Monday, September 30, 2013

Jake Tudge talks about his first month interning with E.ON, his prize for winning the Engineering Undergraduate of the Year Award

It’s been one month since I joined E.ON as an Undergraduate Trainee for my year placement, and what a month it has been! I’ve clambered inside a power station boiler, visited our international operations and met some of the leading authorities in the sector. A varied, but incredibly exciting, month and I can’t wait for it to continue! And to think, all this came from sitting down one Sunday afternoon to complete an Undergraduate of the Year application, which I honestly thought would just be a useful experience of applying for a job…

When I arrived for my first day at E.ON HQ I was incredibly nervous, but the first thing that struck me was the kindness of the people at E.ON. Every single person I have met has welcomed me and taken the time to talk to me; this really has made it a very approachable environment and has meant I haven’t been nervous about asking a question that may appear silly! The offices in Coventry are brilliant with large atriums, flexible meeting spaces, open plan offices and a very relaxed feel, but it all makes for a positive working environment.

Week 1:
(picture: E.ON HQ, Coventry)
It’s amazing how an office environment speaks another language; most of my first week involved understanding the acronyms, terms and code used around the company. My thanks go to Bryony, Engineering Undergraduate of the Year 2012, for helping me with a smooth transition of roles. After lots of questions, setting up of accounts and organising of initial meetings, work was ready to begin with a site trip to one of our CHP (Combined Heat and Power) plants in Cheshire. Bryony took the time to show me around one of our largest sites and it was absolutely daunting! For someone used to excel sheets and aerodynamics, what essentially was a large chemistry set, was incredibly intimidating, but at the same time absolutely fascinating! And so, my year with E.ON has commenced; I can’t wait to learn more and I’m very excited for my time ahead.

Week 2:

The heart of our business is the generation fleet and the people who manage these complex sites. E.ON has been very supportive; they understand it’s an advantage for undergraduate trainees to understand what happens outside of the office! As a result, I was sent to spend a week at one of our CHP sites in Liverpool. This was a great opportunity to comprehend one of our power stations, as well as understand operational requirements from our colleagues on site. While the trip was great fun and extremely interesting, it also highlighted the importance of operational safety within our company, as there was a lot of onsite procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE). This raised the distinct difference between a conventional ‘office’ job and a more ‘hands-on’ role. I certainly enjoyed visiting a site; it’s going to be exciting to complete projects in the office, which I can see have a direct impact on site – a great balance of the two areas. 
(PPE - No pic of me in my overalls unfortunately!)

Week 3:

E.ON’s CHP sites are spread across the country, ranging from Kent to Cheshire, and the team I am in (Performance) are required to identify potential opportunities. As a result, we have a monthly team meeting with our performance engineers, chemist and managers. These meetings are held on sites across the country and often include a hotel stay and team meal the night before; this is a fantastic way to bond with the team and discuss work, before the official meeting the next day. My first meeting provided a detailed understanding into the current CHP operations at E.ON; I was apprehensive about getting lost, but the team kept me involved the whole day and explained everything in great detail. As an undergraduate you are worried about being a hassle, but E.ON sees their undergraduates as a fresh pair of eyes; perhaps identifying new areas of opportunity. Once again, E.ON has showed how they value their undergraduates and it’s great to not be worried about asking questions or suggesting new ideas!                                                                   (A CHP site can get rather complex)

Week 4:

This really was a week like no other; electric bicycles, power plant tours, presentations and valuable networking! As part of my Engineering Undergraduate of the Year award, a friend and I were sent to Sweden for a week to view E.ON’s international operations. It was a brilliant opportunity to see another side to the global E.ON business. We were really well looked after by both E.ON UK and E.ON Sweden with a lovely hotel in Malmö centre, presentations from global energy experts and personalised tours around some exciting sites. A highlight in the trip was a chance to tour the district heating network, which is part of the world-recognised sustainable city of Malmö. E.ON has heavily invested towards a sustainable city and eco-homes; these work directly with the consumer so they can understand their own energy usage. It was the small things that made a difference, such as iPad apps to show energy usage, and user-friendly interface control systems; a real insight into what could happen in the UK soon! I’d like to thank all those from E.ON UK and E.ON Sweden who made this such a valuable and enjoyable trip.

To conclude:
And so, earlier this year I was frantically applying for placements and wondering where I would go, and now I’m working for a forward-thinking and innovative global company. I’ve met like-minded undergraduates (Many who are also now working for E.ON), made some brilliant friends and, very importantly, I believe I’ve found an industry I could see myself working for in the future. All those who have actually read this far (I’ll be surprised if many!), should not consider the possibility of not succeeding; enter the Undergraduate of the Year awards and you could see yourself having a very enriching experience! Once again, thank you to E.ON and TARGETjobs for such an opportunity

If you think you can win the engineering undergraduate of the year award then pre-register today. You could be joining Jake next year at the E.ON Headquarters. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ei has been to 3 of our TARGETjobs events and loved them all, read her thoughts, hints and tips!

About me
Name:  Ei Nge Htut         
University: Newnham College, Cambridge
Course: Law

Events attended:
1. TARGETjobs Law – December 2011
2. City law for ethnic minorities – June 2012
3. Women in Investment Management – November 2012

Why did you apply?
I applied for the first law event because I wanted to find out more about a career in commercial law. After attending my university law fair as a fresher, I came away more confused than well informed! Therefore, I thought that a structured, one day event would be a great way to get the specific information I needed. The opportunity to network with representatives from major law and investment management firms seemed too good to pass up. As I had such a positive experience on my first event, I continued to apply for various TARGETjobs events. For these later ones, a real drawing point was the case study or commercial awareness exercises. Although they seemed intimidating at first, I wanted to get used to problem solving on the spot, with a commercial mindset. I thought these group exercises would also be a good trial run for future assessment days.

What were your goals for the day?
My main goal was to ask as many questions as possible. It was really useful to research the firms that I would be meeting. I prepared general questions on the working culture, quality of training and type of work on offer. This enabled me to compare firms quite easily during the application process. For my favourite firms, I did more in depth research, reading up on recent deals or mergers so I could ask interesting questions that reflected my commitment. For these sessions, formal business attire is a must. It is also helpful to have your own notebook on hand so you can take detailed notes throughout the day on each firm. I had a large notebook reserved for these types of events and open days - it was my personal bible during the application process.
It can be nerve racking to network or present on the spot but try to participate as fully as possible. Being well informed of current affairs is important and particularly useful in the presentation exercises.  Group situations can be challenging and almost impossible to prepare for – just be yourself, be assertive and get your opinions across clearly, without overshadowing other members of the group.

                                               Tips for on the day?
1. Make full use of the networking sessions.Talk to trainees about working life and their experience of the application process – these anecdotes are invaluable!
2. Follow up on contacts made. Contact representatives one or two days after the event, thanking them and asking any follow up questions.
3. Get to know other students on the event. These events are more enjoyable when you have a rapport with fellow students – be friendly!
4. Put yourself forward. Be the spokesperson for your group – don’t be shy!
5. Don’t forget about graduate recruitment. Ask all those burning questions about the application process.

What did you learn?
Commercial awareness is a skill that must be developed over time. It is about analysing the information you have from your client’s perspective to achieve the best possible solution.

Are you looking to develop a career in Investment Management? Then look no further than our Women in Investment Management event being held on 21st October 2013! Few spaces remaining - APPLY NOW!

TARGETjobs Weekly News Roundup

Hello and happy Friday,

It’s Harriet writing again to bring you the weekly summary of all the new content here at TARGETjobs online.

Firstly though, I was impressed to see that Alan has now reached £6256.52 from his initial £1 investment. You can follow Alan and his One Pound Challenge here.

But onto the job stuff…

Are you interested in a career in property? Many firms are now opening their graduate schemes, including property giant Cushman & Wakefield. If you’re making an application, check out what to expect from the application form and online tests, as well as our tips for answering Cushman & Wakefield’s application form questions.  

You’ve probably heard of Teach First; the scheme to promote teaching as a desirable career start has proved incredibly popular with graduates. Aiming to replicate this success, new organisation Frontline has been launched to attract fresh talent into social work by using a similar model. If this appeals to you, read our advice on how to get hired by Frontline and why it isn’t a choice for the faint-hearted.

If you would prefer to make your impact on how the country is run, then it’s well worth spending some time learning about how to get a job with the Civil Service Fast Stream. You could find yourself helping to improve employment prospects and defending the country against natural disasters.

The Civil Service Fast Stream accepts a 2.2, but most employers in the finance sector require a 2.1 for entry onto their graduate programmes. If you didn’t make the grade, however, you should check out our updated guide to getting a finance, banking or insurance job with a 2.2, including how to explain any mitigating circumstances.

And finally, before I go (for good, as today is my last day here at TARGETjobs), remember to check out the deadlines for graduate jobs that are closing this week.

Have a great weekend – and a brilliant term at uni if, like me, that’s your next stop.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Got your place booked for IT's not just for the boys event? Zoe attended last year, read her top tips to prepare!

Name: Zoe Redfern
University: University of Lincoln
Course: Mcomp Computer Information Systems (Year 4)
Event attended: IT’s not just for the boys!

Why did you apply?
I applied to IT’s not just for the boys! after reading about it via Twitter and honestly thinking that it would not only help me with my confidence levels and self-esteem; but also how to approach the time when it comes to applying for graduate jobs. I found the life coach extremely useful and it made me feel a lot better about being a minority studying IT.

How did you prepare?
After being accepted on to the attendance list for the event I researched all the companies that were attending and looked at what opportunities they all had to offer in the specific areas that I was interested in. Being involved with Microsoft since my second year (Microsoft Student Partner and Windows 8 Student Ambassador); I was especially interested in their graduate programs and whether my extra-curricular efforts would be of interest to them. I made a list of questions for each of the companies and then a list to ask the recent graduates that were on each of the schemes at each of the companies. It was great to hear things from a female perspective as well as to learn that not all of them had an IT or Technology based degree.

I was already going to wear business style dress as all the sponsors were attending. I submitted a question to the panel and mine was chosen to be read out. (I asked for advice on how a female in technology can make her mark in the years to come.)

Do you have any preparation tips?
1) Research the companies that are attending!
2) Be armed with a pen and paper
3) Go with questions that you aim to get answers to
4) Be interested in all the opportunities that are available (speak to everyone you can and make the most of this)
5) Aim to keep a good posture and facial expression throughout. You will meet lots of fascinating people who would also love to hear about your experiences and career goals.

What did you learn?
How to present myself in interviews and that it’s actually a great thing to be part of a minority! The event did absolute wonders for my self-esteem and confidence going into the most stressful part of my degree.

There are still places left for the events in October and November!  APPLY NOW!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A day in the life of a sales & trading intern

An intern from the finance-interns community, blogs about his typical day as a sales & trading intern 

5.30 am – Turn off the alarm and sleepily make my way down to the train station.
6.10 am – Jump on the DLR to work, it’s early but at least you get a seat!
6.45 am – Arrive at the office.  I would ordinarily try to arrive before the rest of the team in order to prepare for the morning meeting and get the various documents needed ready so that everyone is set up for the rest of the day. Also spend a bit of time checking Bloomberg, FT and Reuters for the overnight headline news.
7.20 am – The morning meeting is a global conference call initiated by the Head of Trading in order to bring the desk up to speed with the market movements that occurred overnight. The Asian offices often provide this information. Then the London Research and Strategy team outlines their opinions of the market and their forecasts of key data being released during London trading hours.
8 am – As I worked on a Foreign Exchange (FX) Sales and Trading desk, a market that is open 24 hours a day, the London office would ask the other offices around the world to provide liquidity to clients during the night. This risk taken by the overseas offices needs to be transferred to the London office, via a process called Back-to-Back trade execution.  My role as an intern encompassed ensuring that these deals were inputted into the system. The number of these deals that needed to be inputted varied on a day-to-day basis. Consequently, sometimes it would take a couple of hours; sometimes it would be only a few minutes.
9.30 am – Now was the time to nip out and grab some breakfast as normally this was a brief lull in the day as the market had often already executed the deals that would allow them to hold the trading position for the day.
10 am – My role also involved executing the daily fixes on Non-Deliverable Forward trades. These deals are USD exchanges for traditionally illiquid currencies such as Korean Won, Chilean Peso, Brazilian Real and Russian Rouble to name a few. Due to the illiquid nature of the markets, it means that large volume trades could have a significant impact on the exchange rate of the currency versus the US Dollar. As a result the Central Bank of each of these nations fixes the exchange rate on the currency pair in order to ensure that the exchange rate doesn’t spiral out of control. My responsibility was to apply the fixing rate to each trade once I have accessed the published rate on Thomson Reuters.
11 am – Often I would try to do a lot of reading and research because the trading floor often has high periods of activity but can often, particularly on US Public Holidays be exceptionally quiet. Therefore, I would often speak to the various people on the floor, both Middle office and Front Office in order to hear their thoughts on the market as well as reading the Research publications that would be sent out by the In-House Research team. I personally found that the Trading floor was the perfect place to build and develop my knowledge of the Sales and Trading component of Investment Banking as it provided you with so many sources of quality information.
12.30 pm – It’s about half way through the day now, probably a good time to go and grab some lunch. Often it would involve grabbing some lunch for the Traders, because if it was a particularly volatile day then they might be unable to leave their desk in order to react and maintain a positive P+L.
1.30 pm – Every month would be the ECB Monetary Policy announcement. With the turbulent nature of the Eurozone area in the last couple of years, during my internship this was often the most important announcement and the TV sets on the trading floor and desk were all tuned into Bloomberg to listen to any statements Mario Draghi (the ECB president) would make giving an insight into the potential future policy decisions of the ECB.
2 pm – A key aspect of my role revolved around correcting any booking errors that would mean that my firm was unable to confirm and match off the trade details we have in our system with those details being confirmed by the counterparty. As a result, Back Office would inform me of the incorrect deals, I would then liaise with the Salesperson or Trader who executed the deal in order to find out if we were correct or incorrect. If we were incorrect then I would be charged with the responsibility of changing the details on the trade. This meant I had to be highly accurate as any amendments I made that were in correct would lead to a misrepresented Profit & Loss figure shown in their dealing book. Therefore, it was of the utmost importance that I was 100% accurate. Furthermore, any errors I made meant I was just creating more work for myself!
5 pm – Once the orders could be passed to the US office, because traditional London trading hours had now come to an end, it meant I could begin my end of day checks; including checking my trades had been input into the system correctly and ensuring there were no trades that were mismatching.

6 pm – Typically I would try to be one of the last people in the office, ensuring that I had checked with Middle Office and Back Office and that there was nothing outstanding that needed my immediate attention. If I got the all clear, it was time to head home for the evening and get ready for another early start in the morning! 

Friday, September 20, 2013

The TARGETjobs Weekly Career Advice Roundup

Hello and welcome to our weekly career advice roundup blog. This has been an exciting week for us as it marks the start of fair season. For the next three months our four event executives will be touring the UK visiting freshers’ fairs and careers’ fairs, coming to talk to you about starting your career, giving out our hot-off-the-press career publications and signing you up to our new-look site. This way you can start to receive our ‘How to Get Hired’ and daily job alerts emails.

We love to meet with students, talk face to face about your concerns and career dreams so please pop along to your freshers’/careers fair and come and say hello to our very friendly team. Want to meet them? Check out our Facebook album where every week we will keep you updated on their latest whereabouts. 

Talking of fairs, for those of you planning on going to careers fairs this autumn, make sure you make the most of them. These fairs are a great place to network with employers and make your first impression count. So make good use of them.
And what better way to leave a good first impression than dressing to impress and being prepared. We are here to tell how to do both.  

On a more sector-specific note:

 Calling all aspiring solicitors and future barristers: make sure you read this advice before heading to your campus law fairs this autumn. 

 If you are specifically interested in retail management, we’ve got some great advice for you on how to show recruiters you’d be perfect for the role.

 Is construction your passion? Read about four ways to get your foot in the door in the construction, civil engineering or quantity surveying industry. 

And if healthcare is your career path of choice then you’ll be interested to know that for the third year running, the NHS has topped The Guardian UK 300 poll, as the top graduate employer to work for. 

     Closing business:

As usual we update you on Alan Radbourne’s One Pound Challenge grand total after 16 weeks. It’s a whooping £5,537.22 Find his latest news here.

Want to know which graduate job applications are closing this coming week? Here is our weekly graduate job deadline roundup. Best of luck if you are applying this week. 

Hope you all have an enjoyable weekend, Jackie J  

Find out what a past Engineer your future attendee thought of the event!

Name: Nicola Berry
University: Leeds Metropolitan University
Course: Civil Engineering
Event/s attended: Engineer your Future

This July, representing 50% of the female population of full time students in my year, I graduated from Leeds Metropolitan with a 2.1 in Civil Engineering, cap thrown into the air and all…

As many of you may be realising, balancing your final year and filling in those dreaded graduate job/scheme applications at the same time can certainly be a challenge
. It was during a Sunday morning job search session that I came across the Target Jobs event page.

After putting the same effort into the event application as I would for a job (including a telephone interview – Great practice!), I was invited to attended the ‘Engineer your Future’ event that was hosted at the Shell offices in London and specifically for female students in the Engineering field. I think it is important to address that as it goes, sex is no longer an important factor in the working world. A life progression that I am well aware of having been brought up in the Isle of Man that happens to boast not only the longest active parliament but also the first female vote. So my initial advice is, if you want to strive for those STEM subjects’ girls, go for it. After all, if the Spice Girls taught us anything “Girl Power” is certainly up there!
Being one of two female engineers on my course it was the most relieving and also intimidating experience to be grouped together with two hundred other female engineers, all dressed to impress and wearing their name badges proudly.

Sat on a table with students from Warwick, UCL and Cambridge, I did at first feel like I didn't belong as I wasn't representing a red brick University myself and it was incredibly reassuring to hear that all of us had gone through the same application, studied the same modules, and shared goals, aspirations and struggles.
As well as being introduced to my new ongoing friendships, the day involved inspiring speeches from numerous iconic women in Engineering, life coaches (yes, we did have to get happy clappy) and had the opportunity to get involved in workshops with recruiters from many large corporations, of which I was in the process of applying to many of! We received advice, contacts and important information on their individual recruitment processes. It is important to let your personality and passions show. Speak up, make friends and shine!

From this initial event, along with approximately ten other girls, I was lucky enough to be invited to EDF’s first UK annual Energy Day Event. Not only did I get the VIP London eye experience and a delicious meal, I was in the company and conversations of recruiters, engineers and managers of a company that I do hope to be apart of. I received the advice, connections and an insight into my potential future career.

As it stands, I am currently living in Paris learning a new language in the city where the EDF headquarters are located and I will be using my new connections and making an application.

We live in a world where opportunities are becoming endless if you are willing to embrace them. So my advice to all would be to take every opportunity that comes your way and not to let the grass grow around your feet. I learnt that passion and enthusiasm does not go un-appreciated. It was this same positive attitude that gave me the opportunity to travel to Malawi, Africa and help volunteer on a Civil Engineering project this summer. 

Target Jobs hosts events for everyone and also provides information for upcoming jobs. Get pro-active and help develop the life and career you want!

Well said Nicola! If you're now feeling inspired and want to attend our next Engineer your future event in November, CLICK HERE to apply now!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

We find out what it takes to reach the National Student Challenge final from last year's runner up!

Liam came third in the 2012/2013 National Student Challenge winning £250! Read his top tips to make it here!

Full name: Liam Bryant
Age: 22
University attended: The University of Bath
Course studied: MEng Civil & Architectural Engineering

I entered the National Student Challenge for the first time in 2010, when it first started as the Universities’ Brightest Business Brain. My reasons for entering were mainly out of interest to compare my performance with other students. I didn’t expect to do that well, but I got through to the final and have reapplied ever since.

The final has always been fantastic in my opinion. My first time I went in really nervous, but it’s such a good time meeting new people, and getting to work in a team on a range of cool challenges. I may be a bit weird, but I find I enjoy overcoming problems with a bunch of strangers!

Everyone has always been so friendly and fun on the day, and it has been a great opportunity to talk to get some practice at what a real job application will be like, while also helping to make my CV stand out.

Top tips
Before I go any further I should confess that I intend to re-enter the challenge this coming year, so this presents a slight conflict of interest. If any of the advice seems terrible, I apologise for having failed to stay neutral.

The first and most critical point is not to be too aggressive, these are team exercises. I understand, and even occasionally succumb, to the impression that you need to show off and shout the loudest to stand out from the other contestants. This is the exact opposite of what you should do. The assessors are looking for confidence yes, but also teamwork.

My other suggestion is to support other members of your team. There is often a member of the group who has some good ideas, but is not confident enough to speak up. Help this person share their ideas and contributions, either by repeating it for the group or by asking them questions, and both you and the team will benefit.

The last year
This last year, since the competition, has been really good. I spent my giant novelty check on buying myself a tablet which I am rarely separated from and was a lot of help staying on top of all my university work.
I also entered the Undergraduate of the Year competition, another TARGETjobs competition, to win an international placement. Although I did not win, I made it through to the final, and hopefully came close, and I am certain that my performance was improved by the experience and confidence I gained at the NSC.

I’m just starting my fourth and final year at Bath University, and am starting to look for a graduate job. Despite my placements I still have little idea what I want to do as I have a whole range of fields that I am looking at. I am really hoping that my efforts in TARGETjobs Events have helped develop my CV, and I certainly know that my interviewing techniques have improved.

But before I get too far ahead of myself I need to focus on maintaining my average and graduating with a good degree!

Fancy taking on Liam this year? Well why not enter here!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hello from the TARGETjobs Events team!

Each week we hear from hundreds of applicants trying to secure a space at one of our events. So, whether you’re a future STEMinist, interested in Investment Management, our Asia and Middle East fair or many others, we have some tips on how to make your application stand out!

1.       Write a good cover letter: Your letter should be laid out correctly and contain at least two paragraphs worth of information. We’re looking to hear a little about you and why you want to attend our event; so whether there is a certain sponsor you’re interested in meeting or a passion for the sector this is the time to tell us and stand out from other applicants!

2.       Update your CV: Include details of the grades you received both at school/college and since attending university. Most of our events require applicants to be able to display academic excellence – if it’s not included at this stage we may not have time to chase you for it.

3.       UCAS points: If you did A levels, a BTEC, IB or similar it’s likely you have UCAS points, something we ask for as part of our application form. Working them out only takes a few minutes if you use a calculator like this one and goes a long way towards making you look prepared and informed - checking ‘no’ and listing them individually does not!

4.       Attention to detail: Make sure you double check your application; have you given us the right telephone number, uploaded the right documents and included any details we have asked for.

5.       Get the name of the event right: Need I say more? Make it clear you have read the information available to you and understand what you’re applying for.

If you follow all of the above and meet the event criteria it’s almost certain we’ll be inviting you to a telephone interview before long. So, best of luck with your application and we’ll hopefully see you at an event soon!

Kat, Katy, Becca and Katie

Visit TARGETjobs Events now!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Interning at Barclays, winner of the Arts & Humanities Undergraduate of the Year award talks about her prize

I was glad to have had my interview at Barclays Canary Wharf Headquarters, because that meant I had got over the “Hogwarts factor” by the time my first day arrived. I met the other interns, and over the next few days we went through some brilliant training that covered presenting, networking, organisation and teambuilding.

I won’t spoil it for anyone thinking of applying this year, but I quickly realised that this is a brilliant well-run internship. We had a group project to work on as interns, which involved us meeting a really exciting client within a couple of days. We researched, had meetings and debated what to put in our final presentation to that client, before presenting to a panel of senior management from Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, including the Chief Executive - Peter Horrell.

We also got involved with our teams from the first week, which has been great, as it really gives you an idea of what working here would be like. I am based in the International Bank, which means that we deal with clients in all different areas of the world, as well as international clients in the UK, who live in other countries.
The International Bank provides banking services, offers foreign exchange for those who need to change currency, and also offers ways in which clients can invest their money. It really depends on what the clients want – maybe to save for retirement, maybe some extra income from their savings, or sometimes something to pass on to their children or grandchildren.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in the business management side of things, which means that I’ve helped translate some of the overall business strategy into every day tangible change for my colleagues who deal directly with clients.

This week I’ve been coordinating a Mystery Shop, so I’ve been checking my colleagues’ email replies, and calling them up pretending to be a client (the “mysterious” element has been becoming less and less well kept). There’s a real campaign going at the moment to improve our clients’ satisfaction, so checking that we are always consistent in communication is one major way to do this – especially as a large proportion of the communication with international clients happens via email or the phone, rather than face to face.

It sounds straightforward, but I’m definitely learning a lot of problem solving skills with this project, and strategies to ensure people reply to your emails!

Don't let this opportunity pass you by. 

IT's not just for the boys - Top tips on the day!

Name: Jennifer Allerton
University: University of Southampton
Course: Physics
Event: IT’s not just for the boys!

The IT’s not just for the boys! event is a celebration of women in technology and computing; a networking event with talks, panels and workshops. I found out about it from a friend who had been the previous year and recommended it, so I decided, what do I have to lose? Writing my application didn't exactly seem daunting when I started, because I thought about the reasons I wanted to go, and I imagined the day in my head, and as I wrote it, I gained more confidence in the idea that it would suit me.

  • For me, the day was about the people I would meet. There were companies, and workshops, and questions and answers about working in computing and technology – plenty of information available to be soaked up. But I was interested most of all in the individuals, the women themselves. I have always undersold myself, put myself down and failed to see how clever I am. I suffer from anxiety and depression, and my self confidence has never been high when it comes to my worth and intelligence, but my confidence with people is good; I love to speak to people. The best part is they’re all real, they've all been in similar places, they all have their own experiences; they won’t judge you. Not for being nervous, or for asking a question, or for being you. So that brings me to my first and most important top tip for the day: Talk to people!
  • My next top tip would be to plan as much as you can in advance. On the day, I caught a train and walked from the station. The event was at Bloomberg, in Finsbury Square. Google maps told me the way from the train station to the building, so I printed off a copy and took it in my bag. I worked out roughly how long the walk would take me, assuming I would not want to rush – it would only make you feel stressed to have walked as fast as humanly possible to the event to get there 5 minutes before the start. I always like to leave plenty of time. (In fact, I even stopped at Starbucks on the way! – such a consumer dummy). I then booked my train ticket accordingly for the right time.

  • Final top tip: get plenty of sleep. Especially if, like I did, you have a trek to make in the morning, and are possibly also nervous, it will definitely help. My personal recommendation? Green tea, scented candles and meditation. And when you get home after the day is over, feeling super-pleased with yourself for getting really involved, listening, soaking it all up, talking to lots of people and building on your idea of what on Earth you want to do with your life, a cup of hot chocolate is definitely in order. 
Because what did I learn from the day? Appreciate yourself, and reward yourself. Because you rock. 

Studying IT? If this sounds like something you are interested in then why not apply now! Applications are open for our events in October and November! JUST CLICK HERE!

Friday, September 13, 2013

TARGETjobs News Roundup

It’s Friday, which can only mean it’s time for our weekly instalment of the latest career advice and graduate recruitment news. 
Before we get started I just wanted to make you all aware that we are giving away a trip for two to Dubai for four nights. You have until Saturday 30 November to enter, so get all your friends involved. Visit our Facebook page to enter. 
Back to the blog. With many graduate jobs and schemes now open for applications, we have news and advice from a variety of sectors.

We strongly advice you get yourself down to careers fairs taking place at your university, especially if you are a final year or penultimate year student. Before you go, prepare yourself by reading the following:
-          What to wear and how to prepare 
-          How to network at careers events 

If you are ahead of the game and know you want to apply for BT’s graduate schemes, here are the do’s and don’ts on their online graduate application form, straight from our expert Rod. 
For budding solicitors, it’s never too early to start planning your career. This article on the law firms who will fund your LPC and GDL course fee may sway your decision about who to apply to. 
If you are studying law but thinking of going down the barrister route, this interview with Eloise le Santo, Junior barrister from Matrix Chambers, who has just finished her pupillage, will give you a great insight into what to expect.
Thinking a career in charity is the right path for you? Check out how to choose the right employer for your career.
Following Alan’s one pound challenge? It fills me with great pleasure to inform you that after 14 weeks he has made a total of £4,583.20. See what his latest jobs have involved. 
Before we conclude our blog with our usual round up of next week’s graduate job, we have two questions for you:
-          What do you think of our new site? Please comment either below, on our Facebook page, on Linkedin or tweet us @targetjobsuk – all feedback is very welcome

-          How do you feel about employers rejecting graduates on their UCAS points/A level results? Let us know by answering our latest poll on our homepage.

Finally, here it is next week’s upcoming graduate job deadlines. This weekend is your last chance to apply.  

TARGETjobs National Student Challenge Winner! Do you have what it takes?

Full name: Katharina Gammel
Age: 23
University attended: Aston University
Course studied: International Business and Management

I entered the TARGETjobs National Student Challenge following an e-mail about the competition from TARGETjobs. Initially I thought it was great practice for numerical testing which obviously all employers use as part of their recruitment process; I didn't really think that I was actually going to make it to the big final! The final was an amazing day, we had to complete different tasks as teams of 10 students which I am sure will be extremely beneficial for future assessment centers  I really enjoyed the activities and getting to know the other participants who were from all kinds of universities and courses from all over the UK. We also had the chance to talk to the sponsors and ask them questions about their graduate programmes as well as their recruitment processes. I thought the whole day was more fun than competition, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the amazing Siemens building where the final was held.

Top tips from the winner
For the first round I would say the most important thing is to practice. It’s all about speed, and you get quicker at the different tasks by practicing. This is not only valuable for this particular competition but for any numerical testing you will have to do when applying for jobs!  For the final, I think the most important advice is to not take the whole experience too seriously. Of course, at the end of the day it’s a competition, but the employers who rate you during the group tasks will see if you’re cooperating with others and how you work in a team, so trying to do everything on your own will not get you on to the podium with this competition. It’s important to have fun throughout the day and to see the activities as a learning experience. I really enjoyed myself throughout the day and I think that’s a big reason why I won in the end!

The last year:
Since winning the competition I was busy completing my final year at Aston University and applying for a place to do my Masters degree. I used the money I won to apply to different universities all over Europe, and I am going to start my MSc in a few weeks in Barcelona. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to complete my internship with Siemens yet, but I already know that I have to do another placement as part of my Masters degree which I am planning to do with Siemens – it’s an amazing company to work for so I’m excited for it!
In the near future I obviously want to complete my MSc which I will do in Barcelona and another exchange university outside Europe. Afterwards I am obviously going to try and find employment; maybe I can stay with Siemens after my internship next year; if not I am going to try and get a job at the Rio Olympics in 2016 as I spent my placement working for the London Olympics in 2012 and I’d love to do it again!

Think you have what it takes - Pre-registration open now! Click HERE!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thinking of applying to one of our events? Read what a past attendee has to say about her experience….

About me!
Name: Catriona Byers           
University: Heriot Watt University
Course: Chemical Engineering
Event attended: Engineer your future

Why did you apply?
I found out about the event through an email sent by TARGETjobs.  The main reason I was interested in the event was that it was purely for female engineers. Coming from a male dominated course it was nice to see something purely aimed at females. The chance to meet other female engineers, whether still at university or in employment, was one, which I wanted to be involved with. I felt that the opportunity to meet successful females, from a male dominated industry, would be significant in gaining confidence with regards to both applications and teamwork situations within a university and employment environment. The opportunity to get interview and application tips from all the various companies was also an appealing factor.

What did you do next?
I originally researched all the companies that would be attending the event so that I could see what I could gain from the event as a whole. With the broad range of companies, from different sectors, I made sure that my CV was not too specific towards one industry.  I also made sure that my CV was up to date so that if I was fortunate enough to have a phone interview, it would reflect my discussions. With regards to the application form, I treated it as I would for a normal job application, taking my time considering and answering each question as fully as I could.  Overall, it took me a couple of days to make sure I was confident with my application.

Do you have any telephone interview tips?
Being my first ever phone interview, I was nervous, as I wasn’t sure what to do. In preparation I looked over my CV and had researched the companies a little bit more.  Having this in front of me, allowed me to relax, incase I lost my train of thought. The interviewer asked many questions in order to get a basic background on me as a person. I was asked about why I chose my course, my interests and what I had been involved with in university. I was also asked about why I was interested in attending the event and what I could gain from it. I felt it went well. I would say, for the telephone interview to be confident when speaking and to take a few seconds, after each question, to think about what you are going to say first. The experience of having a telephone interview is invaluable and has helped since.

What did you learn?
Through the panel discussion and workshops, we were given many tips in self-confidence and how to handle ourselves in industry. Overall, I gained confidence for future interviews, applications and events!

Our next event is on Monday 4th November 2013 so APPLY NOW!!