After my practice interview with Amanda in November I had a catch up with Valerie in December and February updating her with how my degree was going and progress on job applications. By this point I was waiting to hear back from 3 jobs after completing online assessments and video interviews. Unfortunately I was unsuccessful in those applications but I had one more to hear back from at The Hut Group for a merchandising supply chain role.
After 3 months of waiting I heard in April that I was to have an interview on the 18th. I contacted Valerie for advice and a practice interview if possible. Unfortunately Valerie was on holiday but gave me an email with some hints and general advice for interviews. Again Amanda, Valerie’s business partner, agreed to give me a mock telephone interview and gave me a list of things to prepare beforehand. This included making a PowerPoint presentation about the history of the company, its financial information, reasons for wanting the job and how I was suited to the job. This not only aided the mock interview process but it gave me a chance to figure out a plan in my head about the best method to tackle possible questions. The mock interview was invaluable as it gave me a confidence boost the day before the interview and allowed me to brush up on aspects that I needed to improve.
As a result of Valerie and especially Amanda’s help I was successful in securing the graduate job at The Hut Group and I start in August. Without their expertise and advice, the interview would have been more difficult as many of the things I had practised with Amanda came up in the real interview.
Since receiving the good news I have had a phone call with Valerie again to catch up and give me some words of wisdom not only about the world of work but about tackling exams in my final year at Birmingham. I am scheduled to have a final face to face meeting with Valerie and Amanda in June.
My ALMP experience has been great and I cannot thank Valerie and Amanda for their support and advice during what has been a stressful year juggling the work load of final year as well as applying for jobs. Valerie has always been an email away and is always quick to respond and if she has been unavailable then she has put me in contact with her colleagues such as Amanda to help me out. The scheme has been extremely beneficial not only to help me to secure a graduate job but also it has given me a confidence boost to succeed in my future career.
Having the help and guidance of Dr. Hillson has been incredibly useful over the past few months.
As planned, I haven’t had direct contact with Cilla since I last met her as I have been completely busy with my dissertation, revision and all the stress of final year. I have however, been working on some of the suggestions that she gave me at our last meeting. Following her advice on trying to gain local work experience within Advertising and Marketing, I have been continuously searching the Careers’ Network website for any opportunities. After having applied for many internship positions, I have finally been successful in securing a month long paid Marketing Internship which I’m convinced was down to my work experience at AMV-BBDO. At the interview stage they were very keen to hear about my experience and what I had gained from the week. While I was on work experience, various people at the agency had given me career focused advice such as keeping up-to-date with the most recent ads and reading about new and successful global marketing campaigns. I took this on board and it gave me loads to talk about at my interview, particularly when they asked me about where I thought the future of Marketing was heading!
I wrote in my first blog post how I felt Barry Cockcroft was an enthusiastic mentor on the programme who was keen to assist. As the scheme has unfolded, this first impression has certainly proven correct. Living just outside the Birmingham area hasn’t stopped Barry from making a dedicated train journey to meet with me for coffee. Upon meeting, we’ve spoken without silence each time. An insightful balance of answering my specific questions but also sharing miscellaneous advice and anecdotes.
My second mentoring session took place on campus as Alan had business in Birmingham that day. I found it a lot easier to talk to him this time as I had already gotten the nerves of the first introduction out the way. As the first session was more about getting to know me and what career I wanted to pursue, this meeting was more about beginning to organise specific actions I would need to take to get me heading in the right direction.
My second meeting with my mentor came at the end of a stressful week in the life of a 3rd year Economics student. However, the session was a great success and I would definitely consider it to be the highlight of my week. Jane is so open, honest and easy to talk to. In this session we discussed my dissertation, networking and achieving a ‘work-life balance’.
I have first met Luciana in November, in London at Portcullis House. I was very excited and nervous about the meeting. I had to get there about 30 minutes earlier than the meeting because there is airport style security at the entrance (you know you are meeting a really important person when they have to check you twice before you enter a building).
One of the best things about Alumni mentorship is that there is always a chance that your mentor will still be in and around Birmingham which happened to be the case with my mentor, Sam Decombel. Luckily, this made it very easy for us to schedule a meeting over email at the Mailbox just before she headed to an awards dinner nearby.
I have now been mentored by Dr. Rowan Hillson for almost 5 months and already her help and guidance has proved invaluable. Continue reading
Since I last met with Cilla in November time, I’ve confirmed the details of my week’s work experience at AMV BBDO, started to update my CV and LinkedIn profile in line with her suggestions, and tried to focus on some of the advice she gave me. One of the main things Cilla had told me to focus on was my attitude towards things. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but Cilla taught me to strive for excellence rather than perfection. Thinking about things in this way has definitely helped with the academic stress of final year. Continue reading