Tag Archives: graduate jobs

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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10 things students should know about the UK graduate labour market

 

As 2019 begins here is a myth busting insight into the graduate recruitment market.

University of Leeds Careers Adviser Suzie Bullock  summarises the keynote speech from the Institute of Student Employers conference delivered in December 2018, by:

Tristram Hooley, Chief Research Officer at the Institute of Student Employers, and Charlie Ball, Head of HE Intelligence at Graduate Prospects.  For more information, see the full presentation: 10 things you should know about the graduate recruitment market

So, the UK graduate labour market, what should you know?

  1. It doesn’t exist.
    Instead there is a series of discrete, usually urban regional labour markets that often influences the markets around them.  Remember, most people in the UK are not graduates and most jobs are not at graduate level.
  2. It is quite stable.
    The past is a fairly accurate guide to the future. Graduate jobs next year will probably be the same jobs as last year. Don’t expect radical changes. Graduates should see a steady salary increase.
  3. It doesn’t look too bad right now.
    For graduates, the recession ended in 2013. There is low unemployment among graduates and the postgraduate career development loan system is working. But warning signs are showing.
  4. The B word.
    A recession is looming and that, combined with Brexit, is likely to lead to economic vulnerability. Recruitment is slowing down but the impact on graduates is less.
  5. Place matters.
    London is the biggest graduate job market in the country, followed by: Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds – around a third of all graduates started work in these four cities in 2017 .  London is the least cost effective city to live in, Derby is the best, with Sheffield, Newcastle, Plymouth and Southampton close behind. Graduates are becoming concentrated in larger cities with local towns finding it hard to recruit graduates.  The cost of living is making graduates less mobile – to live in London it is estimated that a starting salary of £29,000 would only just cover the cost of living. This is having an effect on employers and, for example, PwC is moving out of London to more regional centres as they recognised that only a third of graduates wanted to move to London.
  6. Employers are using a mix of approaches to recruitment selection.
    While most employers say they rely more on a competency-based approach, 55% are combining approaches to include competency-based questions alongside strengths- based questions, technical questions and values-based questions. Employers continue to use different approaches to recruitment with 89% of Institute of Student Employers’ organisations reporting that they use assessment centres, 71% use psychometric tests, 71% use face to face interviews, 66% screen CVs, 58% screen by degree classification and 39% screen by phone interview.
  7. There is a significant shortage of graduates now.
    There are severe shortages in these roles: nurses; programmers and software development professionals; HR and recruitment; medical practitioners; welfare and housing associate professionals; business sales executives; IT user support technicians; sales account and business development managers; marketing associate professionals; general and specialist engineers; managers and directors in retail and wholesale; design and development engineers; web design and development professionals; vets; chartered and certified accountants.
  8. Life isn’t fair.
    Former public and independent school pupils dominate the UK labour market. But employers say they want to increase their intake of students from state schools and improve the diversity of their workforce so are trying out blind recruitment techniques and removing potential barriers, such as UCAS points.
  9. Graduate schemes aren’t everything.
    Other options to consider are larger companies recruiting ‘direct to desk’; large companies that aren’t big enough to have a graduate scheme; SMEs; non-graduate roles; and self-employment.  30% of graduates went to work for companies with fewer than 250 employees.
  10. There is a lot we don’t know.
    Most data comes from very early in a graduate’s career. Someone graduating in 2018 is likely to still be working in 2070. Based on those figures, someone retiring now, would have started work in 1966.

Remember, we are here to help you with all things career related;  making choices or plans, supporting you with applications, interviews and more.  See our Careers Centre website for details on how we can help you.

 

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5 Graduate Fears and How to Overcome Them

Whether you’ve already graduated and are struggling to find that perfect job, or if you will be graduating soon, Francesca Hooper from Inspiring Interns provides some tips on overcoming fears that can often hold graduates back.

Remember that we at the Careers Centre are here to help you with all things post-university, whether you’re a current Leeds student or if you have already graduated. See our website for full details of our support and services.

As end-of-university celebrations fizzle out, reality decides it’s time to catapult you back to Planet Earth.  You are now ready to enter the ‘real world’!

Even though the internet is riddled with horror stories about post-uni life, you mustn’t surrender to the inevitable fear.  To help you, here’s a list of the five fears haunting graduates and tips on how to combat them.

  1. It’s taking too long to find a job

For some people it can take a couple of months, for others it can stretch to ten. It doesn’t mean you’re inadequate, it’s often just a matter of chance. Continue reading

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How I got my job – Pladis Graduate Scheme

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This week Andrea, a MSc Global Supply Chain graduate tells us about how he got is graduate position at Pladis and gives some detailed advice on the application process.

Hello all,

My name is Andrea Scirè, I am 22 years old and, after having finished my course in September, I graduated in December 2016 from the Leeds University Business School with a 2:1 (68%) MSc in Global Supply Chain Management.

When I left my home town, Rome (Italy), in September 2015, I could never have imagined that, slightly more than a year later, I would be working in the UK as a graduate with pladis (the number one biscuit manufacturer in the UK and Turkey and worldwide, known for iconic brands such as McVitie’s, Godiva and Ulker). But, believe me or not, this is what happened.

In the next few paragraphs, I will explain how the Professional Development Hub of the University of Leeds Business School and the Careers Centre helped me in getting selected from over 200+ candidates applying for this graduate scheme.

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3 ways LinkedIn can help you find relevant employers: Part 2

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This is the 2nd post in our 3-part mini series outlining 3 key ways LinkedIn can help you find potential employers, whether this be for jobs, experience or placements.

This post outlines how you can use the company search feature to identify employers by location and sector. Part 1 of the series outlines how the advanced people search function can help you identify potential employers.

Whether you’re looking for experience, placements or a graduate job, it can sometimes be hard to identify potential relevant employers.  This is particularly so if you’re looking outside of the large multi-national organisations. Opportunities with other types of employers, or in other sectors, may not be as widely advertised, and many people actually find jobs and experience by pro-actively approaching employers of interest on a speculative basis. In this 3-part mini series, we’ll show you 3 easy ways you can leverage LinkedIn to identify potential employers of interest.

You may be interested in a particular sector/s and location/s.  This is a great, and useful, starting point to begin researching potential employers.  LinkedIn is one of many ways you can start to do this. Continue reading

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Get the most out of the Graduate Jobs & Internships Fair – Monday 12th October 2015

10658832_708737519209912_4148676610700908724_oOur Autumn Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair takes place on Monday 12th October from 11am-3pm at The Edge.  There are over 120 organisations attending from a whole range of sectors. This is a fantastic opportunity for students, at all levels, to find out about opportunities with these organisations and to make a good first impression.  This post provides tips and advice to help you get the most out of it.

Who should attend? 

Everyone! Whether you are in your first, middle, or final year and whether you are looking for a first-year insight opportunity, placement, internship or graduate job, there will be organisations there with opportunities for you.

What to expect

Attending a large recruitment fair, particularly for the first time, can be daunting.  Remember that all the organisations are there because they want to meet Leeds students, so try to relax and take advantage of the opportunity to speak to recruiters and those who are doing the job at the moment.  The video below (taken from our Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair last summer) provides a great overview of what to expect, as well as comments from recruiters, students and graduates on why they found it useful.

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Make the most of the Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair

One week today is the Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair.  This is the region’s largest event of its kind, with over 100 organisations attending.  This post will help you prepare and get the most out of it.

YGRF 2015 theatre

Regardless of whether or not you’ve attended a careers fair before, they can be a bit intimidating.  This fair attracts a lot of employers, students and graduates and so is busy.  This video, taken at the fair a couple of years ago, will give you an idea of what to expect Continue reading

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