Category Archives: How I got my job

Hear from other Leeds students and graduates about how they got their jobs and internships

How I got my job: Graduate Recruiter & University Partnership Consultant at FDM

Lara Senhen  graduated from the University of Leeds with an MSc in International Business with distinction in 2017.

Here she talks about her own career path and gives insight into her current position at FDM.

During my studies, I applied for various graduate and entry-level jobs and it was frustrating receiving multiple rejections. I decided to visit a local careers fair where I signed up with a recruitment agency who called me a couple of weeks later for a job in Germany. I sent over my CV and I was invited to an Assessment Centre before receiving the job offer a couple of days later. Straight after handing in my dissertation, I moved to Hamburg where I started working for a programmatic advertising company as a Client Service Executive. Despite enjoying the job, I realised that I was not happy in Germany so I started applying for jobs again.

Applying to FDM

After sending my CV and cover letter to FDM, I attended various interviews as well as visiting the office itself. I received a job offer from FDM to work as Graduate Recruiter & University Partnership Consultant, starting in Summer 2018 so I relocated back to the UK.

Who is FDM?

FDM recruits, trains and deploys talent around the world through our renowned Careers Programme. With centres across the UK, mainland Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, we are a leading graduate employer, working with an impressive list of worldwide clients across multiple sectors. FDM provides industry recognised IT and business training, as well as invaluable commercial experience and the opportunity for rewarding professional development. We recruit all year round from any degree background, seeking those with a drive to succeed within the technology industry.

What is my role?

I recruit for FDM’s Graduate Programme which involves helping graduates find their preferred career pathway which is a fulfilling job in itself. I get the chance to go out to different universities, attend careers fairs and deliver workshops on video interviews, assessment centres and other employability skills. I also work closely with societies and support employability modules on different courses through delivering presentations. It is quite a diverse role where I split my time between the office and visiting various university campuses. It’s always great to be back as an alumna or visit different universities.

Hints and tips

Reflecting upon my experience, I think it is really important to have an open mind regarding what you want to do in life. When I started applying for jobs, I only applied for certain positions in specific industries but I realised that there so many other jobs out there which I never considered exploring. I would advise you to make use of the resources at your university, whether this involves going to careers fairs, popping into the careers centre for a one-on-one appointment or simply speaking to lecturers.
Finally, it is important to stay positive.

The Careers Centre is here to help whether you are a University of Leeds graduate or still studying.  So, if you’d like to chat about career ideas or get some feedback on your applications get in touch.   Careers Fairs and Events are a great way to meet employers so plan ahead, there will be lots of opportunities to network with employers in the coming year.

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How I got my job: Women in Business at PwC

 

Lucy Bonnett is a final year undergraduate student at the University of Leeds studying French and Mathematics.  She participated in the Women in Business Programme, a three day paid work experience programme with PwC.    Lucy was uncertain about her future career plans but took the opportunity to get an insight into professional services.   As a result Lucy has secured a place on their Assurance Graduate Scheme.  Read more about Lucy’s story.

Why I applied

My week at PwC turned out better than I could have imagined. To be completely honest, I applied for the Women In Business placement to find out more about professional services, mainly with a view to ruling it out as an area I didn’t want to work in. I had no idea what I wanted to do after university, so I had decided to do a few placements during my second and third years at uni to see what interested me.

Application experience

The fact that the application process for the placement is identical to that of a graduate scheme was useful – at every stage of the application I thought “Even if I don’t make it to the next stage, I’m gaining valuable experience and application skills”. These skills definitely came in handy when applying to year abroad placements, and my experience allowed me to be relaxed and confident in interview situations.

Gaining an insight into PwC

The week itself was very insightful. We started with a day of training and introductions, easing us into the working atmosphere. I felt at ease in the office straight away – everyone I met went out of their way to make me feel welcome and to explain their roles to me. This itself was interesting, as I hadn’t even heard of some of the jobs and departments that exist in a company as big as PwC, and it showed me that there is plenty of opportunity for growth and change once you’ve joined.

Shadowing

After the first introductory day, I was shadowing a director in the Assurance department, following her from meetings to conferences to phone calls and looking over her shoulder when she was working alone. Karen was brilliant in explaining everything she was doing, and was happy to answer any question, however seemingly obvious. I was also paired up with a recent graduate, who talked to me about the first few years of life at PwC: the training and exams, her day-to-day routines, the atmosphere in the office. I think speaking to women at such different stages in their careers was incredibly helpful, as it helped me to understand both where a graduate would start within the company and where they may end up.

Securing a position

Everyone on the program was offered an interview at the end of the week, either for a summer internship or a place on a graduate scheme depending on how far through your degree you were.  I was successful in my interview and was offered a place on the Assurance graduate scheme. This was so far from my original goal (ruling out professional services as something I didn’t want to go into after university) that I didn’t know what to think at first, and it seemed like a big scary decision to make about my future so early on in my degree. However, after some consideration of the offer and consulting friends/family/university advisors, I decided PwC is a fantastic place to start my career and I have subsequently accepted the offer. And, although I would in no way describe myself as a relaxed care-free fourth year student, I am able to concentrate on my studies and on achieving a classification that I will be proud of, rather than jetting off to assessment days every other week at the same time as striving for a grade that will make me attractive to employers.

My advice

I would recommend the placement to anyone: whether you have no idea what kind of career you would like post-university, or if you are looking to get a head-start on the application process!

 

Read more about the three day  Women in Business programme they are still advertising opportunities (including in the Leeds office) until remaining places fill.

And don’t forget if you want to discuss a career in the professional services sector or any other, the Careers Centre can help you explore your options  and support you in your applications- learn how here.

 

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How I got my job in Medical Communications

In June 2017 Abigail Heffer graduated from the University of Leeds with a 2:1 in BSc Biological Sciences (Ind), she now works at ApotheCom as a Senior Account Executive.  Abigail  secured a placement year at Roche during her studies- with CV support from the Careers Centre.   Follow Abigail’s journey from University of Leeds student to the rewarding, dynamic, fast paced world of Medical Communications.

Applying for a placement year

From relatively early on in my degree, I knew a lab-based career wouldn’t be for me. I wanted the buzz of an office, and to have a role that necessitated communicating with a wide range of different people and personalities. An office-based role in the pharmaceutical industry seemed like it might be a good fit, and so at the beginning of my second year at University I applied for industrial placements with the major players – Pfizer; GSK; AstraZeneca; Johnson & Johnson – but with no success.

Careers Centre support

I hadn’t previously considered visiting the University Careers Centre, but as something in my applications wasn’t hitting the mark, I turned to them for support. The Career Advisers were incredibly helpful, making some key tweaks to my CV and covering letters that would help me stand out from other candidates. Multiple applications and many mock interviews later, I was very happy to find out that I had been offered a placement with Roche in their Clinical Operations department, Welwyn Garden City.

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How I got my job: Digital Marketing and PR

Lucy Bolland

Lucy Bolland graduated in 2017 in MA Advertising and Marketing from the University of Leeds. Currently an Outreach SEO & PR Specialist at Hub MDP she also has her own blog Life of Luce. Before moving to Leeds to study she completed a BA in Public Relations at the University of Sunderland.

My first graduate job

In September 2017, roughly two hours after handing in my dissertation, I bagged myself a role as a Marketing Assistant at a designer ladieswear shop in Sheffield. I ultimately wanted to stay in Leeds, but with huge competition from other graduates and no real digital experience other than my own blog and social media channels, I began to realise how I may have to make personal sacrifices at this early point in my career.

In my first role since graduating from my masters, I discovered more about a website’s CMS (Content Management System). I’d very much recommend setting up a blog before graduating, as I already knew the basics of navigating a websites backend which really helped me with my first role.  I also learnt the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), which would then lead me into my next role.

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How I got my job: Graduate GIS Consultant, Delta Simons

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This article was guest written by Ryan Bell, who works for Delta Simons and is a graduate in Physical Geography.

My role

My role as a Graduate GIS¹ Consultant involves establishing and developing GIS capabilities for Delta-Simons Environmental Consultancy. To provide some context, this involves a full set-up of a functioning system to introduce GIS as a service within the company, which includes aspects such as: identifying the most suitable system, identifying employee data requirements, database management, and template creation. Other responsibilities include GIS maintenance, solving of technical queries, providing training to employees, conducting analysis for technical reports, and developing efficiencies whilst maintaining business-as-usual activities. As the GIS workload fluctuates during its introductory phase, my role also provides opportunity to gain exposure to the range of environmental disciplines that Delta-Simons specialise in, such as flood risk and ecology.

Securing the role

The experiences which have helped me to secure the role at Delta-Simons began with the decision to extend my degree with an industrial placement. Initially, I wasn’t convinced that it would be worthwhile to invest a year of my time in a field that I may not be interested in.

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How I got my placement: Clinical Psychology, Fieldhead Hospital

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Bethany Temple studies BSc Psychology (Industrial), and has been on her placement with Fieldhead Hospital’s Bretton Centre in Wakefield for eight months.

Getting my placement

To be honest, I was completing application after application in the hope of finding some kind of experience within psychology, but at times they can feel like gold dust! I applied for this forensic psychology placement, not really knowing at all what forensic psychology was. I thought I was going to be some sort of criminal profiler; clearly I’ve watched too many crime series! I filled in their application, which I received through the psychology department, and sure enough got my first ever interview. I researched the hospital I would be based at before the interview, and came up with some questions about the types of therapy that are offered to service users. I also went to a mock interview at the careers centre, which I’d highly recommend. In the real interview, my enthusiasm for psychology clearly outshined my lack of knowledge on what clinical/ forensic psychology is, and I got a call the next day saying I’d been accepted!

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How I got my job: PR Account Executive, Cream Consultancy

Joseph Scott

Joseph Scott graduated from the University of Leeds in 2017 with a degree in English Language and Literature. After attending a couple of appointments at the Careers Centre he applied for a role as PR Intern at Cream Consultancy, a listing he spotted on the Careers Centre vacancy website.

My Role

I am a PR Account Executive for a small PR, digital and communication agency called Cream Consultancy which operates out of an office in the Leeming Building on Vicar Lane, Leeds. I have been working in this role for six months in addition to my initial paid internship in August. My role has a lot of responsibilities and diverse tasks which aim to support the Directors and Account Manager in their work with clients. The role of Account Executive exercises many skills and I am developing my writing, communication and customer service on a daily basis.

My Path to PR

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