The first thing to remember when applying to any job is to research what you're applying for. Everyone knows Ofcom deals with complaints about a certain popular car show and a certain entertainment show that features a lot of lie detector tests, but did you know that Ofcom helped make 4G a reality? That it investigates how our relationship with different media is changing, and ensures the smooth communication of the emergency services? These are just a few of the areas Ofcom is involved in and, as a graduate, you will get to be involved in a wide range of projects.
I applied to Ofcom in my final year at Oxford University where I was studying English and was first attracted to the diversity of work that the generalist scheme offers. Although I had always had an interest in broadcasting, I was unsure of the path I wanted to take so Ofcom's graduate scheme seemed perfect; a chance to get a feel for many different areas of broadcasting, media and telecommunications.
The application process itself was straightforward and delved a bit further than the traditional CV and cover letter (which was a relief after the seemingly endless task of cover-letter writing). The different stages gave me a grasp of Ofcom's diverse work and a lot of the work I'm currently doing relates directly to work that was introduced to me during the application process.
Here are a few tips on what to expect and how to make the best application:
- Do your research. From the first stage (CV and answering some Ofcom-related questions), you are encouraged to think about Ofcom’s work. Later there will be a short essay-writing exercise thinking about a specific Ofcom area of work and at assessment day you will be encouraged to think about a case study of a previous project so doing your research is the best way to prepare! Just Google us or go to the news section of our website to get a feel for the work we do.
- Don't panic. There were a few different rounds to get through but only one of the assessments involves interviews and being face to face (the final assessment day). Even the assessment day was relatively straightforward with no group task (!) and tasks that quite accurately reflect the kind of work you would be doing at Ofcom. Honestly the assessment day was so much better than others I went to, much less daunting!
- Smile! If you do get to assessment day, the most important thing to remember is that Ofcom is nice. Really nice. Everyone's unreasonably friendly which will help so much when you're feeling nervous. (The view out of the window will also help you to smile, it's pretty incredible).
Good luck with applying and hopefully I'll see you in Induction Week next year!