October 6, 2017, by Carla
Why I Decided Against A Graduate Scheme
By Callum Goodin, MSci Hons Physics
For the last four years I’ve been working towards my MSci Physics degree. Soon into my degree, I realised I had a real knack for programming, and wanted to explore that further in my own time.
Gaining experience for my CV
Towards the end of my third year, I became aware of the Nottingham Internship Scheme. I decided it was an opportunity I should shoot for. I was becoming increasingly aware that I didn’t have much on my CV besides my degree, some self development, and my time on the Jiu Jitsu committee in second year. I’d already discovered my love of programming, so I applied for web development positions and successfully landed an internship with inniAccounts.
The graduate job hunt
At the beginning of my fourth year, I used my experience from the internship in to apply for graduate jobs. I began, as most people do, with the large prestigious graduate schemes. I applied for about four of these, before I realised that it wasn’t for me.
Why? Firstly for each scheme the application process is very long, so you need to be able to manage your time very carefully to fit it in. I started sacrificing study time and because of this my grades began to suffer. Secondly, I was rejected from every scheme I applied for, so naturally I asked for feedback. Feedback never came and I decided I needed a new course of action.
Taking direct action
It was around this time that I discovered recruitment agencies. I was rung up by a few of these who said they liked my CV, and wanted to search for roles for me. Instead of handing the search directly over to them, I hopped onto their websites and started to explore some of the roles they had to offer.
All told, I applied for around 40 or so jobs. I heard back from five of these applications, and now I have a job with a company in Milton Keynes called Digitalk.
The whole process itself was ideal for me, I was put straight into a face-to-face interview whenever a company happened to like my CV. Personally, I know my strongest suit is talking about what I love doing with someone in person. Getting to this stage without jumping though a series of HR hoops was the best thing that happened to me. If you are becoming disheartened with the reality of what it takes to get onto a graduate scheme, I would strongly urge you to look at this route. It was the best decision I made.
So, Digitalk. Why did I accept their offer?
During the interview, they explained to me that they have three different software teams. I would have the opportunity to work across all three teams, provided I’ve finished my previous projects. This fits into my overall plan for life. I aim to quickly acquire as much programming and technical experience as possible, so that I can progress into more senior developer roles.
Are you starting your graduate job hunt this year? You can find lots of resources to help you online. Looking for more advice? Log into your My Career account and book an appointment with one of our advisers.
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