Top tips for making the transition from student life to working life!

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“As the project Delivery Lead, every day is different for me! I work with amazing students and help them find summer placements with equally amazing organisations.”

On speaking of her work at the MBN Academy, Bethany said “We are ‘the bridge’ connecting Academia and Business in the Technology, Digital and Data spaces. We have built a community which allows students, academics and companies to interact – with thought leadership articles and meetup information thrown in for fun!”

Bethany Rodgers – Rintoul, MBN Academy Delivery Lead, gives her top tips for making the transition from student life to working life! 

Making the transition

Moving from the world of lectures, pot noodles, late nighters and £1 pints to a full-time working environment can be difficult for some students. Entering, or re-entering, the job market can be a daunting prospect, but if you are armed with the knowledge and tools to be successful, it should make life a lot easier! From my experience, both as a graduate and helping lots of graduates secure their dream position, I’ve noted below some hints and tips on how to secure the perfect position.

Take a step back

As a graduate, it’s often tempting to capitalise on your degree and leap into something without doing some soul searching first.
It’s all too easy to jump into different roles, hop between positions and before you know it you’ve been bouncing aimlessly about the job market. If you haven’t done the ground work and don’t know what you are looking for, finding a well-suited position is going to be difficult. You should always think about who you are, what you want and what time of environment suits you.
Taking a few days out, brain storming with other people and clarifying what you are looking for will make a huge different/ce and save a lot of hassle. If you are focused, you can make better and more efficient decisions.

Be yourself!

No one wants to hire a robot, so relax and be yourself in any interview. Be professional, prepare for the situation, but try to let your personality shine through. Stiff, robotic graduates with no chat using business phrases incorrectly will be a massive no-no for any employers.
What helps you relax? Do this before an interview, or plan something afterwards. A walk into town to clear your help and help you think better? A trip to the gym? Ensure that you are in a good state of mind and can produce your best!

Work experience

If you are one of the MSc Data Lab students who have completed an industrial placement, you already have an advantage. However, this is just one channel; many students secure their own industrial placement and others decide to take part in internships or complete voluntary work.
Any type of industrial experience is advantageous and helps you to stand out from the crowd. This shows that you are determined, hardworking and have experience of working in a professional environment. You can draw upon this experience at interviews, bring to life relevant examples of your work and show how you can add true value to a company.
It’s not too late to gain some industrial experience, try to think about what you are doing now will help you in the future.

The perfect CV doesn’t exist!

Graduates can often obsess about making the ‘perfect’ CV but there’s no such thing. Is your CV clear? Sharp and concise? Don’t try to stand out from the crowd with a crazy colour scheme, photos or information about a holiday taken in 1999.
Keep things sharp and to the point.
Always include information about your degree! Not just the course title – have the key modules, objectives, etc. Don’t assume that every potential employer will have information about your course.

Social media

Check your online footprint!! Google yourself- what comes up? Delete anything that you wouldn’t like your potential employer to see. Think – ‘Would I want my Mum to see this?’ If not, it’s probably not a smart idea to have it online for the world to see..
Facebook has a “View as” button to see how the public can see you- modify your privacy setting accordingly. You can still have your fun and take 100 selfies on a night out without your boss seeing the bottles of tequila in the background.
The pinnacle of all Social media tools- LinkedIn. There are lots of interactive videos and blogs that you can use to get up to speed with this tool.
It’s a fantastic place to hear about new jobs, network with professionals, sell yourself and collaborate with likeminded individuals. Connect with Data professionals who you admire, build up your network, find out about Meet Ups and attend these- connect with more folk!!
LinkedIn gives you the chance to create opportunities for yourself!!

Headlines can be deceiving

Job titles are often interchangeable, graduates should read the full job description or reach out for more information. Are you dying for that Data Scientist position? But won’t consider a Junior Consultant role? What about an Associate position? Do you see my point?
A Data Scientist in one company can be something completely different in other company. Be smart about your job search and optimise the number of appropriate job vacancies that you can find.

Partner with those you trust

MBN Solutions have been established for over 12 years, we are a tried a trusted specialised Data Recruitment Agency. We are experts in the data market, placing hundreds of data professionals per year. We host monthly meet ups in Glasgow and Edinburgh to encourage learning and networking between professionals, we host open forums and talks regularly.

However, for me, at the heart of MBN Solutions is our Academy. Over the last 3 years, we have given/delivered Employability sessions throughout 12 Universities in Scotland, advising and coaching students. The Academy has so far placed 198 MSc Data Lab funded students in Industrial placements over the summer. Many of these students have reconnected with us for roles further on down the line. We built up trusted relationships with student cohorts and echo those relationships with our clients! Our reputation speaks for itself – We are the best in the business!

If you have any questions or are looking for more advice please drop Bethany a message!