According to recent data from the Institute of Student Employers, 27% of businesses are reducing the number of graduates they recruit this year and 23% will cut apprenticeship and school leaver programmes.
At a time when the graduate job market is at its worst, The Grad Hub has teamed up with Gradvance, who are doing what they can to help by offering free career consultations to students and graduates.
Let me introduce you to Gradvance
Whether you are seeking an industry placement, graduate scheme or entry level graduate roles, Gradvance can help. They’ll work with you to understand your key strengths, motivations and goals to map out the perfect career plan and boost your confidence.
They’ll then support you through the entire application journey with their CV & cover letter workshops, interview coaching and Assessment Centre Masterclasses.
Dan Mian’s Story
In 2015 I graduated with a 2:1 degree in Geography and Economics from Loughborough University. I did the joint degree as these were two subjects that I enjoyed in school and although it was difficult having to switch my mind between two, I loved it. When choosing my degree I didn’t really have a clear vision for what my career would look like. The plan was just to do the three years, get my degree and figure it out later.
Towards the end of my final year I started applying for various graduate schemes. I didn’t have a plan of attack and to be totally honest I just applied to the highest paying schemes. I tried my best to secure a role but after over 20 failed applications I started to lose hope. Of the roles I applied for I was immediately rejected from 80% of them and of the 20% that did progress, I was rejected at the next stage. This was going to be tougher than expected!
I eventually got a role through Pareto Law – a graduate sales recruitment agency – in a small company in Birmingham and embarked on a week-long sales training course and gained some sales qualifications. I decided to go for a sales role with hopes to make a lot of money on commission and although I did well, after 1 year of working there, I realised that I just wasn’t happy. I was making over 500 cold calls per week and wasn’t getting the career fulfilment or progression opportunities that I craved after leaving university. I felt burnt out and didn’t feel I’d made good use of my degree so the following year I decided to give graduate schemes another try. This time I was determined to make it work!
I spent a lot of time researching different industries, businesses and roles as well as doing a lot of self-reflection to understand my motivations, goals and desires. I was then able map out a career plan that would make me truly happy.
I knew my applications from the previous year weren’t hitting the mark so I spent many hours improving my CV and cover letters and worked hard on interview and assessment centre preparation. I tailored my applications and aligned specific roles and company values to my own. I loved every role I applied for and knew exactly why I was applying, because of this my passion shone through. I developed a strong understanding of exactly what the companies were looking for and I was able to get into the head of the hiring manager.
I decided that the Telecommunications industry was right for me but I wasn’t sure on the specific business function so I decided to apply for roles that gave me the opportunity to try different things. As long as the company and role aligned to my values, motivations and career goals – I was onto a winner.
Streamlining my applications and focusing on quality not quantity worked perfectly. I found myself being invited to multiple assessment centres including BT, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone. BT was my top choice and I was over the moon when I was offered a position on the BT Business Management Graduate Scheme. I felt that all my hard work had finally paid off and I couldn’t be happier!
I later learned that there were 26,000 applications and only 200 business roles offered, putting me into the top 1%. I was blown away!
After starting at BT in September 2017 I’ve had many roles and fantastic experiences spanning across operations, contract management, project management, customer experience and marketing. I finished the graduate scheme in 2019 and today I am responsible for the marketing strategy and execution for four of BT’s businesses. I’m now also an assessor on the BT Graduate and Apprentice Assessment Centres – I really have gone full circle!
Gradvance Is Born
In 2019 I launched Gradvance. It was formed organically as many people were asking me for support with their graduate applications including friends, family and students on LinkedIn. I quickly realised that people were going through the same struggles that I faced after university and I wanted to help.
To date we’ve helped many students who’ve gone on to secure brilliant graduate roles to kick start their careers! Here’s a snapshot of some of the roles our clients have secured:
Severn Trent Water – Finance Leadership Graduate Scheme
BT – Product Management Graduate Scheme
Deliveroo – Commercial Management Graduate Scheme
Arcadis – Building Surveying Industrial Placement
How can Gradvance help you?
Gradvance are currently offering free career consultations to support students during this difficult time. This is a 30 minute session with a Gradvance coach designed to help you understand your key strengths and motivations – they’ll help you map out a career plan and give you some really useful insight and tips for your CV and future applications.
If you’re a student or recent graduate and you’d like to take up this fantastic career consultation offer, all you need to do is email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll be in touch!
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