Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sara tells us about her role with Cognizant

Name: Sara Al-Badri
University: University of Greenwich
Events attended: IT's not just for the boys! November 2013 and March 2014

So this time last year I was in a real dilemma…I was coming up to finishing my degree with no job to fall back on once graduating. I’m not sure about you, but I really struggled passing any of the psychometric tests to get through to the next stage. I had been applying for graduate schemes on TARGETjobs and found they had networking events – one being ‘IT’s not just for the boys’. I loved the idea of having a full day meeting employers that were there solely for us, fellow students in the STEM group, and most importantly networking!

The day consisted of meeting motivational business woman who sat on a panel, talking about their personal journeys and were truly inspirational – and made me want to be successful so much more. A happy coach (who only wore bright colours and made you dance!) left you really motivated and the greatest part of the experience, was the exposure you get to global employers. A couple of the sessions you get put into groups based on your skill set, and have short activities with employers based on how you problem solve/communicate/pitch. They saw how you worked and how you would fit into their company.

Now I am 7 months into my role at Cognizant, working in IT Infrastructure and now put those skills that the recruiters saw in me (at the event) into practice every day. I work within a large team both onsite and offshore daily, so it’s a very global and diverse culture we work in. From the start, I was given many responsibilities to project manage and be exposed to many roles that included: managing an offshore team to create some material in a restricted deadline for a launch, working with very senior members to create a brand re-launch, organizing events/presentation material/operational work/work with our marketing team to create material for clients and so much more...

Learning is something I do every day and has been a very smooth transition from university life to the real working world. There are challenging moments, but the most important thing and advice I can give you to take away, is that you’re not on your own, go to one of these events as it changed my life and build your network around you. Good luck!

Cognizant (and Sara!) will be joining us at the next IT's not just for the boys! event on March 20. Fancy attending? Apply now!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Adeela talks about her day at IT's not just for the boys!

Name: Adeela Saalim
University: King's College London
Degree: Computing & Internet Systems

I applied for “ITs not just for the boys!” after receiving an email from my university careers office and I was very lucky to be selected and invited to the event after going through the application process.

On the day, Katy from TARGETjobs Events welcomed us and talked us through about format of the day. Then guest speaker Kate Taylor took the stage and spoke about building “Rapport”. It was an excellent learning to takeaway and apply in your personal and professional life. After a networking lunch, where we put all of Kate's top tips into practice, Nathalie, keynote speaker talked about overcoming the hurdles being a woman and how to achieve what you yearn for.

Next, it was time for Team Challenge, this session was an excellent understanding on how to brain storm ideas and be part of a team to deliver a task. Skills session was very helpful as it provided an insight into what skills must be acquired by the graduates to be successful in technology industry.
The last part of event was panel Q&A where questions were answered beautifully by women expert in their fields. Event was wrapped up with an opportunity to talk to employers and other attendees over drinks.

It was an exciting day for me, packed with learning and knowing about opportunities available  for women. I must say that Target Jobs is doing an exceptional job to give this chance to women to explore what they can do with their degrees. I would recommend it to girls who are currently studying or have finished their degrees to attend at least one of the these events. It is a fantastic opportunity to find out what employers are looking for and how you make yourself more employable by standing out among thousands.

Sound like something you want to be a part of? Click to find out how to join us at our next event!


Social media is one of the largest forms of marketing. So why not use these networks that are so readily available, to market yourself? Are you looking for a job? Using social channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn could really help you get your CV out there.  If you do not know already, you will find that the majority of companies and corporations are on social media in one form or another. Social media allows you to connect with these companies and speak to them about your ambition. No-one is going to market you better than yourself. So make a lasting impression and start networking!

We here at TARGETjobs understand how stressful and hard work job hunting can be. So, here are our five top tips to kick-start your career through social media:

Ensuring that your online presence helps rather than hinders your job hunt you need to make sure you have really considered what your social profiles look like. If you would rather recruiters did not see the content on your social channels then review your privacy settings. It is worth some serious thought as to who can access your data. Don’t let a crazy Facebook picture prevent you from getting a job. Find out more on how you can manage your online reputation.

Okay, so we are all guilty of posting random pictures of cats etc. But, now is the time for you to start thinking on a professional scale. How can you redesign your social media to make it sell you and your skills? You may want to start with changing your tag name to your actual name! Select a profile image that represents you well and try not to post drunken videos or images of yourself. 

LinkedIn is almost like an interactive CV. Your profile allows you to not only showcase your experience, qualifications but also enables you to connect and network with prestigious companies, job search and more. You can update your profile quickly and even include any work you have produced so it is easily seen by recruiters and employers.

The biography section on the majority of social media channels is one of the first sections employers see when viewing your page. It is the perfect space for you to express what you want to do and what your ambition is. Use all the tools available to you, whether you include your portfolio or a sentence which covers what you want to do. Keep it light yet professional.

Start following companies you would be interested in working for. Many companies will promote when they have a vacancy they are recruiting for. So following them could enable you to find out about the job first and apply quickly to get your CV and application noticed. It is a good idea to get involved in conversations and get your profiles noticed.  Find out how you can use Twitter to get yourself job.

For more advice on how to get yourself a graduate job or internship visit

Friday, February 20, 2015

Could you be a ThoughtWorker?

Caroline has been working at ThoughtWorks for two and a half years since meeting them at IT's not just for the boys! in 2012.

Name: Caroline Kok
University: University of Sheffield
Degree: Computer Science
Event attended: IT's not just for the boys! 2012

I applied to the event because I was not sure if I wanted to continue in the IT industry. There was not a lot of diversity on my course and I could not see myself working in an IT crowd-esque office. I was really surprised when an email got sent round the computer science department advertising the IT’s not just for the boys! event, immediately my interest was peaked.

After enjoying a pleasant morning in London (why not!), I arrived at the event. I had never seen so many girls (or women, whichever one you prefer) interested in IT in one place before, it was definitely an enlightening experience!  I met so many nice people there, some of whom became my colleagues at ThoughtWorks.

I thought the event had a really good selection of speakers, and it was good to see the diversity of the careers you can get into within IT, some that I had not really considered.

After the panel was over it was time for the networking. I thought this was the most important part.There were so many interesting people to speak
with, both employers and fellow students.

It was there that I met my current employer. ThoughtWorks offered me an internship in their London office. I would definitely recommend doing an internship! In fact, I wish I had gone to the event in my penultimate year, rather than in my final year. I think experiencing what it’s really like working for an IT company is invaluable.  

With the experience I have got now, I know that I want to be a programmer. I cannot see myself in a non-technical role. Back then I wasn’t so sure, in fact I did not think much of myself as a programmer! It took the internship to relieve me of that conviction.

I have been working as a Software Developer for ThoughtWorks for 2,5 years. I can genuinely say that it is a very fun and rewarding job. I am on my third project currently, I love getting stuck into new problems and learning new technologies. IT is definitely the place to be if that is your kind of thing!

Does this sound like you? Join us for the next event on 20 March!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Jennifer proves that being pro-active is the key to success!

Name: Jennifer Brett
University: University of Birmingham
Course: Economics
Event attended: IT's not just for the boys! November and Nottingham 2014

I attended TARGETjobs IT’s not just for the boys! event in November 2014. My reason for attending was simply to gain an insight into the industry and the kind of opportunities that it could offer. Personally, the best part of the day was the opportunity it gave me to network with recruiters in an informal, relaxed environment.

At the event, I was very impressed with GE, the representatives were very enthusiastic about their work and informed me of the excellent structure of their rotational programs. The event allowed me to have a great general chit-chat with them about their work and the kinds of attributes they look for in candidates. Upon leaving the event, I felt as though the culture at GE would be one, where I could really fit in.

The event was very insightful and had been much more useful than other careers events I have attended in the past, afterward, I felt enthusiastic about my future and applying for jobs in the technology sector. A few days later, I received an email from GE encouraging me to apply. I applied straight away and soon received an invite for the online testing. The testing was challenging, but it was best to be confident about your answers and go with your gut feeling. A few weeks later, I also received emails from IBM and CHP Consulting following up from the event, but GE had been quick to respond and I progressed through to the final stage within a month or so. In January, I was offered an opportunity to begin a year placement with GE as an ITLP Intern.

I believe that being successful was partly due to being pro-active. I followed up with the people I had met at the event on LinkedIn and I did extensive research on the company to ensure that the role was right for me, throughout my interview, my passion about working for the company showed.

My best advice is to be confident and self-aware, I do not come from a technical background, I studied Economics at University but didn’t let this hold me back. Be confident about the skills you have built upon throughout your study and through extra curricular activity, and demonstrate how you can relate these skills and experiences to the particular job you are applying for!

Are you looking for opportunities for next year? Join us on 20 March at the final IT's not just for the boys! of the year!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What you need to know about Postgrad Yorkshire 2015

Next stop for the TARGETpostgrad team is Sheffield for the Postgrad Yorkshire event. If you haven't been keeping track of our latest postgraduate events you can find all the details here.

Now, I thought it would be a good idea to provide you all with the essential details about the event itself. So, let me start with the basics...

FREE TO ATTEND! So bring as many friends as you like. 
DATE | 04 MARCH 2015
TIME | 11AM - 3PM

If postgraduate study is something that you're considering, knowing which course and university can benefit you the most, is important. That is one of the reasons we hold these fairs. We want to provide you all with the best knowledge of postgraduate study and offer guidance if you have not yet made a decision on whether you want to go into further education or get a job.

Here are our top tips if you choose to attend one of our fairs..

Do your research: Make sure you know which universities are attending, see what postgraduate courses they offer. 
Collect a guide: When you arrive on the day, pick up the free guide that we offer. This will not only tell you where each university is located, but also details of each seminar taking place. 
Keep an open mind: You may have your heart set on a particular university, but speak with different experts on the day to get a better understanding of each university and what they can offer you. 
Introduce yourself: Don't be shy about it, speak up about what course you’re looking for and get your questions ready. 
Be Assertive: Give a firm handshake and make eye contact. Have confidence in your ability to do your chosen course. 
Make Contacts: Whether this is with other students that are attending the fair, or with the postgraduate experts attending on the day. Ask for a business card to send over any questions you may have.
With over 30 universities attending ready to answer your questions, it is an excellent opportunity to find the right university and course for you. Find out more about our exhibitors here

We are holding seminar sessions on funding, applications and life as a postgraduate student. See more about our seminars.

If you would like to attend and haven't registered, you can pre-register here.