Emma. International Politics Graduate. Aberystwyth University.
1. Tell me how your career journey has gone since you graduated
As most of my cohort were expecting to go into Government and use our degree I knew it would be competitive so I was exploring a bunch of options and with GRB's help it opened my eyes to other careers that suited my skillset. It was a great start to my career as I enjoyed it and got noticed so was promoted several times. After three years I was head hunted to join and set up and new division with another recruitment firm in London.
2. What was your motivation for choosing this career?
To be honest, money. I adored politics but the salaries were too low. The course gave me useful skills as we were taught to speak, debate and communicate with all types of people which was a super skillset to have for recruitment. With the commission element I was really able to realise my potential!
3. In the beginning did you use your degree knowledge and skillset you got from uni?
Not degree knowledge but definitely the soft skills like speaking and writing convincingly for one.
4. What new skills have you developed?
Everything and more! Negotiation, account management, people coaching and also industry specific knowledge especially around hedge funds.
5. At this stage are you where you’d hope to be in that time frame?
Yes. I bought my first house at 27 and a career in recruitment made it possible.
6. Did you have a career plan?
No. I had nowhere to live so needed to find somewhere quickly so it was a necessity to get a job!
7. How did you make it happen?
I registered with GRB and Gina emailed me about a graduate role in recruitment. I was doing a Masters which meant I couldn't start a job until September which meant I missed the start date for a lot of Summer start grad programmes. I had to look at every option and didn't say no to anything GRB sent my way sokept an open mind.
8. Who did you take advice from?
My brother on job elated issues and my Dad about the cost of living. I was the first generation in my family to go to University so I needed to understand how the job market worked especially I am originally from Canada.I did use the Careers Service but found it was mainly aimed at undergraduates.
9. What advice would you give a fresh graduate?
Don't narrow your job search unless you know 100% what you want to do and you've done a STEM degree. It's different for Arts graduates so keep your options open and try and understand pathways for careers. Use LinkedIn to reach alumni and ask them questions about how they got started.
10. Any challenges during the transition from uni to work?
Yes. It was a steep learning curve for me. If you have done very well academically you have school down so well and then you have to learn new things in the workplace it can be hard to make the transition to the work environment. You want an employer that allows you to fail and you need to accept that it is expected, which can be a challenge for a high performing graduate.
11. Advice for first week and few months of a new job? (office etiquette, politics, etc)
Especially in an inter-generational workplace you have to realise there is a hierarchy so you must have appropriate conversations depending on the status of the person you are speaking with. Also remember that work socials and not the same as ones at University so drink responsibly!
12. Anything you would do differently if you could start over?
It's all gone great and so the only thing I might have done is to start my job search earlier, probably in the first term, as the work stacked up and left little time to focus on the job search.
13. One final top tip?
Enjoy your last few months at university as you will never has much control over your life and you will miss this when you start a full time job, family, mortgage, kicks in.
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