Iweta came to work for GSM Careers in May 2014 as a paid intern working as an administrative assistant on the Greenford campus. On the surface, this role appeared to have few long-term prospects. However, Iweta viewed it as an opportunity to develop a range of useful skills within an academic environment. She also took on additional responsibilities and helped to promote the GSM industry themed weeks and employer-led events on campus.
She made full use of the GSM Careers Team to assist her in refining her CV and add the skills she acquired in full-time work. Her career ideas began to be more specific and focused On the role as she searched for a full-time role. Throughout this process, she sought consultancy services from the GSM Careers team. Whilst her proficiency in English was good, she ensured her applications for suitable roles were checked over by a member of the GSM career team before submitting.
She also displayed a considerable degree of resilience, undaunted by initial rejections by employers and keen to learn by seeking feedback from them where possible. In December she did land an interview and her first action was to call upon more of the internal resources of the GSM careers team. By booking several mock interviews with Paul Cannons and Janki Amin she learned some of the key interview techniques that can increase a candidate’s chances of securing a job. The advice she gained ranged from modifying the tone, pace and overall body language of her presentation as much as the content of her responses.
Within a week of leaving GSM when the internship came to an end, she attended another interview at Westminster University and secured a full-time position as an internships coordinator. The skills, techniques and opportunities she learnt whilst working within GSM Careers finally paid dividends. As she said:
‘During the interview, I often referred to my experience at GSM, so it really helped!’ (Iweta, 2014)
So the lessons are firstly to try and secure temporary or administrative work in a sector of future interest. This helps to turn theoretical knowledge into useful practical knowledge. Many of the skills gained in work are transferable and as Iweta found when working with the GSM career team these are adapted onto any application form or CV.
Resilience also helps. Being rejected from one role can provide useful feedback to become more experienced for the next interview. Being supported throughout the application process helps to build confidence and provide a clearer focus of opportunities. ‘Practice can make perfect’ and Iweta’s mock interviews gave her an insight into many of the UK graduate recruitment practices.
Some of the opportunities Iweta accessed in her internship are available to all GSM students. For example, GSM students can get support with their applications forms and practice interviews on both campuses and also long after they have graduated. Such sessions are termed ‘consultancy sessions’ and usually last up to 45 minutes. They can be booked on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons on both campuses via the GSM careers team. So why not follow in the footsteps of Iweta and book an appointment today to increase your chances of landing an interview and potentially a full-time job.