Case Studies

The Careers and Employability Service's Graduate Recruitment Consultancy supports students and graduates from all faculties, for up to five years after graduation. 

Here we celebrate their success, hear about their personal journeys and see what advice they have for you!

If you would like to speak with one of our Graduate Recruitment Consultants, please register your details here.

Graduates

GRC Codie 2017 GRC Hildah 2017‌ GRC Kyle

GRC Rasel 2017‌ GRC Rob 2017‌ GRC Sebastian 2017

GRC Dan 2017 GRC georgina 2017 GRC Ieva 2017

GRC nick 2017 GRC sarah 2017 ‌GRC Trayana 2017

Codie Summerell

Codie studied LLB Law with Business and graduated in 2016.

She now works as an Operations Administrator at Oxford Innovation Services

Case Study Body Image Codie

What are your career aspirations?

Having studied law at university, I wish to eventually further this through the route of CILEX. Although my current position is not in this arena, I am exploiting the opportunity for some experience in a medium sized corporation in order to gain skills and understanding that I will be able to further.

I also hope this will give me the experience I need in order to expand the opportunities I am presented with when applying for jobs in the future.

How and when did you start your graduate job search?

I began looking for graduate jobs in the January of my last year of university. However, this was slow to begin with and I did not begin submitting applications until around March.

I found it is good to give time to look at the industry sector you are interested in in order to understand what types of jobs are out there and rates of pay as this will have a big impact on where you are able to accept a job.

What were the benefits of using the Consultancy?

The consultancy team were helpful from start to finish during the process.

Firstly, helping me adapt my CV to the specific jobs I wished to apply for. They then kept me up to date with all the relevant job vacancies in the area I specified interest in and even sent out my CV to the companies I wished.

They also offered me help with interview prep and research about the company to give me confidence in my preparation.

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

I would definitely recommend the Consultancy to any student, whether the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy or just the Careers and Employability Service in general.

They give guidance in a friendly and approachable manner that allows you to see what employers really want with regards to CVs, interview skills and general work place requirements.

They definitely helped boost the confidence I had in myself before interviewing, as I gained a clear understanding of what interviewers look for.

The Graduate Recruitment Consultancy reduced the stress of applying for roles and made the process much easier, allowing me to continue putting maximum effort into my studies.

What do you think the advantages are working for an SME (Small-Medium Enterprise)?

As my first job in this industry and my first full time role I have been able to gain understanding of general business etiquette and to see operationally how a company runs, putting theory learned at university into practice.

Working in an SME has allowed me to learn the people skills I need in order to communicate with people throughout the whole hierarchy of a business. This has come through working directly with managers, directors and the Managing Director.

Oxford Innovation has also given me an insight into larger business as although we fit into the SME category, we run over 20 centres throughout England and Ireland.

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

I would advise to start looking at jobs from now – you don't have to be applying for jobs but it is good to see what you are working towards to give motivation in achieving highly.

It is also useful to understand the grades that you will need to achieve at uni to open the pathways in the area of work you wish to enter.

I would also advise not to panic - although general consensus seems to suggest that job opportunities are few, that is not the case as there are so many options and vacancies out there.

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Hildah Mapeta

Codie studied Childhood and Youth Studies and graduated in 2014.

She now works as a Services Coordinator at Apuldram Centre

Case Study Body Image Hildah

What are your career aspirations?

I moved to Portsmouth as an asylum seeker in 2004 with my two children and I got my refugee status  in 2007.

I found work with British Red Cross as a project administrator and after 5 months working for them I found a job with Portsmouth City Council as a Connexions Administrator. I progressed to work as the Project Administrator for the Dof E award scheme which is where my interest in furthering my career beyond administration came.

I started my degree studies at Portsmouth university in 2011 after working 16 years as an administrator both in Zimbabwe and in the UK, applying for senior roles within the sector I was working in.

I applied for a degree in Childhood and Youth studies, as my passion was to work with young people and make a difference in their life.

I wanted to be in a position that offered me more contact and say in how things could change for the better for a young person.

I worked full time throughout my full time studying, because as a single parent I could not afford to not work, as I had other responsibilities apart from my studies. 

How and when did you start your graduate job search?

Because I was still in employment, I did not immediately look for work, as I felt my organisation had supported me throughout  my studies. Unfortunately, due to government cuts, the whole department was made redundant. 

I immediately found a temporary job within a few weeks but there was no sustainability in that role as it ended in three months.

I then registered myself on LinkedIn, and as an alumni of the University of Portsmouth I had access to the Careers and Employability Service. 

I made an enquiry and was given an appointment to meet one of the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy, communicated with them on email before meeting, discussing my CV, my experience and where I would want to take my career. 

What were the benefits of using the Consultancy?

It gave a variety of choices of what would suit me and didn’t limit me to just one particular job.

They were able to outline, based on my experience, that I had three routes I could take my career. As such, I created three CVs that suited these roles and that gave me confidence in applying for roles I had not applied for before.

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

Follow their advice - they have your best interests at heart and they want you to succeed.

Their job satisfaction is in knowing that at the end of the day a graduate has acquired a job suited for them, so follow their direction. 

What do you think the advantages are working for an SME (Small-Medium Enterprise)?

Having worked for eight years in a big organisation like Portsmouth City Council, it is quite refreshing to work in a small business as there is more continuing professional development opportunities.

The number of staff members is minimal and in most cases you will only have one person that works within your role. As a result, when you request resources to make your work experience better, its manageable as there is only minimum costs involved.

Currently I have enrolled onto an ILM Level 5 course (Leadership and Management) which the organisation is assisting me to pay for. This comes from showing commitment to be part of an organisation and setting my future with them, so I can grow career wise. 

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

My advice is look for what you are passionate about as a job is meant to be about what you love doing as you spent most of your time in that place.

If you seek for a job that pays you a lot of money, that comes with a lot of stress and pressure but if you gradually work your up to getting a good salary whilst doing a job you enjoy there is more personal satisfaction in doing that.

When you do apply for jobs, make sure you familiarise yourself with the company details so when you go for an interview you are aware of things like their mission statements, their values and their missions.

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Kyle Mattison

Kyle studied Marketing and graduated in 2014.

He now works as a Marketing and Communications Assistant at the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Case Study Body Image Kyle

What are your career aspirations?

Since studying at University of Portsmouth the plan was always to build a career in Marketing and buy my first house, preferably as soon as possible!

After graduating, I spent a couple of years in sales roles in order to save the commission earnt to buy my first home.

In summer 2016 I managed to buy a property in Portsmouth and my focus turned back to building a career in Marketing. With my long term aspirations being to become a Marketing Director/Manager, finding a role in an established and reputable organisation was key but I wanted somewhere where there was potential to progress. 

How and when did you start your graduate job search?

I started my search by using national job search-engines, applying to roles on LinkedIn, applying directly to some companies and approaching the Careers and Employability Service.

Within two weeks I was fortunate enough to be offered interviews for Marketing roles with a range of companies, including an aerospace company, a mobile-telecoms provider and an IT and cloud-software company.

With job-offers on the table I still felt there was value in speaking with the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to see what they were able to offer. 

What were the benefits of using the Consultancy?

I have had experience of using recruitment consultants in the past, and more often than not the service they offer and calibre of interviews/companies that were presented were poor, so I was dubious about using the Careers and Employability Service's Recruitment Consultancy at first.

However, the team were quick to find out exactly what I was looking for in my next role, from location, to salary, to career progression etc.

The second interview that they managed to secure for me was with The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity - an organisation that wouldn’t normally use recruitment agents, but as the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy are affiliated with the University of Portsmouth, they were able to recruit on the charities behalf.

The role was within ten minutes of my new home, matched salary expectations and offered great progression potential. They organised the interview within a week prepped me for the interview, informed me what type of questions to expect, where to go and made sure that I was happy with the role itself.

As a result, I received incredible feedback from my now manager and was offered the role on the same day. 

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

Unlike so many recruitment consultancies, theydon’t treat you as their next commission slip - they make sure that the roles they put you in for match what you are looking for.

My experience has been hugely positive and the role was exactly what I was looking for, which was all down to their work.

Despite having done charity work in the past, I had never considered working for a charity, so thanks to the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy they managed to find me a role that matched my requirements and offered something more. 

What do you think the advantages are working for an SME (Small-Medium Enterprise)?

I have worked for SMEs in the past and in truth my experiences have been mixed. I have friends who love working for SMEs in the city and I definitely understand the appeal.

For me, my issues lie with the corporate mentality that is shared many companies. The self-promotion and ostentatious feel that some companies promote can make working for them hugely appealing to graduates, but it’s not for me.

This is where my new roles differs; whilst I’m still working for an SME/charity, I actually feel proud to work for the organisation. Their served purpose, in my eyes, is more commendable than other companies that I have worked for, because they serve some of the most vulnerable people in the UK.

The way I look at it, I’m not working to pay for the Directors next holiday, I work to help real people!

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

Speak to the Careers and Employability Service first - I spent time looking for roles using other channels and while I had a few offers on the table none of the roles matched the job opportunity that was presented to me by the Careers and Employability Service.

I have now been in the role that the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy secured for me for only a short while and I’ve already been kayaking, taken part in a charity run round a military base and offered the chance to run on an assault-course next to Henry Cavill (Superman)!

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Rasel Miah

Rasel studied Biochemistry and graduated in 2015.

He now works as Quality Control Chemist at Peptide Protein Research Ltd.

Case Study Body Image Rasel

What are your career aspirations?

I have lived in Portsmouth my entire life so was grateful for the opportunity to study there for three years.

I originally wanted to become a doctor but soon decided to take a different route in science. I had always dreamed of making a contribution in the science field but was not sure in what way as the field of Biochemistry was so broad. 

How and when did you start your graduate job search?

I started my graduate job search in May 2015 which was before my last exam.

I knew the process was long and difficult which was why I started before graduation. The process involved typing in particular key words into the common job searching websites.

I applied for any job which fulfilled my requirements (i.e. location, job role, pay) using a job specific CV and covering letter. 

What were the benefits of using the Consultancy?

The consultancy was a massive help - I’m sure I would not have got this job without their assistance.

They helped contact the employer and were able to express my concerns straight to them.

The problem with most job opportunities is that they are advertised by recruitment agencies which led to getting no replies or updates regarding an application.

All of the people I spoke to were extremely helpful and always kept me informed about the whole process. I knew I was in a safe pair of hands and did not have to worry about anything other than preparing for the interview. 

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

I would say to join the consultancy as soon as you can. They can help you find jobs that you didn’t know existed at the time.

A face-to-face meeting is not necessary, so getting the help of the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy can still be a huge benefit even if you have gone back home after graduation.

I would recommend all students to keep an open mind and be willing to work in a large variety of job roles within their chosen field. 

What do you think the advantages are working for an SME (Small-Medium Enterprise)?

I have learnt a large amount both about the outside world and myself and it has been fun applying the knowledge learnt from my course.

One of the great things about working for a small company is that everyone plays an important role which is something you can see for yourself. You can be satisfied knowing that you made a big difference. 

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

Start looking as early as you can as the process can be long.

Make sure the quality of your CV and covering letter is up to scratch (the consultancy can help here).

Be open to a large number of opportunities and don’t focus on just one field. Don’t lose hope since there will be many opportunities which will present themselves.

Contact as many employers as possible and try to take part in some voluntary work experience.

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Rob Farthing

Rob studied Computer Games Technology and graduated in 2016.

He now works as 3D Visualisation Artist and Animator at ICE Creative.

Case Study Body Image Rob

What are your career aspirations?

From a young age, I always aspired to be involved with creative development in digital media and when I finished secondary school at 16, I was already working as a part-time Graphic Designer for the school I attended.

While developing my skills in graphic arts, I wanted to branch out into 3d art, which led me to applying to the Computer Games Technology course at Portsmouth University.

During my time at University, I learnt all the skills I needed to create 3d art for real time and animations. I also became very focused on team-led projects from the first year onwards.

I teamed up with some friends on the course to start an independent studio for a year during my placement, and used that time to refine my workflows and test out a large team-driven game development.

My aspiration is to create stunning 3D art for digital media. I always look up to other artists in magazine articles so I’d like to inspire others like they inspired me! 

How and when did you start your graduate job search?

After my placement year, I felt that I had succeeded at developing my own skills and portfolio yet I had failed to show any real 3D industry work up until this point.

I compared my online presence to that of other artists in the industry, attended all local industry events and messaged a few linkedin contacts to ask for advice.

After reaching a point where I was happy with my CV/online presence, I emailed almost every games developer and animation company in the south of England. 

What were the benefits of using the Consultancy?

I was having no luck getting responses from busy recruiters, developer emails and online applications.

The day after I got in touch with the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy, they already had a local company ready for an interview with me the next morning.

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

Don’t listen to other students who will choose to blame their course or the university recruitment for not helping them find a job.

If you are willing to have a look around for yourself and put some effort in, the Consultancy will help you possibly find a few job positions you otherwise would not have seen. 

What do you think the advantages are working for an SME (Small-Medium Enterprise)?

Having already had a job offer from a larger company, I was glad I chose the smaller, more local job role because the rest of the team were closer to my age and I felt more valued as an individual within a small team.

I have also learned that when you start work, you don’t stop learning. I am constantly finding new ways to improve my work.

You also learn a lot from other people you get to work with - I was very fortunate to have my employer bring in some other industry contacts to assist me with their own workflow advice, to speed up my career development.

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

Look at other people online who already have your dream job role (but don’t stalk them), see how they got started and what their portfolio looks like, then use that as a starting point to focus how you look to employers.

Have a lot of faith in your abilities – but don’t look too overconfident, interviewers won’t want to hire someone who doesn’t have the right attitude for the job.

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Sebastian Hall

Sebastian studied Entertainment Technology and graduated in 2016.

He now works as a Digital Designer/Developer at Intermedia Solutions.

Case Study Body Image Sebastian

What are your career aspirations?

After working at various sales jobs decided to change direction and pursuit a creative career.

After college I wasn’t too sure of what to do with my life and at the time didn’t want to continue studying, so I started working in a small store. After about a year I started with door to door sales until I started to work at a cinema.

Eventually the idea of getting into creative industries started to grow in my head. I wanted a broad course and I got convinced to do Entertainment Technologues on an open day when I visited the University of Portsmouth – I haven’t looked back since. 

How and when did you start your graduate job search?

Realising that I didn’t have much left of university I started by crafting together a portfolio with my best work.

After Christmas, I started to sign up for job databases and look at company’s websites.

Later I got a tip about the services offered from the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy and signed up for their services. Their database had a wide range of jobs and it frequently got updated as well. 

What were the benefits of using the Consultancy?

When signing up for the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy, I quickly got assigned to one of the consultants.

They were incredibly helpful as they provided tips and tricks on building my CV and how to tweak my portfolio.

It felt very personal and I could always contact them when needed. They would also contact me when they had specific roles that suited me they contacted me directly and helped me with the application and details.

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

I would say to sign up sooner than later. Don’t be afraid to ask for help as they are there for you.

Whether I wanted to pop in for a few minutes to have a quick chat or book a longer meeting (like I did when worrying about starting my new job) I always felt welcome and important to them.

Also knowing they have contacts in various industries and work only with students made it easier to talk to them. It’s a huge helping hand in your job hunt.

What do you think the advantages are working for an SME (Small-Medium Enterprise)?

One of the advantages of working in a smaller enterprise are that you quickly become a key player. You get to work on real projects and get your hands dirty.

I quickly got to know everyone and become part of the team spirit. I have learned so much in the whole process of developing software for and to clients.

I feel like I got a push to work in a professional environment and could learn from my mistakes. Working in a small company also allowed quick and honest feedback on my work and I felt more like a key player rather than just a cog in a huge wheel. 

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

Be confident, even if it feels big and scary remember that you survived university and employers understand that you are just starting your career.

Keep your CV/portfolio up to date and keep applying to jobs, even if you don’t have all the criteria’s that are in the application form. – I could do it, so can you.

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Dan Pavlov

Dan studied Software Engineering and graduated in 2016.

He now works as a Software Developer at Blueteq LTD.  

 GRC Dan full size

What are your career aspirations?

I was born in Ukraine and moved over here a few years ago. The thought of following a career path in IT first came across my mind about 5-7 years ago. By the time I graduated school and had to choose a university course, it was quite clear to me what I wanted to do.

How and when did you start your graduate job search?

I have started researching the market about halfway through the last academic year, but I have only started applying for jobs around the time my final year project was due. Because I started the search earlier than most, I got a lot good offers within a month. I started this job before I even got my final grade.

What were the benefits of using the Consultancy?

I started the search on my own, but I would only get 1-2 replies per dozen applications. Pretty much 90% of all the time I’ve spend on the search, was just looking through vacancies and writing letters. Purple Door have basically covered that, which saved me a lot of time and effort. After all their work, I’d just get a call with an interview offer, which could not be any better than that.

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

Register with them as early as possible and then focus on your studies. If there is a position out there which is appropriate for you, they’ll find it and give it to you on a silver platter.

What do you think the advantages are working for an SME (Small-Medium Enterprise)?

I’ve learnt that no matter how good you are at whatever you do, you’ll have to learn and catch up with whatever it is you are supposed to do. All this time that I have worked here, more than half the things I’ve learnt were about how the company and how its products work, the rest were technical aspects of the actual work I am doing. Which means that SME will give you time to catch up and improve the skills you lack, providing you have the capacity to learn.

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

Don’t limit yourself to learning one specific thing just yet, as it will decrease your chances at getting a job. Learn and acquire broadly but practically applicable skills and knowledge, then when you get your first role, you’ll have time to narrow down your skills set and improve in that direction.

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Georgina Tapper

Georgina studied Product Design and Innovation and graduated in 2017.

She now works as a Product Development Manager at Ahmarra.  

GRC georgina full size

What are your career aspirations?

My name is Georgie, I graduated with first class honours (Bsc Product Design and Innovation), during my course I went on a placement year, in which I completed 4 months in industry (as an Engineering Designer for Condair PLC) and 10 months Self-employed (Design, manufacture, marketing and sales of pop-culture themed home décor). Throughout 1st, 2nd and 3rd year, I worked as an Assistant Manager in a bookmakers alongside my studies.

I have wanted to be an inventor/design since I was very young, and I’ve been extremely lucky to have picked up practical and hands on skills which ultimately lead to where I am today.

I currently work as a product development manager; however, my end goal is to be a freelance designer (Products, Graphics and Web-Design).

How and when did you start your graduate job search?

I started my graduate job search back in October of third year, I think I must have applied to at least 150 different jobs between then and June 2017! In the beginning the main issue was recruiters wanting staff that would start work immediately, I had more than a handful of interview offers which I had to turn down due to this. Between February and April, I slowed right down on my application, not because of a lack of opportunities, but due to my Final Year Project and exams.

What were the benefits of using the Consultancy?

Honestly, I signed up to the Consultancy in second year, hoping it would help with my placement search (which it did), from that point forwards I didn’t have to do anything but read the vacancies they sent, applying to anything I found interesting/relevant.

I didn’t personally reach out to anyone until after the application was submitted, but afterwards I found Rebecca pretty wonderful (I had spoken to recruitment agencies for other interviews and opportunities, however they manage to make you very aware you’re only a number), and I can’t honestly recommend them enough on that front.

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

Be patient especially if the job you want is in a very specific area of your degree and just keep trying, keep in contact with the guys via email (I hate talking to people on the phone) and don’t be afraid to ask for their advice/opinions – they are the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy after all!

What have you learnt since being in your new job? What’s the best thing about working for your current employer?

The main thing I have learnt is to just be yourself, it’s a major cliché, but as someone who is socially anxious I always worry about what people think about me. This feeling was further amplified because I walked straight into a management role, in an industry I really knew nothing about. I was terrified that my lack of knowledge (and my age) would make the other staff overly critical. However, thankfully I was completely wrong, as once my initial nerves settled (and I had learnt to use the coffee machine), I hit the ground running, I was updating a major design spec within my first week, had a brochure update printed (hard bound published copy) within my first month, and now coming up to the end of my third month I have created my own brochure and range of doors for the hotel industry. My hotel range is getting an editorial and advertisement in the art of Design magazine, and I’m in charge of a long list of new product projects, including improvements for the education sector and a load more.

But, the best thing about working at Ahmarra is the staff (another cliché). I have worked in a lot of places, gaining experience, and I don’t think any of them have had the sense of family that I feel working here. Everything is celebrated, for everyone (which means signing A LOT of cards), Tim and Kellie go out of their way to make sure every member of staff is happy and looked after and it makes a difference.

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

Relax, but don’t take it easy – and apply for everything! Not all jobs will be labelled ‘graduate role’, and if you were fortunate enough to have completed a year in industry like myself, then you’ll more than likely find companies are willing to look at and accept you with that experience under your belt.

Third year was the best year of my life so good luck and enjoy it!

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Ieva Brazinskaite

Ieva studied Business and Management and graduated in 2016.

She now works as a Project Assistant at the University of Portsmouth.  

GRC Ieva full size

What are your career aspirations?

Since my graduation back in 2016, I wanted to take some time off for traveling and relaxing after working very hard to achieve a first class honours degree in Business and Management. Therefore, I took this adventure and spent most of the summer away, enjoying a well deserved break, but at the same time thinking of ideas for my future career.

While studying at the University, I completed a 15 month placement at one of the most luxurious car manufacturing companies in the world. Working as a Corporate Communication Assistant, I gained strong marketing and communication skills and experience of coordinating and managing corporate and media events. Therefore, my main career aspirations were to gain more professional knowledge and progress career in Public Relations and Communication with a well-established and innovative company.

On the other hand, I was open to other career opportunities and wanted to explore something different. This was mainly due to the diverse nature of my degree, where I developed understanding of business organisations and knowledge of areas such as: marketing, finance and business strategy.

How and when did you start your graduate job search? What were the main challenges?

The main job search began in September 2016 when I was back from my travels, a couple of months after my graduation. The starting point was to make sure I had a good, up to date CV, which would allow me to start applying for jobs. Therefore, I head straight to the Careers and Employability Service at University to seek some advice. This was a perfect choice, as meeting with one of the Career Advisers and talking through my CV helped me to identify gaps and also discover advantages of my experiences.

I enjoyed living and studying in Portsmouth and felt that this was the area I wanted to stay in, at least for some time. The main challenges were to find such opportunities that would suit my experience and interests within the local area. Of course, you can find many well paid graduate opportunities in London and other bigger cities. However, the fact of a daily commute and busy environment led me towards making a decision to stay local and use my time effectively on something I really enjoy doing, rather than worrying about missing the train.

What were the benefits of using the consultancy? How did the Consultancy team help you with your application?

The main job search began in September 2016 when I was back from my travels and have to say this wasn't the easiest or most fun period, it was the opposite, it was the most stressful time, I had no idea where to start. That's when the Careers and Employability Service is the most amazing place to go to. They not only support with exploring your career options and finding potential employers, but they can also  support you with additional preparations, for example CV writing or interview practicing.

The Graduate Recruitment Consultancy team works incredibly hard to match you up with suitable roles and in my case this was perfect. I had an initial chat with the Consultancy, and had few job offers on the table extremely quickly. In less than a week, I had been invited for an interview and was lucky enough to secure a job. I wouldn't have my job without the help from the team and I’m very pleased I worked with the Consultancy.

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

I would recommend to engage with the Consultancy as soon as you can, as they are able to point you in the right direction and boost your confidence. Job search is a 'full-time job'. It can get a bit overwhelming and frustrating, considering you have to keep up with all your University work and exams as well. Therefore, having someone to discuss your options or share thoughts and ideas of what you want to do, is a positive step forward. I would suggest that you don't wait until the last minute, the job search can take longer than you initially thought. That's why you need to use all resources available and the Consultancy team is one of the best choices. It's free, it's in house and their high level of expertise is the best assurance for students, you will receive an exceptional service, so why wouldn’t you use them?

What have you learnt since being in your new job? What’s the best thing about working for your current employer?

It's been a year since I started my first job after graduation and I absolutely love it. Working at the University is the most amazing feeling and not only that I'm involved in variety of events, but also I am also working with the best people. No day is the same and it feels like the word routine doesn't exist here.

There are so many motivational aspects in my new job and one of them is the ability to support students with their future career. This is particularly relevant to me, as I was in the same position only a year ago. Furthermore, I'm enjoying learning new things, exploring and finding more about different career paths, following updates within an education sector and the changing trends of employability. As a business graduate with focus in Marketing and Communication, I love the ability to build knowledge and create ways to engage with students and graduates.

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

I believe that everyone has their own unique career pathway in life and what works for one may not necessarily work for another. That's why it's important to listen to your instincts on what you want to do. If you try different roles or companies, this will only make you more confident in finding the right fit for you. I would suggest students to engage with the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy, especially if you aren’t sure of what you want to do. It’s a great way to explore your options and get matched up with an employer, which could lead you towards your dream job or even a career. Also, students must remember that the first job after graduation doesn’t always work out and you may have to change few companies or roles and it’s absolutely fine.

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Nick Wade

Nick studied BSc Geography, graduating in 2014, and MSc Crisis and Disaster Management, graduating in 2015.

He now works as a Water Engineer at the HydroCo.  

GRC Nick full size

What are your career aspirations?

During my time as an undergraduate, I specialised in GIS and environmental risk and vulnerability. I continued with this theme when I did my masters learning about how people, organisations and government played a role with faced with emergencies or disasters whether it was natural, man-made or financial.

I then wanted to apply these skills I learnt during my time in the ‘real world’. I gained some of this while I was at university when I did an internship with the Civil Contingencies Unit at Portsmouth City Council and worked closely with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for my dissertation.

Although I have never imagined that I would end up being a water engineer, I still managed to apply some of the skills I learnt at university but gained so much more in a professional setting that has allowed me to further continue my personal development. I aspire to be in a role where I know I will make a positive impact and expand on my opportunities.

How and when did you start your graduate job search? What were the main challenges?

I started properly searching soon after my course finished in 2015, however during my time at university I did go to exhibitions where I would network and gain some insight and advice from a variety of different industries.

I initially did find a job working part time as a restaurant assistant near where I lived. Although the people I worked with were very nice, it was only part time and minimum wage. Despite this, this meant I could spend my time between work to search job listings, send applications, attend interviews and sometimes I arranged to spend a day with different companies to shadow employees and see what potential careers there are out there.

Some of the main challenges I faced were booking time off work to attend interviews, not easy when they were always short staffed! Also the lengthy process and unintuitive application forms that some companies seem to provide on their websites as well as trying to receive feedback for any interviews I attended.

What were the benefits of using the consultancy? How did the Consultancy team help you with your application?

The consultancy team are very friendly and helpful. I certainly would not have got the job I’m currently in if it wasn’t for them!

They helped me with my CV via a face to face meeting where I was given a lot of advice and information that I had previously not known before. They also helped me search for jobs tailored to the interests and skills I had acquired, unlike other recruitment agencies that might have pushed you to apply for any old job. They were especially good at finding smaller companies that may not have advertised on the main websites which was what I hoped to apply to. Their communication was excellent throughout the whole process.

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

Don’t wait until graduation day, sign up now!

They work closely with numerous employers especially ones around Portsmouth and Hampshire, many SMEs. Many of these employers don’t advertise on the main websites so by signing up, you already have an advantage.

They are always accommodating and very enthusiastic to help you. Even if you don’t live in Portsmouth, they can still give you advice over the phone or even set up mock interviews via Skype so you can practice. They want to do what is best for you.

What have you learnt since being in your new job? What’s the best thing about working for your current employer?

As water engineering is not my background I have learned a lot! I have expanded and improved on my soft skills as well as analytical skills. I also gained a lot of experience of working in a corporate environment which can’t be replicated as well in the classroom.

The best thing about working for my employer has been the challenging but rewarding work that I get to do from creating and running models to solving problems for clients. I also occasionally get to go out to different locations for field testing. Recent trips have included Bath, Canterbury and Maidstone.

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

It’s never too early to start looking for jobs. You don’t need to apply for roles but if you are unsure of what you want to do as a career, then the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy and a simple Google search is a good start. Keep an open mind, you will be surprised at what opportunities there are out there and even if it is not your dream job or you think the role doesn’t match all your skills that are required, do some research and go and apply for it.  

Try and network as much as possible. Attend industry exhibitions or just phone a company and see if you can shadow for a day or even get work experience. The more you do this the stronger your CV will be and it may even help you land a job.

Don’t panic, don’t give up! It’s going to be tough but the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy is here to help. Even if your first job doesn’t work out, you can only gain experience from it and become a better person for your next role.

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Sarah Budge

Sarah studied Biomedical Science and Biomedicine and graduated in 2017.

She now works as a Associate Regulatory Analyst at Estee Lauder.  

GRC Sarah full size

What are your career aspirations?

I have always had a passion for science and particularly the human body which led me to studying Biomedical science at Portsmouth. I always believed I would go into working in a laboratory setting but when my masters finished I decided to explore different options that also took advantage of my skill set.

How and when did you start your graduate job search? What were the main challenges?

I started my job search early during my masters in an effort to avoid the post-university blues. This involved researching potential occupations and meeting with careers advisors at Purple Door to plan my job search. A big challenge for me was juggling job searching with other responsibilities and making sure I put enough time into writing job applications.

What were the benefits of using the Consultancy? How did the Consultancy team help you with your application?

The recruitment consultancy was a massive help to me during my job search. Not only providing knowledge and advice but also generally being a positive presence during a stressful time. Importantly they offered me feedback on my job applications and the chance to hold practice interviews to increase my chances of getting a job. The recruitment team gives a personal touch and obviously enjoy getting to know the students they work with.

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

I couldn’t recommend the recruitment consultancy enough to Portsmouth students, not only are all the staff extremely helpful and welcoming they have a massive wealth of knowledge in many areas. Signing up to the Consultancy can definitely give you a head start in your job search and the team are always willing to give advice.

What have you learnt since being in your new job? What’s the best thing about working for your current employer?

I have learned a massive amount in the short time I have been working at Estee Lauder, particularly about the cosmetics industry and how it is regulated globally. The best part about this role so far is the opportunity to continue learning and developing my knowledge of a whole new field.

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

Seeking graduate jobs can be a pretty stressful experience, a mounting pressure to find the “perfect” job may make many people put off starting their job search. Instead start your search early and be open to any opportunities that come your way.

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Trayana Toteva

Trayana studied Civil Engineering and and graduated in 2017.

She now works as a Technical Manager at Gattica Associates LTD.  

GRC Trayana full size

What are your career aspirations?

Since I started my BEng Civil Engineering course, I was looking for a placement or any volunteering in Engineering or Construction. My main interests are Highways and Project Management. I am extremely grateful for the assistance that the Careers and Employability Service gave me immediately after completing my final year.

How and when did you start your graduate job search?

I started my graduate job search in April - just two weeks before the Graduate Recruitment Consultancy arranged my first and only interview! I was employed 5 days prior to my last exam. It was unbelievable how fast and accurate the Consultant was in advising me to apply for this exact vacancy. My job perfectly meets my interests. I did not find my graduate job search difficult at all, because of the support from the Consultancy.

What were the benefits of using the Consultancy? How did the Consultancy team help you with your application? 

I am very happy I used the Consultancy team, as I believe I would still be struggling with finding a job if I hadn’t. Purple Door was really helpful throughout the application process. Even after I had been employed the consultants were still interested in my professional development, which is very impressing. All I did in April was simply provide the team with my CV and they got me a job 2 weeks later!

What would you say if you were recommending the Consultancy to a fellow student?

Do not hesitate to contact the Careers and Employability Service at any point of your university life! They are always happy to help students! They helped me with my CV, gave personal advice and mock interviews. I would not be working as a Technical Manager a week before my last exam without Rebecca Fletcher’s help!

What have you learned since being in your new job? What do you think the advantages are working for an SME (Small-Medium Enterprise)?

My current work in Gattica Associates is a real dream job! My colleagues are so devoted to the company. Although I was not experienced when I started, I received very patient and comprehensive training. I have felt very supported by my employers since the day I started. I am thankful for being entrusted and included in a very important project for Kings Cross less than a month after I joined the team.

What advice would you give to current students who are starting to think about their first graduate role?

Do not try to find a job in a huge famous company! Find a small firm, which has the time to provide you with perfect training, as that is the most important thing for a first job. Gattica are providing it to me, they are even going to support me in studying for my MSc Building Information Management course whilst working! My career has started brilliantly!

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