Hear from Tayyib who graduated with a First Class Honours in MSci Chemistry from Queen Mary University of London in June 2020 and had to claim Universal Credit.
I graduated with a First Class Honours in MSci Chemistry from Queen Mary University of London in June 2020. With the country in lockdown, graduating and job seeking was incredibly challenging and I claimed Universal Credit for the first few months whilst looking for work. I did actually get a few interviews but kept getting rejected as I wasn’t able to showcase my experience well enough. I had registered with GRB for job alerts and then they emailed me about Graduate Mentor in September 2020. I immediately jumped on the platform, found David and then over the next few months we had five mentoring sessions over MS Teams.
We started off talking about my concerns over interviews and best practices. We did a few mock interviews which allowed me to understand my areas for improvement and boosted my confidence in tackling competencies. We then started to scope out the current job market and turned our attention to making stronger applications, with a focus on the Civil Service. As a result, I landed a role in the Department for Work & Pensions in October 2020 and then progressed to move into Policy in the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in January 2021. David also helped me apply for the Civil Service Fast Stream, guiding me through best practices and understanding how to tackle the Assessment Centre. Having been rejected for the Fast Stream twice before, I felt pretty worried about landing it but with David’s support, I’ve managed to get through the Assessment Centre and secure a place in Digital, Data & Technology!
My advice for any student or graduate right now is just to take initiative and seek guidance and feedback. Look at every avenue to help you get a better understanding of yourself and you will develop yourself in the process. With mentoring, you get honest, objective and constructive guidance which you don’t always get from family or friends so it’s a really beneficial relationship to have.