By Rachel Seignot
I have just wrapped up my five week internship with Gradconsult and as predicted, it has flashed past. After some coaching from the GC team I’ve learnt how to redirect my arrow to shoot with a clear target. If like me you’re heading into your final year of University or have recently graduated, then you have some big decisions ahead. Here are my top GC insights to help you!
At the start of my internship at Gradconsult I knew one thing about my future career path: I wanted to get onto a graduate scheme. They promised real responsibility, a dynamic team and to push my personal development. My next step was to make myself stand out amongst the swathes of my peers on the same route. Below are the tools that I’ve been sharpening to prevent myself falling into the usual graduate pitfalls.
1. Look around
Ask yourself if you are making the most of the talent in the room. Whether it is your careers service or a member of your team at work, utilizing your network can be more helpful than you realise. My CV has been snapped up as a result of discussions with members of the team that I had asked for. Gradconsult is a hot house of industry insight and talent so why wouldn’t I take advantage of all the great people under my nose. During my time at GC Towers I worked closely with the MD, senior consultants and associates through my own initiative. Top tip one: If there are people in your team you want to work with or need advice from, then ask! People are very busy and you’ll be left at the bottom of the pile unless you do something about it.
2. Research, Research, Research
The main way you can stand out to an employer is to build your application around their business. How your skills not only tie in with their goals but the history of their practice. Over the course of my research I have decided not to apply to certain companies after a little digging, contrastingly I have found that some companies have more in common with my ambitions than at first glance. Top tip two: tie into your application what skills the company is looking for through your own experiences. Grounding your answers in examples is authentic and qualifies your experiences directly to the company goals.
3. Practice makes perfect
Whether it is research skills or interview skills, practice makes perfect! Video interviews are quickly becoming the sifting method of choice for many companies, broadening their scope of international and regional applicants. The best ways to master this technology is to video and score yourself. I am underway with my own 30 day Video Interview challenge and I have already seen an increase in my performance. Top tip three: To nail a video interview you need to be completely comfortable with the camera. Your confidence will build over time, the more you practice the more natural the process will become.
But before I run off into the corporate sunset, there are some things that SMEs (small-medium enterprises) do fantastically that could make me change my mind. As a small team packed full of talent, there is no room for extra baggage. Everyone is skilled at what they do and prepared to pass on their knowledge. The cliché of ‘real responsibility’ was filled during my internship. I have been responsible for handling one of the largest survey responses for a transport company in the UK. This huge data analysis I undertook not only reinforced my mathematical capabilities but challenged my perception of the hierarchy within the transport sector. I was able to look at each of my experiences to build my CV. Unlike working for one of the big boys where I was only tasked with making tea and coffee, at GC you are all expected to muck in.
I was given guidance and freedom to explore issues in the sector of graduate recruitment as a young person new to the industry. I focused on application techniques during my independent project and sought to advance my understanding of the tools used by employers to weed through to the best candidates.
Reflecting on my time at Gradconsult, I got everything on my checklist and more! Real responsibility, a trusting company culture where I could push my boundaries without fear of rejection and measurable personal growth.
THANK YOU TEAM GC!