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Wednesday 31 January 2018

On Wednesday 31 January, we welcomed back eight graduates of the Media Technology programme to come and give our third year students advice on getting a job!

grad-panel-4

Third year students listen to the graduate panel and seek their advice

We asked the graduates how they came to get their first job. There were a range of answers including, knowing other graduates at the company, meeting employers at their final year project exhibition, adverts or introductions by the course team, LinkedIn and recruitment agencies.  Very few of the graduates expected to be in the roles they were in now when they started their degrees, many of them felt they kind of knew where they wanted to be at this point in their third year and some were not at all where they expected to be, even after several years of working in industry. They emphasised the importance of being open to the opportunities that may present themselves upon graduation and perhaps having a long term plan if where you want to end up is a harder area to get in to.

Job sites and recruitment agencies the graduates recommended included Grapevine, Mandy, Venator, BroadcastNow, CaspianOne and Christie Media. They also recommended looking at jobs advertised on LinkedIn and emphasised the importance of having an up to date and appealing LinkedIn profile. Making sure it was appropriate, professional and not like your Facebook or other social media sites was also important.

Their tips for the project exhibition – to make sure you made a good impression on the industry representatives – included being smart, researching the companies you might expect to see there, having business cards, taking business cards from the industry representatives, being approachable and professional and, interestingly, not standing with your friends, as the temptation to just talk to them may make you come across as unprofessional or uninterested.

The interview tips included, being yourself, not being afraid to ask questions or admit that you don’t know the answer when asked a question and definitely not pretending you know the answer. Most of the graduates said they felt the companies looked for interview candidates that fitted with their existing team, not just skills. They also said that no company expects you to come in with all of the knowledge, just enough that they can train you in the area of that job role, so not to worry about being an expert.

Left: George's working environment at F1. Right: Life on the road for Sam as a freelance sound engineer

Types of interviews and questions included group tasks (which involved building/instructing someone to build a LEGO batman setup using only words), full assessment days including technical tasks (explaining how iPlayer works), group tasks and presentations, telephone interviews as a staged process, or “casual chats” which turn out to be interviews. They all emphasised that an assessment day would mean that from the minute you step into the building to the moment you leave, you are being assessed. James gave some sage advice about clearing your body and mind in preparation to help you to focus on the tasks. Another graduate stated that they knew someone had got a job because they were overheard making polite conversation with another candidate in-between activities – this proved to be the deciding factor as they chose between two possible candidates.

The graduates also highlighted the importance of thinking carefully about what jobs might suit you in terms of working pattern and how shift work wasn’t for everyone but equally has its benefits such as a four day week. They related this to thinking about how you might start searching for a job, whether you wanted to start now whilst you’re studying (if you feel you are able to juggle work and job applications) or whether it would be better for you to wait, until you have completed your assignments, to reduce stress. However, they did note that those that waited until after the summer and found work to make a little bit of money, did struggle to get into the graduate roles, as they often go quickly.

Since the graduate panel, many of the panel members have also posted links to jobs and events on the Facebook group. They also said they were happy to be contacted about these jobs, should anyone have any questions or general questions. 

Clockwise from Top Left: Zack's domain at Switch, more of Zack's domain at Switch, Jordan's MCR desk at Sky, a more conventional office for James at Amazon and sound checks with Sam