We recently spoke with DCU Business School graduate David Bell about his experiences studying Marketing and what led him to a successful career as Senior Brand Manager at Kelloggs. He also shared his top tips for how current students can land their dream job upon graduation. Take note!
Move outside your comfort zone
It’s easy to avoid situations that make us nervous but the most important learning takes place outside of our comfort zones. Taking on new tasks in university and the workplace is a sure-fire way to develop new skills and open up new opportunities. Next time you have the chance to broaden your professional remit, embrace it. You might even be surprised by how much you enjoy yourself.
Understand your competencies
Think carefully about the competencies you’ve developed in previous roles. They may not seem relevant at first but chances are you have learned a lot of useful skills that can be applied to a new industry. For example, if you previously worked in a pharmacy you will have substantial experience communicating with different types of people, which could make you great in a sales or marketing role. By thinking in terms of competencies instead of tasks, you put your best foot forward when interviewing for your dream job.
Explore different areas
Studying in DCU Business School offers a great opportunity to expose yourself to new ideas and different aspects of business. Be open to the wide variety of modules available and be mindful of what you enjoy and, perhaps even more importantly, what you don’t. If you find yourself feeling really energised by a subject, consider what future roles and companies facilitate that type of work. You can also take advantage of the INTRA undergraduate work placement or Practicum postgraduate project to gain hands-on experience before graduation.
Be strategic when interviewing
Getting lots of interview practice can be extremely beneficial when it comes to crafting your professional story and developing your confidence. Being on the spot and explaining yourself is not something you can do by yourself at home. Upon/before graduation, it’s a good idea to apply for roles, even if you don’t believe they are 100% for you, to fine-tune your interviewing skills and get used to the recruitment process. You may even be surprised that you are more interested in the role after interviewing for it. Of course, the danger is that you’ll be offered a role you don’t really want, and be tempted to take it. Ultimately, however, this will increase your chances of succeeding in a later interview for your dream role. You don’t want that interview to be your first one.
Surround yourself with excellence
The people we surround ourselves with on a daily basis greatly impact on our work ethic and creativity. Wherever possible, choose to work with people who are excellent at what they do and inspire you to be better. This is particularly important in your first job outside of university. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, but being the least experienced/competent person there generally means you are the one learning the most from others. By working closely with excellent colleagues, you will develop new skills and learn at a much faster rate.