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Jobs as a Graduate

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
How did those of you who went to university manage to get your job afterwards?

I'm just wondering because I'm currently having a look around at possible jobs at the moment, whilst I decide whether to embark on a PhD or go straight into work.

I've looked at a few jobs I'd be interested in, but to be honest, the idea of an assessment day scares the crap out of me! There's a couple I'd like to do in market/social research, but when it says you have to formulate presentations on the day and present to the room etc, it just really puts me off! I know how bad I am at that kind of thing, and I know that I wouldn't get through so there's really no point. I'm just not one of those people who can think on the spot and I get ridiculously nervous, it's just not for me.

However, interviews don't bother me so much and I'd have a much better chance of getting a job this way. I've been looking at jobs in the not-for-profit sector, the salary would be less but that doesn't bother me as much. I do quite a bit of volunteering for a few charities and really enjoy it so that's where I've got the interest from.

So how did you people get your jobs? Was it an interview basis or did you have to go through assessment processes? Also, where did you find the jobs advertised?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hiya Pink,

    I saw from another thread that you study psychology. Are you a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS)? I would advise you to have a look at their website for ideas about possible Psychology related careers and post grad courses. http://www.bps.org.uk/

    If you are a member already you should receive a copy of the monthly Appointments Memorandum which has lots of job listings as well as information about possible post grad opportunities. It might also be an idea to talk to someone in your department about career paths or maybe even through one of the volunteer posts that you are already involved with? :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I honestly don't know anyone who got an actual graduate job when they finished uni. Okay, that doesn't help you one bit, just thought I'd mention it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did! I'm on a training scheme to become a chartered management accountant.

    I had to do a couple of assessment days, which was ok - on one i had to do an interview, a group working test, some ability assessments (numerical and comprehension) and a ten minute presentation which we had about half an hour to prepare.

    The other, i had to do the ability assessments, an interview, a group working test and a personality questionnaire.

    I got the second job, didn't get the first - it was for BUPA and apparently i wasn't enough of a 'people person' in the group test. Hey ho!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    and a ten minute presentation which we had about half an hour to prepare.

    See, that is the kind of thing that scares me! I'm awful at presentations. Did you have to prepare and do it by yourself or do it in groups?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    silverhalo wrote: »
    Hiya Pink,

    I saw from another thread that you study psychology. Are you a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS)? I would advise you to have a look at their website for ideas about possible Psychology related careers and post grad courses. http://www.bps.org.uk/

    If you are a member already you should receive a copy of the monthly Appointments Memorandum which has lots of job listings as well as information about possible post grad opportunities. It might also be an idea to talk to someone in your department about career paths or maybe even through one of the volunteer posts that you are already involved with? :)

    Thanks, yeah I do have a look on their website occasionally, but I only really see psychological assistant jobs which are mainly for people who want to embark on clinical psychology. I have thought about doing a masters but if I get offered this PhD, then that would be better than a masters. Although I'm not sure if I want to do postgraduate study at all, the PhD offer kind of came about by accident!
    Yeah I think I will talk to the company who I volunteer for and ask them how I might be able to get involved, they might give me some useful advice if anything.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I honestly don't know anyone who got an actual graduate job when they finished uni. Okay, that doesn't help you one bit, just thought I'd mention it.

    Yeah same here! I think it just shows how few of these schemes there actually are in the grand scheme of things. Mind you, I wouldn't want to be involved in a graduate scheme job for the reasons already mentioned. I would hate to do workgroups and presentations and to know that there are dozens of other people all in the same boat. I mean, I can see why large companies would take this route to get the "best" people out of a large number of people but its like being at school. I much prefer the traditional application and interview process and this is how I have got my jobs.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Pink Soda wrote: »
    See, that is the kind of thing that scares me! I'm awful at presentations. Did you have to prepare and do it by yourself or do it in groups?


    Um, we were given a load of information about this thing, and then given half an hour to present on it - the topic was 'the ideal graduate scheme', which was quite open. We prepared for it seperately but all in the same room, then we had to present it to two people in a tiny room - none of the other people got to see your presentation, and it wasn't like you were talking to a large number of people, it wasn't too bad. My degree involved a lot of presentations though, so i didn't find it too awful as i'd had quite a lot of practice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From what i've seen most graduates end up as temps :chin:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I got my grad job on the back of having been there for my placement year, but we still had to go through the same application process as everyone else. There was an online ipat test, followed by a programming exam and if we passed those we had to go to an assessment centre day. Where there was group work like working in a team to solve a logic puzzle, a communications exercise where were given some information that we had to pull together and then go off an put forward that information to a "manager" (assessor) of a company and persuade him which option was best for the company, followed by writing an email to the "CEO" explaining how we would get round her worries about the proposal. We had to give a 10 minute presentation that we'd been given the topic (What I understand by the term IT) about 3 weeks before the interview so we could prepare properly (I'd tested mine out on all my team and my manager there so I could get used to giving it). There was a negotiation exercise that was done in pairs and then we went up against another pair to negotiate whose items on their list have been most beneficial to the world (there were things like the plough, wheel, penicilin, birth control etc). There was a kinda like question time panel, where 4 of us went in and were sat opposite 2 assessors. They possed scenarios at each of us individually for 5 minutes and we had to say what the potential problems were and how we'd solve them and then each one was openned up to the rest of the group for 5 mins as well. Then the day was rounded off by a 30 min interview, which by the end of the day we knew the assessors that well it was more like an informal chat. All in all it was a 9 hour day. But it was fun as well. You just have to go into these things and not worry, think you're having a bit of fun and you generally will.

    I remember the 1st assessment centre I ever did though and I was really nervous, never really put my ideas across very well and let myself down through the nerves, needless to say I didn't get the job. They do take practice though and if you're going to have to do them in the future for jobs I'd apply for a few now and get the 1st one out the way.

    I've had another couple assessment days as well. The one for Intel made me have to do a 5 minute presentation that I'd have 30 minutes to prepare for. We all had a different topic. These were chosen by us all picking a number from the centre of the table and then that was the order we had to do the presentation in and the order we got to pick a card in. There were 3 different coloured cards that had the presentation titles on and each colour had a slightly different theme. I ended up doing one on how to arrange a holiday for friends. A couple of others were what would you change if you could be prime minister for the day and what are the steps in a night club owners daily routine. To be fair everyone was really nervous, made mistakes and didn't always have the best of ideas. But they're looking at whether or not you can put together some ideas and give it a go more than a perfect presentation.

    Group activities are usually quite fun for assessment days, I've had things like building a platform to drop an egg on without it smashing, predicting how high you can build a tower out of lego in a certain time and doing it and choosing 10 items to put in a time capsule and why given 10 topic areas. They really are just looking for the input you put into a team and how well you work together, you don't have to be right and what you do doens't have to work.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lacy wrote: »
    From what i've seen most graduates end up as temps :chin:

    'tis true, I have really struggled in the job market. I think it depends on where you live but where I am youth and enthusiasm aren't particularly well valued. I have taken on a non-graduate job and while it is quite a challenging role in many respects I am getting increasingly unhappy. i have been at the place for over a year and face being interviewed to keep my job in the next couple of months which is not something I am looking forward to so I am desperately interviewing for everything I can.

    The main issue I believe that employers are too demanding for the money they are earning, which is probably true in many other places in the job market. I saw an NHS admin job recently where they wanted you to not only have a degree, but 3 years junior management experience and they were offering only £18,000.

    I have a good degree and a vast amount of vocational (mainly IT-based qualifications) and its still not enough - you have to also have a background in finance or website design or whatever. I have looked into it and actually getting extra qualifications from places like Pitmans costs hundreds of pounds. I'm not the type of person to sit on my ass moaning about things but you get to the point where you wish somebody would cut you some slack and give you a shot.

    However, I am waiting to hear back from one application where for the first time the organisation would offer training in some areas rather than just expecting you to already have it for a poor amount of money.

    At the moment I am just trying to make myself more employable by teaching myself new skills such as shorthand and possibly web design.

    sorry for the rant but at times i just get so frustrated.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ^^ i'm the same

    graduated in computer sciences and cant even get a job in an office due to lack of experience! i'm quite capable of using a phone and computer, but noooo!

    it gets ya down :(
  • BunnieBunnie TheSite's sweetie pie Posts: 6,099
    In the process of getting a grad job...oh its fun :rolleyes:
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