Amrit. Economics Graduate. University of Leeds.
1. Tell me how your career journey has gone since you graduated?
After an initial period of unemployment, I went back to my catering job at the local NHS hospital whilst searching for a graduate job. With the help of GRB, I landed an audit role at Deloitte in Birmingham on Tuesday 24th October 2006 and started on Thursday 26th October 2006; on the Wednesday in-between I did my last ever shift at the hospital! Since then, a combination of hard work, luck and timing has afforded me a thoroughly enjoyable and fulfilling career to date. I finished at Deloitte in early 2010, before doing some contract work for a short while, then returning to a permanent role by the end of 2010 with SABMiller plc (now part of ABI group) in Woking. My tenure at SABMiller ended early 2015, after which I enjoyed six months off work, before taking up another permanent position at Heathrow Airport, where I have now been for just over three years.
2. What was your motivation for choosing this career?
I've become a Chartered Accountant (ACA) and treasury specialist (AMCT) by chance to be honest. Deloitte were recruiting at the drinks reception after my graduation ceremony (from Leeds University in 2006) which I thought was a bit odd, but intriguing at the same time since there were no other recruiters there. After doing my initial research, I realised what a large and reputable company Deloitte was, so I thought why not apply - the rest is history!
3. In the beginning did you use your degree knowledge and skillset you got from uni?
To an extent yes, but people skills and having general business acumen helped to get me through the door initially. You learn to network, socialise and interact with people from diverse backgrounds whilst at Uni and this in itself puts you in good stead for the world of work and corporate culture.
4. What new skills have you developed?
Professional qualifications (ACA, AMCT); mentoring and business writing skills.
5. At this stage are you where you’d hope to be in that time frame?
I never had a career plan, other than work hard and take opportunities as they arise. All in all, despite some challenges and hard lessons learnt along the way, I can honestly say that I couldn't have hoped for more so I'm grateful and privileged to be in the position I am in now.
6. Did you have a career plan?
7. How did you make it happen?
Work hard and take opportunities as they arise. Listen to more experienced people and never be afraid to ask for help along the way.
8. Who did you take advice from?
University friends, line managers I've worked for and my Dad.
9. What advice would you give a fresh graduate?
Use common sense and get the basics right (spell/grammar check your CV, interview technique, etiquette etc). Be yourself and sell your genuine brand. Think before you speak and if you need time to think before you answer an interview question, then simply say so!
10. Any challenges during the transition from uni to work?
Commuting and working office hours, whilst studying for a professional qualification is exhausting at first. Working for a large company like Deloitte was a pleasant transition from University since they employ many new graduates, so you continue to have a solid cohort of like-minded young people who not only work hard, but play hard too!
11. Advice for first week and few months of a new job?
Listen, be respectful and enjoy. It can be a steep learning curve so take your time to digest new learnings and what is going on around you. Embrace your initial training and induction programme.
12. Anything you would do differently if you could start over?
Not party so much!
13. One final top tip?
Learn from your mistakes and persevere as you strive to land your ideal graduate role as sooner or later it will happen!