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From Nottingham To Singapore

Graduate JobsNetworkingWork

Read the amazing career trajectory of a Mathematics and Computer Science graduate from The University of Nottingham GRB placed in 2003.

1. How did you hear about GRB?
GRB was one of the firms recommended by my university. They knew I was looking for jobs that may be a little more interesting than the typical big four career path and it's one reason I chose to use them. Of course, they also secured interviews with big global firms so in the end it was a great balance.

2. What challenges did you face when seeking graduate employment?
Well with the GRB, I didn't face many challenges at all and remember that there were plenty of opportunities presented to me. If there was a general challenge from a personal perspective, it would have been finding a company that was not a household name but still gave me great career opportunities. Everyone can apply to a large company with 50,000 employees but finding those hidden gems is not so easy.

3. How did GRB help you start your career? Describe the GRB experts you worked with who gave you advice, guidance and support.
This one is simple! They found me a job for a new yet exciting consulting firm that was probably the best start to my career I could have asked for. The firm that I joined now is part of a worldwide group of over 5,000 management consultants. I was given plenty of advice regarding psychometric testing and case studies that set me in good stead not only for the smaller firms but also for the large consulting firms I also interviewed for. I was offered every role I interviewed for and that was helped a lot by the guidance given by GRB.

4. In the 12 years since you graduated describe how your career has developed?
Since starting my career as a management consultant in London, I have worked for over 20 global companies as advisor and strategy consultant, sat on five global advisory board in 4 countries including the US and South Africa and led over four startups. Having transitioned from management consultant, I found my way into running major financial, media and technology businesses in the midst of the financial crisis (not for the faint hearted) and supported various venture capital investments from both a due diligence, start-up and operational capability. Now I am the founder and investor in a number of businesses running in South East Asia, focused primary around digital innovation.

5. What is your ultimate career end goal?
I think we all want to achieve something that we can put our name to. For some this may be part of a project or even outside of work, but as an entrepreneur, it is our company in Singapore. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to build businesses that disrupt incumbent and accepted ways of doing business whether in making cold-pressed juice or in changing the way we do digital advertising, and my ultimate goal is to be in a position to carry on doing this for many many years to come. I may return back to Consulting or Venture Capital one day, and I think these are both fantastic careers to explore the world, business and innovation. Whatever the goal, I do think consulting can be a fantastic base to move into a myriad of roles and industries. Ultimately, so long as I am surrounded by inspiring people, doing creative work that challenges the status quo, there's a good chance I'll hit whatever new goals I set for myself.

6. Why would you encourage other students to use GRB?
GRB set me on a great path and whilst it has been some time, I am sure they can help many others. More generally, I subscribe to age old idiom of "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and so whoever you are, I would give GRB a try and see what opportunities it brings you.

Dan Hawes is the Co-Founder of the GRB Group. He hopes to enlighten students, graduates and employers with his wisdom from over 25 years in the industry.

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