So, I’m going into my third year of University in a couple of weeks time (eeeek, just typing that out makes me very nervous…) and have been interning at a graduate recruitment consultancy for the past 6 weeks. It’s been such a learning curve and I’ve had tonnes and tonnes of fun. I wanted to share with you lovely people some of the things I’ve learnt during my internship to make you feel a bit more at ease about the graduate recruitment process…
Do your research!
Do your research! Firstly on yourself: work out exactly what it is you want to do post-graduation. Even if you don’t end up staying in the career you initially thought you would, and that’s totally fine, a graduate scheme tends to last max three years so you need to at least be as happy as you can be during those three years. It’s a good idea to take personality tests that can match you to certain career paths/jobs. This way you have an idea of where your skill set lies and what careers that corresponds to.
This is the exciting bit: do your research on companies and see what they offer. Think about what excites you about a job offer and what you can see yourself doing – do you want to travel a bit? Work in a team? Work alone? Research as much as you can, big and small companies, SMEs and Corporate Giants…
The best advice I received from my internship was “You have to be right for the company but the company has to be right for you”, meaning that workplace happiness is a two way street. The company has to suit your needs and you have to suit it. It’s all about finding the right opportunity for you.
It’s never too late to apply for things or change your mind.
Some people think that you have to have all your applications sorted and in by September, as soon as schemes open. However, the best advice I received was talk to all the relevant people at the company if you have any questions, research key developments in the company, and work really hard on your application before applying for things. Now, obviously, I don’t mean wait until the minute before the deadline closes. But don’t rush into anything, you have time to look around and ask all the necessary questions.
Secondly, it is never too late to change your mind about a job/career. For instance, if you apply for a graduate scheme in Engineering but fancy a change to Management later in life that’s totally fine and do-able. It’s all about those all important transferable skills. You just have to have the confidence to take that leap of faith!
To those of you entering the upcoming semester of applications and important decisions, my heart is with you – stay strong!
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