Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Year in Business event for 1st years - March 1st

We were pleased to welcome 1st year students for the Year in Business event on March 1st which was followed by large quantities of pizza!

Dr Catherine Harbor introduced the evening and Emma Baker, Careers Consultant YIB gave advice about what the 1st years should be doing to prepare as they go into summer. Katharine Radford, YIB programme officer, encouraged students to follow the Year in Business twitter feed, read the blog and keep up to date with information on the Year in Business moodle page.

The 1st year students heard from 2nd years who had been in their position the previous year but had now secured placement positions ready to start in the summer (AIG and Enterprise Rent a Car) as well as 3rd year students actually out on placement (GE Healthcare and IBM). They also heard from Alumnus Luke Cameron who gave an inspiring talk about working within the Charity sector.
Gabriella Whiehead is Sales Operations Analytics placement student at IBM

Bradley Tate is a Commercial Operations placement student at GE Healthcare
Many insights and tips were offered from Royal Holloway's Year in Business students including:

> It's never too early to get started with the placement search: Amy thinks she benefited from being ahead of the game with her Enterprise application. Carolina was able to take advantage of securing an internship with AIG between her 1st/ 2nd year as a precursor to her placement offer.

> Be confident in yourself : use the STAR method (Situation/ Task/ Action/ Result as taught in the Employability module) to talk about your skills and achievements and let your personality shine through! Remember to be confident in Assessment centres - contribute but also show a willingness to include quieter members of the group.

Carolina Portilla is a 2nd year YIB who has secured a placement at AIG
> Be persistent: while a few students may only apply for a couple of placements and be successful, most have to persist and apply for many, many more. Consider applying for a range of companies and not just the big names. Many of the students currently out on placement did not secure their placement until May/ June so do not give up during the process. Do not be disheartened if you don't get through an interview/ test or assessment centre - you will gain good experience in the process.

> Use the resources available to you at Royal Holloway. Attend all the Year in Business advice events and take advantage of every opportunity to talk to prospective placement companies at such events - network, network, network! ; use RatemyPlacement / Jobonline to seek out placement vacancies; set up a meeting with the Careers advisor (Emma Baker). And don't forget Linkedin.

> Tailor your applications and check your grammar! Research the company/ environment you are applying for. Think carefully about the application forms you are completing and make sure they are tailored to the company/ role you are applying for. 

Amy Taylor is a 2nd year YIB who has secured a placement with Enterprise Rent a Car

Luke Cameron "Nicest job in Britain"
We were also delighted to welcome School of Management Alumnus, Luke Cameron, from the "Nicest job in Britain". When Luke graduated he worked for a major Retail chain but in 2014 he challenged himself to do 365 good deeds across the year. He then beat thousands of candidates to be given the "Nicest Job in Britain" which entailed him helping 45 different charities over 52 weeks of 2015. He is now involved in the Charity looking to recruit the next person to take on this role. Luke has a massive presence on social media.

Luke gave a very passionate speech about his experience of working in charity. He encouraged the students not only to consider volunteering in general but to consider seeking a paid placement in the Charity sector as part of their Year in Business. There are a number of paid Charity placements available - we have been advertising placements with Great Ormond Street Charity this year. Luke emphasised how worthwhile he felt students would find these positions to be.

Dr Catherine Harbor reminded the 1st year students that they needed to get a first year average of 60% or above to progress on the Year in Business programme in their 2nd year (and a second year average of 60% or above). She also said that they should attend the YIB events and also attend at least one Careers session with Emma Baker during the first term of their 2nd year.

Emma Baker from the Careers Service reminded students of the benefits of a placement year:

Emma Baker, Senior Careers Consultant

> 37% of graduate positions are filled by graduates who have previously worked for the company. (source: High Fliers research 2016)
> 2015 CBI study indicates that after "attitude/ aptitude for work" the 2nd most important factor when considering recruiting graduates is "relevant work experience/ industrial placement."  (64%)
> According to an Ulster University study students who complete a placement tend on average to graduate directly with a higher degree classification than those proceeding directly to the final year of studies.

Emma recommended the following NEXT STEPS to students:

1. Summer 2016: Emma encouraged students to start researching possible placement companies/ preparing their CV and making sure they have work experience and/or volunteering on their CVs to enhance their prospects when applying for placements. She is available for career consultations with students from NOW : She recommended using the Prospects site to better understand different job roles and RatemyPlacement/ Jobonline for finding actual vacancies:

2.  Autumn 2016: Emma advised students should be applying for placement programmes by this stage and should make sure they get an appointment with her to check their application and attend all the lectures of the Employability module (MN2915) / all Year in Business events organised by Royal Holloway.

3. Spring 2017 : Emma advised that students may still be applying for placements but by this stage should hopefully be getting through to interviews and assessment centres (where conducted)
Emma Baker can offer practice interviews/ advice on selection activities and Royal Holloway organises Assessment Centre training events.There is also a wealth of online tests from the Careers Service you can use to practice before you have to do company tests.

All presentations from the evening are available to Royal Holloway YIB students on the Year in Business moodle page!

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