Friday, December 27, 2013

Oishi came to one of our STEMinism events - IT's not just for the boys! Find out what she got out of the day and why you should attend!

Since, from the very first day, I prepared for the event by going through the website, to find out more about the event. 
I went through it in detail to find out what activities and sessions will take place and done research on the companies, which are coming for the event and the kind of roles they offers. I prepared myself in every possible ways for the big day and made a list of questions that I will be asking to the recruiters.

On the day itself, my favourite session was the ‘skills session’ and ‘insider insight’ where I got the opportunity to directly interact with the recruiters. I chatted with the recruiters about application selection process, about the skills require to succeed and many more. The recruiters gave valuable advices and suggestions, in order to stand out from a crowd.

The best piece of advice that I learned from the event was to shine and not to hide away! The inspirational talk from Alexandra Watson, the guest speaker, motivates me to feel, that I have the potential to shine and not to hide away and that can be done only by hard work.   

For other students thinking attending, I will say that the day is going to be very rewarding and this is the opportunity to network with the recruiters. I will suggest them to be prepared beforehand and to do research about the companies participating and the roles they offer. It is very prudent to take part in events like this, where one will get the chance to gain the insight of selection process and I feel I had made the most of the day.

Thinking of giving it a go? We have STEMinism presents Vodafone in February and another IT's not just for the boys! in March! Apply now!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Emily Burton the winner of the National Student Challenge 2013 talks us through her memorable day!

I heard about the TARGETjobs Events National Student Challenge and thought it would be a great way to practise numerical and psychometric testing, knowing that most major companies use these types of tests as part of their graduate recruitment - I never thought I'd be successful enough to be invited to the Grand Final!

The final was a fantastic day. The exercises were challenging but definitely a lot of fun to do – at points I almost forgot I was competing! I met a multitude of students from varying backgrounds and course subjects and it was pleasure to get to know them throughout the day. Working (and competing) with such a talented group of people, really pushed me to put my best foot forward and take the most out of such an incredible opportunity. 

The main reason I attended the Challenge was to get experience in corporate events, to meet new people and network - I never expected to win. When my name was announced I was lost for words, which rarely happens! Now it has sunk in, I am absolutely thrilled to have won and very much look forward to working for Siemens. I’m hoping to do a 10 week internship with them this summer, where I know I will learn and experience a tremendous amount.

My recommendation to anyone that is thinking of taking the challenge would be to apply and go for it - what have you got to lose. For the online testing, just practice as much as you can because you will get used to the pace of the tests and style of questions quite quickly. When it comes to the Grand Final, just be yourself and enjoy the day!  It's been one of the most invigorating days of my life and I doubt I will ever forget the experience.

Congratulations again to Emily and to all those who entered!! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bethan came to one of our STEMinism events and now has landed a graduate job with Vodafone 2 years early! Read below to find out how you could too!!

Bethan Reeves is a second year Maths student studying at Cardiff University. She attended IT's not just for the boys! in October and now as a result of attending the event, she has secured a graduate job for 2 years time!! Read her story here.....

“IT’s not just for the boys!” is an inspirational event geared towards female students who are currently studying STEM subjects at university. I heard about the event through the careers service at university only six days before I attended and following a speedy application process I booked my train tickets and couldn’t wait!

I soon found myself at Bloomberg HQ tucking into a free lunch and chatting to the other students and employers/recruiters. My apprehensions about being a 2nd year Maths student in amongst coding pros and technological genii were soon diminished and I had a fantastic day. Clutching my bag of goodies, I went away buzzing with excitement about all the things I’d heard but little did I know, further amazing opportunities were right around the corner...

In the weeks following the event I received all sorts of emails and information from companies such as EMC, HSBC and ThoughtWorks as well as encouragement from Target Jobs to enter the ‘Undergraduate of the Year’ competition. Above all, just two months after attending IT’s Not Just for the Boys, I had a VIP invitation to a Vodafone assessment centre for their technology graduate scheme in my hands! All I had to do was complete some short online SHL tests and upon passing these, I had my assessment centre place secured.

I headed to Vodafone global HQ in Newbury where I took part in the various elements of the assessment centre, had a guided tour and opportunities to chat to graduates already on the Discover schemes. The day had a wonderful feel to it and I was truly put at ease; it was great to meet other students and speak to the graduates. Yet again, I could never have anticipated what was still to come as two days later I received a phonecall to tell me the incredible news that I had got the job!!

I was astounded by this; a graduate job secured before I was even halfway through my degree! I’m still required to get a 2:1 but this hasn’t stopped me from picturing myself riding around Newbury on the Vodafone buses and what life on the Discover scheme will be like (and that’s before I even consider the £29,000 salary!).

All of these experiences will be with me forever and it has truly shown me that there really is no glass ceiling for us girls and no divide between males and females within technology. Out of the 9 students at the Vodafone assessment centre, only 2 of us were girls and I got the job. That’s not to say the guys didn’t get job offers but it’s really shown me that there’s nothing to be afraid of; my life has taken a turn I could never have imagined and it feels fantastic!

So girls (and guys too!), take this from me, every opportunity you are given presents itself for a reason so take your life in both hands and put yourself out there – what have you got to lose?

Update: Since writing this blog Bethan has also taken part in Vodafone's summer internship. She's now even more excited to join them this September! Could this be you next year? Apply for the March event now! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

TARGETjobs career advice roundup: the Christmas edition

Wreaths are on doors and mistletoe is hanging from the rafters: it’s Christmas time again, and we’re here to give you the final career advice roundup of the year.

First of all we have some Christmas cheer for Emily Barton from the University of Exeter: she’s the winner of the TARGETjobs National Student Challenge! After competing in the final at the Crystal Building in London, Emily was awarded £1000 and a paid internship with Siemens.

Would you like to enter a competition too? If so, take a look at the Undergraduate of the Year awards. The deadline is rushing towards us, and there are quite a number of graduate programmes and internships that you could win.

Next, we have all the career advice ready for you to browse while you relax this Christmas:

  • If you’re considering a career as a barrister, you’ll need to know how much a pupil barrister can expect to earn. As well as some sound advice, we’ve also got a list of 12-month pupillage awards to help you compare chambers. 
  • If you’re applying for McDonald’s, then you’ll need to be familiar with the four steps of the application process. Not only do they ask you to apply online and interview in person, there are also on the job evaluations and a personality questionnaire to consider.
  • As mentioned, one of the hurdles that you’ll come across in the McDonald’s recruitment process is the on the job evaluation. If you do your research and make sure you’re friendly and conversational, you’ll be fine.
  • If you’re applying to Morrisons you’ll need to be thinking about the three stages of their recruitment process: the application, assessment centre and interview. The most important thing at all of these stages is to understand Morrisons’ key values. 
  • If construction is your sector, then we have some advice on how to network in to a built environment career. You’ll need to know how to expand your current network (you already have one, even if you think that you don’t!) and the major do’s and don’ts.
  • If you are a woman and you’re looking at careers in architecture, construction, engineering or surveying then you’ll want to read this article by Abi, one of our own editors, on her hints and tips for women in construction.

We’ve also got an extra Christmas gift this week: our graduate schemes page has been updated with all the deadlines through to the end of January. There are plenty, so don’t miss out on an opportunity.

And to finish off we’ve got a bumper deadline bonanza for you, with all the graduate jobs deadlines from now until Christmas and the New Year, right up to January 6th.

Have a very merry Christmas, one and all. Everyone here at TARGETjobs wishes you all the best for the New Year!

Friday, December 20, 2013

City Law for ethnic minorities has been taking place for over 10 years, and is TARGETjobs Events flagship event! Read what Louisa thought of the event in June!

Louisa is studying Law at UCL, she came to the TARGETjobs Events City Law for ethnic minorities event back in the summer. Read about her experience here!

I first applied to the event as being a first year student at that time, I wanted to gain more of an insight into the legal industry in London and I felt that City Law for ethnic minorities by TargetJobs Events was the perfect opportunity. Being specially catered to ethnic minorities, I knew that the content of the event would be organised in a way that would most benefit me. I was particularly attracted by the number of, and the names of, law firms participating in the event. Coupled with the fact that the event was well structured and publicised, it came to be too inviting not to attend. Finally, I felt that it was a great way of getting to know other students from throughout the UK – friendships and networking!

To increase my chances of being invited for the event, I did thorough research and read about the experiences of past participants of the event. I did this to get a better understanding of what the event offered, and what I could do to best portray my enthusiasm of wanting to participant in this year’s City Law for Ethnic Minorities through my cover letter. Also, I ensured that my CV was up to date, to give me the best chance of being successful.

My telephone interview was incredibly friendly and made me feel at ease throughout the entire duration of the interview. The lady was clear and asked me about why I wanted to attend the event and a few things regarding my CV. The phone call did not last very long, and was well informed about when I would be hearing from them.

A few key things that I would advise would be to make sure that you are in a quiet place – preferably in your own room, that you have your CV and cover letter which you submitted next to you for reference and definitely, be ready and wait for the phone call to come in.

Finally, the event gave me the perfect exposure to city law firms around London, and I picked up a few skills and tips through the workshops that the law firms organised. I made a lot of new friends and was definitely glad that I had the chance to attend it!

Applications are now open for the 2014 event! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Daphne came third in the 2013 National Student Challenge! Read about her day!

About Me
I’m a second year English and European Law student at Queen Mary, University of London. It’s essentially a normal three-year law degree with an extra year abroad, which I’ll be spending in Paris. My choice of discipline of course gives away my interest in a career in law, but I’m very open to learning about other professions. The National Student Challenge was great in that respect as it enabled me to gain exposure and chat to employers in other fields, which is invaluable in itself. After the Challenge, employers often get in touch with students they particularly liked – it’s a great foot in the door!

The Online Element
I came across the Challenge when looking to practice some of the online tests many employers now make students take. They tend to leave us hanging with regards to results so I was curious to see how mine compared to those of my peers. Overall, I thought it was a lot of fun and very exciting to track my progress on the league table. The advice I would give to people taking the tests is to practice loads before the real thing to avoid feeling like a deer in the headlights. They're supposed to be based purely on ability but it does take a few tries to get your head around the format.

The Grand Final
I was astonished I'd made it to the Grand Final – it was a lovely surprise! The group exercises were not at all what I was expecting – there were some very creative ones like organising a star–studded event and building a paper ramp to slide a ping pong ball down (my favourite). It was quite difficult because we might be working in a team towards a common goal for one exercise, then have to argue against each other in the next. Similar to my surprise at reaching the Grand Final, I did not in any way expect to reach the top 3. It feels great now, though it did take a while to sink in. My large £250 cheque (or my 'two fiddy' as I like to call it) is now proudly hanging on my wall.

How the Experience Will Help Me in the Long Run
Prizes aside, this was a great experience and fantastic preparation for assessment centres. University careers services do run mock sessions but they’re no substitute for the feeling of genuine competition I got from participating in the NSC. Such days are all about teamwork and bringing out the best in the other members of the group, each of whom will bring their own skills and unique way of contributing to the table. Every team is different so it’s important to get loads of practice to get comfortable with assessment centres. A tip I would give is to be careful about how others perceive you. Although it can be tempting to go in there with an 'in it to win it attitude', the others will see this and it will create a difficult atmosphere for co-operation. Much of the positive feedback other winners got related to the fact that they'd made the rest of their group feel at ease and tried to involve everyone in the day's activities.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, why not apply for our Undergraduate of the Year Awards 2014! 12 awards, from 12 employers, for 12 students - do you have what it takes? APPLY NOW!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

In need of some girl power? Read Gwenno's experience from attending IT's not just for the boys! in October!

‘IT’s not just for the boys!’ is an event catered for women, looking to learn more about careers in technology and to hopefully entice them to become part of what is currently a very male dominated sector. Being in my third year, I had previously heard some mention about ‘ITs not just for the boys!’, however I had always been too late, too busy or just too plain lazy to apply. This year, I saw the event discussed on Facebook during the summer holidays so I had absolutely no excuse not to apply!

The application process was much easier then I imagined, and to be quite honest I rather enjoyed it! I found myself researching into the companies sponsoring the events, learning about their policies regarding female employees, and reading some shocking facts about how little females are currently employed in IT related roles despite the fact that it is one of the biggest employment sectors in the country. Following a very pleasant phone interview (which definitely gave me some much needed telephone interview practice) I was invited to the event!

The day of the event rolled up, and I had to get up at stupid o’clock to travel to London. And, believe me when I say, I hate London! But, it was all the name of girl power so, with positive thoughts placed firmly in the front of my mind, and the Spice Girls on my iPod, off I went! I found the Bloomberg building around 40 minutes early, but managed to find some free WiFi at a local cafe to keep me occupied! At least I avoided the stress of running around the streets of London with no idea where I was going!

I felt strangely empowered arriving at the event. I never thought I’d see the day when coding and court shoes would go hand in hand! All these women with similar passions gathered under one roof, and so many fellow female Computer Science students (which are a very rare breed indeed)! I loved being given the opportunity to talk to like-minded people - and talking was a really important part of the day! Everyone is in the exact same boat, so roll up your sleeves, be yourself and start making friends!

I personally had two favourite parts to the day - firstly, the guest speaker Kathryn Parsons was truly inspirational, and just a generally cool person! I’d love to go out for a few cocktails with her and learn her secrets to success! Secondly, the Question and Answer part of the day was just so fantastically interesting! Hearing these women, who had all made it to the very top of their game telling you how they did it! I definitely heard a few gems that I’ll never forget! It was definitely worth that trudge to London!!

I’m under no illusion, I’m not the best programmer in the world, or even in my year, and there will always be someone better than me, but the event gave me confidence in the skills and abilities that I do have, and it taught me how to make myself stand out and how to find out what the companies are looking for.

Following the event, I proceeded to apply for a couple of graduate schemes. Before the event I wouldn’t have considered applying to them before as they seemed a bit big and scary to little old me from North Wales! But, last week I was fortunate enough to be offered a place on the graduate scheme that had appealed to me the most, and it’s all thanks to the experience I gained in the event.

So, if you want a great day out, the chance to mingle with like-minded women and the possibility to kick start your career - what are you waiting for?! In the very wise words of Beyonce ‘Who rules the world? Girls!’

Saturday, December 14, 2013

TARGETjobs career advice roundup

Happy Saturday career-seekers: this is the TARGETjobs weekly career advice roundup. We've got all the tips and hints you’ll need to make the most of your job opportunities.

But let’s start with an apology: I’m sorry we missed the career roundup last week, but the good news is that this roundup is absolutely packed with useful articles.

First up, are you thinking of a career in education technology? If so, then RM Education could be the company for you. You’ll need to know how to answer their question on your communication skills. 

Next, we’ve got some advice on the construction sector:
Are you thinking of applying for a graduate job with Mercer? If so, you need to know these five things about the application process.

If you get past the Mercer application process, your next challenge will be the graduate assessment centre. Luckily for you, we have all the details on the assessment process here. 

We’d also like to tell you about two huge opportunities for any aspiring solicitors out there:
  • Aspiring trainee solicitors can improve their chances of getting a training contract or vacation scheme by attending a TARGETjobs Law How to Get Hired workshop at Durham, Warwick, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and Southampton Universities in early 2014. Leading law firms including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, White & Case, Osborne Clark and Dentons will give workshops to help students improve their applications and interview skills.
  • Clifford Chance is offering a different way for students to secure a vacation scheme place: an essay competition. Deadlines close for the ‘Intelligent Aid’ competition on 31 January and the firm hopes to attract students who might not otherwise have considered applying for work experience with the magic circle firm.

We also have an exciting internal announcement: TARGETjobs has just joined forces with Inside Buzz to bring you the most complete view of a company.  Soon Inside Buzz reviews will be available on our employer hubs, alongside our employer profiles and company insights. If you’re jobhunting, why go elsewhere? We’ve got it all here on TARGETjobs. 

As usual, we have all of our upcoming jobs deadlines here for you too. 

Have an excellent weekend.