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Although Laura has already left us she left us with this great blog on similiarities between societies and business and how being an exec for one could land you a job in business,
In my quest
to land a graduate job, I’ve been trying quite hard to develop my commercial
awareness. A few weeks ago I started thinking about what I learnt about
business at university, and it struck me that taking part in a society can
teach you a lot.
take part in societies to make friends or develop a skill, but if you’re on the
exec, running a society can be a lot like running a business.
important to remember that every society and every business has a basic aim.
For societies, this is to get people together with similar interests. For
businesses, this is to provide a service or sell a product. Everyone in the
society works towards this aim in the hope that more people will join and
you’ll have more fun, or that you’ll make more money.
means that on a very simple level, societies and businesses have the same jobs
to be done. For example, most business and societies needs someone who:
is in charge (company director = society
manages the money (chief
financial officer = society treasurer)
tells people about you (marketing
manager = publicity officer)
looks after everyone (HR manager
= social sec)
This also means that every business or society has a
target audience and must be able to cater to the needs of this target audience
in order to be successful. A target audience would be the business’ customers
or the society’s members. Businesses and societies are built around these
people and without them they won’t work. Before you start a new society you
usually need at least 30 members in order to prove that there is a demand for
it and that the money the students’ union invests in the society won’t go to
waste. Likewise, without market research and proof that there is a demand for a
product, entrepreneurs will be unlikely to find investors for their business
because there is no proof the product will make any money.
When it is finally up and running, all businesses and
societies rely on hard work and efficiency of each of their departments or exec
members. So if one part of the business or society doesn’t pull its weight,
it’s likely that the rest will suffer. For example, you could have a great idea
for a product but if your CFO doesn’t manage your finances well, you could end
up spending too much money on the raw materials and not have enough left to
produce it. Similarly, you could plan a fantastic society event but if your
publicity officer doesn’t let people know about it, no-one will go to it.
As you can
see, societies are simplified versions of businesses, and if you’ve ever
wondered why graduate recruiters are so keen on people who’ve run them, that’s
probably one of the reasons why.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the TARGETjobs news roundup. We are nearly halfway through the autumn term now, and Halloween is less than a week away. That means that right now is the best time to get applications in for graduate schemes and work experience placements. Don’t put it off! Many graduate recruiters say they get their best applications at this point in the year.
This week it’s property and the built environment that is dominating the graduate recruitment news. It’s a pretty competitive industry to get into, so any additional info you can gather could give you the edge on competition. This week we have an announcement about BNP Paribas, and a neat little tip on hidden recruitment markets:
In engineering news things are starting to look up. We’ve been busy poring over this year’s Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education report and it looks like more of you are finding your way into full time jobs.
From the same report there’s mixed news for IT graduates. More IT grads are finding work in their own sector, but the unemployment rate is still high. One hint for you, the government has begun introducing £20,000 grants for Science, Tech, Engineering and Maths (STEM) teachers. IT could be next.
Brewer AB InBev has launched its Best Beer competition. Teams have to design a beer which embodies their university, and present it in a head-to-head competition with candidates from across Europe. Not only does the winner receive a hefty cash prize, they’ll also have some top-quality CV fodder.
We’ve also got some solid advice for you on how to write a CV – try skipping right to the point. Recruiters only have a limited amount of time to read applications, and if yours screams ‘hire me’ from the start, you stand a better chance.
Winner of the Low Carbon Undergraduate of the Year award, Declan Bryans gives his advice on how to tackle a work placement.
Not even a year has passed since I entered the
Undergraduate of the Year 2012 but reflecting back on it puts into perspective
just how much someone can achieve in such a short period of time.Back then my summer was set to be another
uneventful period of time, biggest plan on the cards was to go out with friends
and relax while waiting for the next year of university to begin.
It turns out my summer was very different than originally
planned. 13th of April, my 21st birthday, was the day
that my summer plans had changed. It was on that day I was announced as the
winner of my award category, low carbon technologies.All of a sudden I was talking about working
for EDF Energy and told I would be going down to the Olympic games for a VIP
day. Both were things I never even dreamt of achieving.
In this post I hope to give some sound advice for those
who are going on placement for the first time and need to move away from home.
The first challenges I came across was accommodation and finances. As soon as
you have your start date, I would advise that you start looking for affordable
accommodation. It is likely that the company you will be working for will know
of some good places so it’s worthwhile asking. Once this is sourced, it is a
good idea to get to know the person you are renting a room or flat from. This
serves to fulfil two purposes: firstly it settles their mind as to what type of
person you are, a lot of property owners out there have made massive
investments and it is always a relief to know that the stranger living in their
house won’t turn out to be a psychopath and destroy their hard work. Secondly,
it also means they might be able to help you out a bit. This could range from
them helping you with transport arrangements to and from work, or allowing a
payment to come late: it removes a lot of stress from you.
Once that is all settled, the next big thing is the work
placement itself. Chances are you’ll be there for 8 to 12 weeks; a lot of
companies may see this like an extended interview and could lead to a future
career with them. This doesn’t mean, however, that they expect you to know
everything about their field; they know you are there to learn so you should adopt
a questioning attitude. It will show that you are eager to learn and willing to
improve. From this, it could leave a positive impression on your employer and, down
the road, it may lead to a job offer.
My time with EDF has allowed me to develop exponentially,
on my CV and personally. I have learnt so much from them and have managed to
become more open minded to all the different sectors and aspects required in
the energy sector. Unfortunately, I can’t talk on much of what I did during my
The second part of my award prize was a VIP day at the
London Olympics and it did not fail to impress. I watched the Olympics on the
TV almost every day but that does not compare to the experience of actually
being there. The sheer size and atmosphere was
outstanding and I am glad that I can say I was a part of it all. The day
started early with a tour of the London Eye before a very fancy lunch. However,
the main event came in the afternoon when we attended the Basketball matches.
Even although Great Britain weren’t doing particularly well in this front we
managed to time it well enough to see them get their only victory against China
and an excellent display of skill from Nigeria and France.
To me this has been a massively successful summer that
has potentially shaped my future career. This journey has only begun for me and
I plan to build upon these successes and push my boundaries even further. I
will finish my blog with one final piece of advice, none of this would have
happened had I not took the 5 minutes to fill in the application form back in
December. It is the smallest of actions that can make the biggest of changes
and from the quote above, it starts with one small step to make a legendary
journey. Take that step and remember that limits and boundaries are only there
to be broken.
Soon you could be winging your way to the cinema aisles to see the latest 007 flick – the one with the classy director, brilliant cinemaphotography, stellar cast and a natty scene whereby the world’s favourite secret agent uses a huge mechanical digger to tear a hole in a speeding train and then actually leap into one of its rail carriages (and avoid paying the fare, naturally). Oh, and the film stars creepy Javier Bardem as the chief villain – a lisping liquidator of NATO operatives worldwide.
But enough of this potted review. All you have to do for a chance to experience the film itself on us, is answer this one simple question:
Daniel Craig’s swimming trunks made their debut in his first outing as Ian Fleming’s spy in Casino Royale. They’re back in Skyfall – but what colour are they?
Answer on Twitter using #TJ007, please by 31 October or on our Facebook wall
Robin, 2012 Law Undergraduate of the Year, unveils his final two tips for making it to the top
Step Four: The Interview
(Sometime during March – April 2013)
make it to the interview – congratulations! You’ve been short-listed to the
final 12 candidates. At this point, it’s all about how you present yourself in
person. Interview techniques will come into the fore, but beware also the
‘trial by sausage roll’ (the informal part of the day which takes place over
drinks and a buffet). Don’t forget, the interview starts the moment you walk
through the doors of the firm and ends the moment you leave the building. The
firm doesn’t just want to know if you’d be a competent employee; they would
quite like to get to know you as a person too.
My top tip: if
you have a buffet lunch, be sure to position yourself near a table. Trying to
introduce yourself to a partner with a drink in one hand and a plate of the
mushroom vol-au-vents, salad and olive canapés is not a good look. At least at
a table you can put your drink down and have one free hand when the time comes.
Step Five: The Awards ceremony
(19 April, 2013)
If you’re short-listed to the
final ten candidates then you will be invited to a gala dinner held at Canary
Wharf along with over a hundred other people involved in the other Undergraduate Awards. It’s a great day and if you win you’ll be presented with
the award by a senior partner and this year the Rt. Hon Michael Portillo. At this stage
there’s really nothing you can do since the decision has already been made as
to whose won – just sit back and enjoy the food and drinks!
My top tip:
remember that you’ve done exceptionally well to be shortlisted for the award.
There’s much more to life than winning. Whatever happens
– give yourself a pat on the back and make the most of what you’ve learnt from
Hello, good afternoon, and welcome to the TARGETjobs news roundup. We have all the news and advice that matters from the world of graduate recruitment. First things first though, we want something from you: if you’ve got some spare time on your hands you should take part in the trendence Graduate Barometer 2013 survey. The results will form part of the Guardian UK 300 – a vital resource for many graduate job seekers – and the more people take part, the more valid the results are.
But enough about that: On with the news! This week it was the financial sectors that made the biggest splash. Accountancy firm Grant Thornton has announced positive results, Financial Services Authority has revealed its new banking legislation, and a new programme has been launched to get people involved in financial services:
And in news that might interest those who have been out of the game for a while, up to 150 unemployed graduates interested in financial services careers will be starting a new pilot programme this week. The ‘Graduate Foundation College’ will give an extra boost to those who need it.
Once again it has been a busy week for marketing job hunters, and would-be consultants will find something to interest them too:
If you're looking for marketing jobs, one way you could go about it is to send a creative application. ‘Creative applications’ are a way of getting an employer’s attention and demonstrating your skills at the same time.
And finally, if you are putting online applications together, then make sure you watch the word count. This is a useful guide for those who follow different rules for different situations – tweeters and essayists included.
To get graduate careers news as it happens, check out the news feed. Alternatively, check out the round-up this time next week!
TARGETjobs offers the largest choice of internships and placements. Independent reviews on top graduate employers and career planning tools and expert guidance. Become a TARGETjobs blogger by getting in touch with email@example.com.
2012's Law Undergraduate of the year winner, Robin Morris talks us through the application process and sheds some tips. (part one)
This second blog entry is aimed at outlining in more detail
the application process for the Law Undergraduate of the Year Award 2013. Where
possible, I’ll also give you some tips on how to approach each stage.
Step One: Full registration
(From 1 October, 2012)
Full registration for the award is now open! At this
point you should be researching the firm and be
considering beginning research for the three application questions. Complete
all the required fields with information about your name, date of birth etc.
Step Two: The Application
Questions (Before 31 January, 2013)
the first real stage of the application process. You will be faced with three
questions – chosen particularly by the judges at Mayer Brown – which will
require three answers of around 500 words each. Be clear and concise in your
writing and provide reasons and facts to back up any reasoning. The questions
may relate to the impact of a particular piece of legislation on the legal
market; the reason why you feel you should be named Law Undergraduate of the
Year; or be open-ended about asking what challenges may be facing law firms
My two top tips:
take the time to research your answers to all three questions well. If you can
cite statistics from reports or well-known cases in a particular market this
helps to demonstrate your knowledge and your readiness to engage with
subject-matter of the questions. Even if you don’t know what you’re talking
about at least make a decent effort to pretend that you do!
My second tip is to allow enough time to answer the
questions. You shouldn’t be finishing the answers a couple of hours before the
deadline. Write them, leave them, come back to them and review them. Do make
sure that spelling and grammar are correct!
Step Three: The psychometric
tests (Before 31 January, 2013)
psychometric tests are aimed at providing the judges with an insight into your
natural linguistic, numeric and situational reasoning skills. They take the
form of three or four multiple choice tests which require the candidate to
choose either one answer or to list a series of answers according to importance.
You will also have a set time in which to complete the tests.
My top tip: don’t
try to second guess the psychometric tests. They have been designed
specifically to spot people who are being dishonest. Several books claim to be
able to teach people how to answer psychometric tests. Whether this works or
not, I don’t know, but I really don’t think it’s worth the bother. Be honest
and take your time.
Next week Robin will be giving us two more vital tips. If you are interested about the awards and think you have what it takes take a look here.
2012's winner of the First Year of the Year Award, Roberta Kovacs tells us what the real reason for applying for these awards is, and how it is not just something to write on a piece of paper.
After receiving an e-mail from my department regarding some
sort of "Economics undergraduate of the year" competition, I decided
to take a brief skim through what the whole thing was about. Scrolling through
the list of 12 awards that were open for application, the one that was most
relevant to me was the "First Year of the Year Award".
A short insight I would like to share.
I think that the key to me being successful was that I did not make a big fuss
out of the competition. One of the things I have noticed with fellow classmates
and people in general, that I do not approve of, is this whole idea of
"enhancing ones CV". Doing things that improve your skills and help
you develop professionally and personally is imperative - but it has to be for
yourself and not for how other people will perceive you. In other words, the
drive should come from an inner passion to be better and not from being able to
write on a piece of paper "I developed these skills".
Of course, when
you do things that enhance your skills it will automatically reflect on your
resume - but the primary motive should never be how your CV looks. The most
impressive and brilliant people I have met and work with are never concerned
about their CV - but they always have an unbelievable amount of passion to
improve and do something that they enjoy.
So that is probably the biggest advice
- develop your skills for yourself. This will help you build not only your
skills and personality, but it will also give you confidence in what you can or
can not do. As I mentioned earlier, I was not too bothered about the
competition - in that I was not overly stressed out. I took it very lightly,
because I was confident in my skills and what I do. I knew that I will try my
best to get through or win, but if there was someone who was better suited to
win then it would happen whether I stressed about it or not. So relax, find
your passion, work on yourself, be confident and take a chance. And most
importantly - enjoy yourself. :)
If you decide to apply...Good luck with
your application! :)
There have been ups and downs across the graduate recruitment world this week. Overall the graduate jobs market is ‘better than feared’ as announcements from a number of big graduate recruiters indicating that the situation could improve over the course of the next year.
This week it’s the media sector that’s really making waves. This is my section, and it’s the first time it’s been at the top of this list, so I’m pretty chuffed. The reason for this is that there has been a big change of power at Pearson. This may also affect graduate careers at Penguin and the Financial Times. In a strange coincidence, our summer intern Alex was interested in the FT. See his blog about what to expect on newspaper work experience.
Chemistry graduates who are thinking about a career in teaching will be interested to hear that they are now eligible for a £20,000 scholarship. This is part of the Government’s drive to encourage STEM (science, tech, engineering and maths) graduates to join the teaching profession and brings chemistry grads level with their physics colleagues.
To get graduate careers news as it happens, check out the news feed. Alternatively, check out the round-up this time next week! TARGETjobs offers the largest choice of internships and placements. Independent reviews on top graduate employers and career planning tools and expert guidance. Become a TARGETjobs blogger by getting in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
As promised Robin Morris, this year's winner of the Law Undergraduate of the year is back with his third and final tip for applying to the 2013 awards
What are they looking for (part two)
3) Don’t be afraid to
be a little unorthodox
comes as no surprise that the already competitive market for positions at law
firms has worsened because of the economic crisis. According to the Law
Society’s most recent Annual Statistical Report the number of training
contracts offered by law firms fell by 18% in 2011. As the perturbing level of
competition for training contracts intensifies, so too does the rush for the elusive
vacation placement and dwindling work experience opportunities.
My advice? Be unorthodox in your approach towards your
studies (within reason) and more importantly, towards gaining those
extra-curricular experiences. Since an increasingly large amount of candidates
continue to apply to law firms via the ‘official’ application route there is
almost a need to adopt unconventional methods. My position as a reporter for
the International Law Association (ILA) at their bi-annual conference in Sofia
recently arose after contacting the chairperson of one of the ILA’s working
committees. I emailed the chairperson expressing my interest in the work of the
committee along with a copy of my CV. Two months later I was working in Belgium
for the committee, and 8 months after that I was working for the ILA in Sofia -
all because I sent one email expressing my interest and offering my time.
I’m not advocating anything particularly radical here.
Hand-delivering or emailing a CV and covering letter to a partner at a law firm
directly can sometimes open more doors than you would expect. After all, what’s
the worst that could happen? They reject your offer or politely inform you that
it would not be possible to undertake a period of work experience outside the
official vacation scheme placement. Never mind – dust yourself off, raise your
head high and approach the next law firm or legal organisation! Having
confidence in yourself and the self-assurance in what you have to offer is all
it takes. Displaying personal initiative can sometimes bring big rewards.
So there you have it: work hard, make the most of the
opportunities given and adopt some unconventional methods. As mentioned at the
outset, this may not be the winning combination the judges are looking for - I
cannot guarantee that this is how you will win. But I hope that as you read
this it will make you pause to consider your own situation if not for the sake
of the award then for the sake of applying for a vacation scheme or training
Ask yourself: could you be the Law Undergraduate of the Year