January is always a busier month but has been made even busier this year by assessment centres and interviews for graduate jobs.
However, I have since been made an offer by one of the Big4 for their Strategy Consulting Graduate Scheme. I am delighted with this and it is a huge relief to know that the work I have put in the last few months has paid off. I reiterate that the Careers Service put on some fantastic virtual events that really helped me prepare for interviews and assessment centres. Attending these, alongside talking to whoever was willing to help or advise me helped enormously!
Besides the technicalities of interviews, group tasks and case studies, a lot of the final interviews with partners or directors are more motivation based. This really helped me ease into it and be myself. I think the best thing I’ve learnt from the whole process is that determination does pay off, and those initial rejections shouldn’t knock you down. I persevered and ended up securing my dream role, even though at some stages I was left with little hope.
I was given some really good advice at the start of the process back in September, that helped change my entire mindset. It was that the process of getting a job is mutual, and if you are rejected then it often means you’re probably not a good fit and wouldn’t enjoy working there. This really changed the way I perceived various assessment processes and the interactions I had along the final stages of some applications. Knowing that, it relaxed me more and enabled me to be more open and inquisitive as to whether I would enjoy working there, as well as them assessing me.
My advice is to start early, regularly update your CV and write a solid but adaptable cover letter. A lot of schemes are extremely competitive and being amongst the first to submit your application makes a big difference. Once at the final stages, doing really specific research on any aspect of the company you have applied for can help you stand out, especially if you relate it to your interests! For example, I always look at their sustainability policies and if something is impressive, relate that to my own values and interests within the topic of sustainability.
Learning to balance the long application processes alongside studies was tricky at times – I had an assessment centre and an exam on the same day! But being sure to make time outside of all things academic or career-focused is equally important. My house and I enjoyed that one night of snow in January and getting outside is essential, even in Winter – as seen in the photos! I am now looking forward to the last few months in Manchester before I move back to London!