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August 25, 2023, by jhillary1

Graduate Route Visa – My Experience Getting a Marketing Role at UoN

By Deepak Kataria, Market Insight Officer, University of Nottingham

I currently work in a marketing-related role supporting the delivery of the market insight function within External Relations at the University of Nottingham.

My role has a clear focus on the coordination and implementation of research, analysis and insights that inform curriculum and programme reviews. The role touches on support for new curriculum development including new course provision which involves undertaking competitor analysis. I also use various tools to provide market insights, research and data analysis through which I can provide recommendations that support decision-making for stakeholders.

What application processes did you need to undertake to get this role?

I was required to submit my CV, cover letter, and a competency-based application form answering questions about my knowledge, skills and experience. After being shortlisted in the first screening process, I was called for an hour-long interview and was asked to provide a presentation. The presentation task involved identifying a growth opportunity for the organisation by analysing the data provided, along with some additional external research.

Did you get any support from anyone?

I was supported by the Nottingham University Business School Careers team throughout my job hunt journey, starting from the preliminary stages of exploring my career interests and finding relevant job opportunities on various platforms, followed by support with customising my CV and cover letters tailored according to different job applications. The Careers team also conducted mock interviews with me providing valuable feedback and finally gave me tips on salary negotiation. The team also helped me to keep motivated and learn from feedback when I gained rejections. Furthermore, my friends and family kept me motivated during the periods of uncertainty, and the times when I heard unfavourable outcomes on my applications.

What was your experience of seeking work in the UK?

My journey of seeking work in the UK started when I got an email about the available postgraduate placement opportunities, Postgraduate Placements Nottingham (PPN), from the NUBS Postgraduate Careers team. This was the first time I had applied for a job role in the UK and ended up being successful, which really boosted my confidence and motivation level.

Taking on a marketing sustainability role with an external organisation, which was a 200-hour part-time placement, helped me understand the work culture in the UK and added relevant experience to my CV. Along with the placement, I also got involved in some part-time student jobs. This gave me first-hand experience in building my communication and teamwork skills and later helped me in the various interviews I was invited to. Although managing these roles with a full-time master’s degree was challenging, the opportunities played a crucial part in securing a full-time role in the UK. With regards to applying for the full-time graduate roles, I missed out on various application deadlines as I prioritised focusing on my dissertation during that time.

After my graduation, this caused me a bit of stress, and I ended up applying for a few temporary admin roles. I started working as a full-time academic administrator at the university until I secured my graduate role. During my work tenure as an administrator, I started applying for full-time marketing roles in Nottingham. In the process, I got some rejections and at the same time got invited for a few interviews. Attending these interviews turned out to be a great learning experience and helped me in preparing for future interviews. Finally, towards the end of my three-month admin role, I secured a marketing graduate role that was really well aligned with my interests.

Were there any setbacks you encountered?

There were no major setbacks, however, there was this one instance that I would like to mention where I applied for a graduate opportunity. It was quite a long process which spanned over three months starting from filling out a very rigorous job application form and customising my CV and cover letter, followed by a telephone interview and a psychometric test. After clearing all these recruitment stages, I was invited to an assessment centre which also involved an interview along with fifty other candidates. I was invited for a final interview with the top three candidates. I prepared for the interview and received positive feedback on my performance from the interviewer which got my hopes high. Unfortunately, although I was appointable, I was unsuccessful in securing the position. I was quite demotivated after all the hard work of preparing. I needed to take a bit of time to build my resilience before I could return to the job-hunting process once more.

What advice would you give to other international students seeking work in the UK?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to seeking work in the UK. Check the quality of the advice you take. Sometimes those offering advice have not successfully negotiated the UK job market. Always try to handle rejections constructively, and build on the feedback provided, and you will come out even stronger and make better future applications.

If you are interested in finding out more, visit the How do I get a graduate job in the UK  webpage and our career well-being resources to help you through the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss your options, you can book a careers appointment.

Posted in Applying For JobsGraduate VacanciesInternational Students