“Given the pandemic and the weak jobs market I really didn’t think I could turn things around but I managed it.”
Hear from Mark who graduated from the University of Sussex in June 2019 as he explains his long journey to starting his graduate career.
I graduated from the University of Sussex with a 2.1 in Mechanical Engineering degree in June 2019. I figured with a STEM degree from a top red-brick University finding work shouldn’t be too hard so I decided to take a few months out to enjoy the Summer before thinking about my career. During August I started to look around and send my CV for job applications and quickly get several interviews – but no job offers. The feedback I was getting was that my interview technique wasn’t great so I really needed to see how I could sell myself better.
In the meantime, I took a job as a Customer Service Advisor to pay the bills and kept looking for graduate level roles with Engineering firms. Then in March 2020 lockdown happened so everything went on hold. I really started to feel like I’d missed the boat then in August 2020 I got an email about the launch of Graduate Mentor and checked it out. To my amazement I was able to find a mentor with experience in Engineering and sent him a booking request. He quickly accepted and we set up a Zoom call. Vince walked me through three steps starting with my CV. We made lots of changes to the CV format, focussed on projects I did on my degree to really showcase my knowledge and then highlight my additional non-Engineering work experience. Next, we brushed up my interview technique and finally made some enhancements to my LinkedIn profile to make it look more professional with the target of getting 500 connections. All of this in a one-hour session, it was excellent!
Now I was ready to take on the jobs market and started searching for Engineering jobs. I soon found a role I liked, applied and got a reply. It was a three-stage process – telephone interview, a Zoom presentation then a face-to-face in interview on site. I got offered the role and start in April 2021. Given the pandemic and the weak jobs market I really didn’t think I could turn things around but I managed it.
I want to thank Vince for his help and guidance along the way. If you are a graduate DON’T hesitate to use Graduate Mentor – it really works and gives you so much confidence not to mention some brilliant advice when I needed it the most. Do it today, you won’t regret it.