Monday, February 10, 2014

Girls! Thinking of applying to Vodafone after you graduate? Katherine came to one of our STEMinism events and now has secured a grad job with them! Read how....

Katherine Baines is currently in her final year at Queen Mary University studying Electronic Engineering. Having attended both IT's not just for the boys! and Engineer your future back in October she now has an offer from Vodafone for a place on their Discover graduate scheme for September! 

Studying electronic engineering as a girl can often leave me feeling rather outnumbered - but that has never stopped me aiming high and when the chance of attending Engineer your future arose I grabbed it with both hands. I had previously attended IT’s not just for the boys! which was a superb day leaving me further inspired about the endless career possibilities that lay ahead for me as well as meeting other girls in my position.

Arriving at the venue, I was feeling slightly apprehensive and nervous however as soon as I got there everyone was warm and they were all in the same position, so everybody relaxed a little. It was a great day, not only can you meet like-minded females but also there is valuable time to network with recruiters, employees and also recent graduates who are working in the graduate jobs and schemes at the companies which attended. They are all there to help you, give tips and pointers and of course try to persuade you to join them.

After attending Engineer your future at the Heritage Motor Museum, I began once again to send in application after application. One day I received an e-mail from Vodafone, who also attended the event, to ask if I would like to be considered for their Discover Technology Programme assessment centre. All I would have to do in order to attend was pass a number of tests as all the companies received my details and CV from TargetJobs after the event,  removing a great deal of stress in applying!

Luckily I passed the tests, and a number of days later I found myself at their headquarters in Newbury for the assessment centre day. As this was still only mid-December, it was quite early on in the game so this was my first experience of an assessment centre so I really didn’t know what to expect! I was given a presentation topic a few days before to prepare, but apart from that I had no idea what the day would entail.

As soon as I arrived I was put at ease as everyone was so friendly; I was given a buddy, a current graduate on the scheme who I could ask any questions to throughout the day. I then went through a range of interviews individually and within a group and gave my presentation too, which was rather nerve-racking but fun! All in all I enjoyed the day and felt that even if I didn’t get a job offer that I had had a great experience which I had learnt a lot from.

However, within less than 48 hours I received a phone call from them, assuming that it would be to say that unfortunately I hadn’t quite made the cut this time, but to my surprise they were offering me a place on their graduate programme. I couldn’t quite believe it, that I had just been offered a job for after finishing at Queen Mary, University of London that I hadn’t intentionally applied for but just seemed perfect for me! I instantly accepted, and was later sent a contract stating that I would join them in September as long as I gained a 2.1. This lifted a weight off of my mind and was the best Christmas present I could have asked for! Although I still have to achieve a 2.1 or above, it now means I can focus on my studies, giving me extra inspiration to achieve this excellent future waiting for me!

So I wanted to say that you should take every opportunity that you find available to you out there, and something as simple as attending an event may in fact change your entire future.

Could you be like Katherine?

Later this month, Vodafone are hosting our STEMinism UK event! This is a fantastic opportunity for female students to gain exclusive insight into Vodafone, at their Head Offices. You will gain an exclusive insight and a real feel for the company culture in this bespoke one-day event! Apply today!