive occasions, voted the Greatest Footballer Ever to have played in the English Premiership and was recently honoured with entry into the All Time Hall of Fame. Both on and off the pitch, Henry exudes excellence. He was named FIFA's Global Ambassador against Racism and is actively involved in the startup community. At the conference, he will speak about how technology and digital media is changing the sports industry and the fan bases, why he backed Grabyo, and what sports, music and fashion talent can bring to social platforms.

Eileen Burbidge - Partner at Passion Capital, an early stage VC fund.
Eileen Burbage, a partner at Passion Capital, has been included in the WIRED100 Most Influential People in Tech list for the last three years. Burbage also serves as one of nineteen members of the Prime Minister David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group.

Azmat Yusuf - Founder of CityMapper

The popular London navigation tool, CityMapper has surged through the market as it combines all forms of transportation. Linked with the London Underground and other public transportation outlets, the app provides an efficient mechanism for navigation. Meet the man behind the maps. 

Alexandra Chong - Founder of Lulu.

Lulu is the #1 mobile app for women to share experiences and make better decisions. Over 5 million girls use Lulu to reference their dates. The private, safe network scales the collective pulse on what matters to young women when it comes to dating, relationships, health, fitness and beauty.

And even more speakers have been added to the line up:

Alex Depledge, co-founder and CEO of Hassle
Book a home cleaner in London, Manchester, Birmingham or Leeds at just £10 per hour with Finding domestic and house cleaners is so easy!

Pieter van der Does, co-founder, CEO of Adyen
Adyen is the leading technology provider powering payments for global commerce in the 21st century. With a seamless solution for mobile, online and in-store transactions, our technology enables merchants to accept almost any type of payment, anywhere in the world.

Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise
Banks charge hidden charges when you send money abroad. With TransferWise you save up to 90%. Problem solved, money saved.

Plus, there is sure to be many more announced in the coming weeks. Activities during Disrupt include listening to these such speakers discussing current events in technology & their personal work ethos, watching the Startup Battlefield competitors pitch their ideas, and wandering about Startup Alley & Hardware Alley, to soak in the latest and greatest in technology.

So, are you ready to get your ticket to Disrupt? Sign up to be one of our TechCrunch Disrupt Hosts, and you’re well on your way to Europe’s biggest technology event - free!

How to Boost Your Creativity Online

We saw how easy it was to access tons of information, books and courses online in our previous post on how to better yourself online. Now, you may be wondering how to apply those skills & bolster up your creativity - here we are with the answers.

Learn How to Code

Learning how to code is not just a skill for programmers. It can make your life easier and help you boost your CV (need we mention the domination of software in the job market at the moment?) In a world which everything is getting more and more digital, anyone can and should learn how to code and pick up basic skills in a few weeks, or even hours. Not only that, but coding can indeed be creative! Programming has an unfair reputation as being boring, but how do you think all your favorite apps & fun games got made?

Code Academy seems to be every self-starter’s starting point. Code Academy is perfect for a first contact and understanding of coding and the languages. It offers courses in seven main areas: from HTML & CSS to JavaScript, Ruby and Python.

Code Avengers While perfect for those who wants to learn to code games, apps and websites, Code Avengers is not free and only offers three tracks ( HTML & CSS, JavaScript and Python). It is however a fun way to learn more about coding with games and badges at the end of each task.

More coding websites:
Khan Academy

Learn How to Draw & to Play an Instrument

These two require a lot of practice and the easiest way to pick up on some new tips and tricks is to watch lots of tutorials over the internet.

Try to set up a time to practice and stick to it. If you decide to learn how to play an instrument or to draw online, do not expect to achieve a high level if you do not focus hard enough. Art demands a lot of time and patience and if you want to achieve a certain level you will eventually have to get a teacher to develop technique and posture.

Youtube tutorials will help you work on your posture for piano and show you how to draw basic stuff for the aspiring artist. There are even more YouTube tutorials for aspiring make-up artists and singers - almost anything you want to be can be found on Youtube. is actually a real person, Justin Sandercoe who offers free guitar lessons on his website since 2003. Justin will walk you through everything, from teaching you the correct names for the parts of a guitar, good posture and tips on how to become the next Jimi Hendrix.

Hoffman Academy is more oriented towards children, but a great way to get into playing the piano. The lessons are truly made for beginners and it stays very affordable.

Drawspace offers free tutorials and its community makes the interface very lively and will help you seek inspiration. The website offers a variety of things you can learn to draw and sketch.

Become a Chef!

It's quite popular to watch the Food Network and dream about the day you will make the perfect soufflé. While none of us here at FlatClub have mastered the recipe just yet, we still take a look at Youtube's food channels for cooking inspiration!

Food Wishes: Put brand new video recipes every week! The invisible and sassy talking chef makes the food the real star of the show.

Marco Pierre White: Cook like a true Chef with the help of Marco Pierre White and his easy educational cooking videos.

FoodTube: Who doesn’t know Jamie Oliver? He’s a bit of eye candy, some would say.

Check out apps like Marmiton for even more cooking tips and recipes.

These are just some of the ways you can boost your own creativity online, and learn new and useful skills. Has the FlatClub community discovered any other cool things that they can learn online? Or applied the skills you picked up online to the real world? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Getting Back Into a Routine after Holidays

Oh no. It’s time to get back to reality: leave your bathing suit at home, stop eating out, and go back to your usual busy schedule, students. Autumn has plenty of appeal - but still, when it’s here you have to get out of holiday mode and back into your routine.
A few clever tricks can help you break the your vacation pattern and get you excited for university again.

1. Get Organized
Easy to say but not so easy to do, we know. In this case, we recommend going back to basics: the to do list and weekly planner. Boring sure, but effective. Planning ahead will help you manage your time and avoid having to take care of things last minute.

You can use a calendar, write what you have to do on a piece of paper and hang it next to your bed or download one of the 5 productivity apps we talked about in a previous article.

If you decide to go the old fashioned way - make it fun! Play around with colors, stickers, everything to brighten up your calendar, both to make it more fun and to ensure that it catches your eye each morning.

2. Be Realistic
Don’t plan too much for one day. You rock at multitasking? Great! Try not to abuse it, or you will burn yourself out. Focus on the most important projects and give yourself some time to breath. Be realistic about the time you have and plan accordingly.

3. Don’t Procrastinate What Can be Done Now

It’s especially easy to procrastinate when you’re thinking that something is a quick, small task that you can accomplish in a matter of minutes. If something can be done right now, do it now to avoid forgetting about it later or doing a poor job of it at the last minute. Getting small things out of the way will give you a clearer view on what’s left to do.

4. Identify Your Productivity Window
When are you at your most productive? Forget about all of the surveys you did, and when they said people are at their most productive. When are you most efficient? Is it in the morning? Evening? Before or after coffee? After lunch? During the weekends? After taking the trash out? Figure this one out to make sure you utilize your time well.

5. Get Some Good Sleep & Eat Healthy
Summer and holidays in general mean having a hectic sleep schedule. Try to slowly get back into a healthy sleeping routine and go to bed a bit earlier every night. If you still have trouble sleeping before 2 in the morning, try some breathing exercises to calm your mind and fall asleep faster.

Academics and success at work is also linked to a good nutrition. You can boost your memory and learning abilities by drinking plenty of water, eating lots of berries and fruits in general, along with eggs, nuts, and fish.

6. Take Breaks
With all this planning, working, studying, your brain will need to refresh. A break does not only mean laying around doing nothing, you could also do something unrelated to work to take your mind off your busy schedule. Read a book, exercise, or something else that makes me you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. If you decide to make a break schedule, stick to it!

7. Train your Brain
Why train your brain? Well, because like your body, your mind can be improved and training your brain will help you perform better in every area of your life. Peak is a good app that offers daily ‘workouts’ to improve your memory, focus, mental agility, problem solving abilities, and more.

4 Free Apps to Keep Track of Your Budget

If you are a student, intern, or young professional, it can be tough to budget your way through life. Here are some of the best apps to help you spend your money more wisely.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

4 Trick Questions You Can Encounter During an Interview

In every interview that you’ll have, your interviewer will try to throw a wrench in your planned answers to see how you will react. We refer to those as ‘trick questions’, but they’re not malevolent, they’re just meant to see how you think on your feet. Here are the top 4 ‘trick questions’ that are utilized by interviewers.

We’ll see in this article not only what sort of answer your recruiter is looking for, but also why they are asking those questions in the first place.

1. "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” 

We would say it’s a “heads or tails” question because it depends on what your recruiter wants. While some of them are genuinely interested in knowing more about you, others might just ask the question to make sure you will be a good candidate who is indeed in it for the long haul.

By asking that question, the recruiter would like to know if you have already thought about your future career, and if it’s realistic and well defined. As the question is rather tricky, what we suggest is to be vague but to show your ambition. We suggest something like “I would definitely see myself working in the human resources field and given that many things can happen in 5 years, I hope to rise professionally as well as personally.”

2. “What do you do if you realize that you’ve made a mistake in business?” 

Everyone makes mistakes, but what your recruiter wants to know is that you’re capable of taking responsibility for your own actions.

It will be intolerable for him/her if you had blamed someone else for your own mistake.

The magical answer is: “I take the whole responsibility and will do my best to fix what occured due to the error. I’m going to learn from it and understand why it happened in order to avoid that in the future. If I cannot fix it by myself, I shall bring it to my superior alongside the steps I’ve taken to correct it already.”

3. “Why should we hire you instead of one of the many other applicants?” 

This question is frequently asked at the end of an interview. This is asked by the interviewer because he would like to know why you are the best to hire among the rest of candidates.

His/her reputation is at stake depending if you are a good deal for the company or not.

The interviewer wants to ensure that his or her decision is the right one. In that case, you have to sell yourself. Make his job easier and convince him that you’ll bring great results and that you’ll integrate easily into the team. For example: “You should hire me because I was the best salesperson in my previous company. Indeed, I raised the sales rate by 20%.”

4. “What are your weaknesses?”

This is undoubtedly the most asked question by recruiters - it’s so they know what risks they may take on if they hire you.
In this case, you don’t have to be too honest and enumerate a list of all of your faults, nor should you say that you have none - as all people have faults and it will look disingenuous to say otherwise.

What you have to do in this situation is to say one of your faults, but directly go on with what you did to change it, and how you learned to work around it. Your fault, however, should be unrelated to the position. For example if you’re telling your recruiter that you are shy while applying for a sales position, you’ll never make it.