Finishing university and preparing for your first job is an exciting prospect. That said, it can’t hurt to be prepared, so Daniella from the Lloyds Banking Group Graduate Leadership Programme, has some handy advice to help you make a happy transition.
I started thinking about my career at 15, and knew I wanted to have something to do with the financial markets, but I also wanted career flexibility. I’ve since joined Lloyds Banking Group as an Analyst on the Commercial Banking – Business Management graduate programme and haven’t looked back.
Despite knowing where I wanted to work, there were things I wish I’d known before I started. These are my tips for anyone about to make that leap from university to the workplace.
Get involved in all aspects of university life
A full life at university – including volunteering experience – prepared me for the world of work. I was the university representative for a social enterprise that coordinates student volunteer programmes around the world. Funnily enough, we have a similar way of organising teams here.
Whether you are volunteering, part of a society or a student media group, you’ll enhance your ability to work in diverse teams, manage your time, and even develop leadership skills. It’s also a fun way to prepare for your next big social engagement – work.
Refresh your wardrobe
This is a personal preference, but a smart suit (with pockets!) made a world of difference to me, on my first day. I admit that my ‘university uniform’ of jeans and trainers was not going to cut-it, and I wanted to feel confident that I could carry my own. Having a professional-looking wardrobe also helps you project an image of how you’d like to be perceived by colleagues, so it might be work investing in clothes that communicate who you are in a work setting.
Be prepared to be the most, and least knowledgeable person in the room
People here are very open and willing to share their knowledge in order to improve, so we’re always asking questions and searching for the best answers. If you want to make an impression, and contribute to the team, asking questions of yourself and processes, is an excellent starting point. Alternatively, if you see something that could be improved and have well thought-out ideas, you should have the confidence to share them, too.
Maintain your interests
Your interests are what make you unique, so making time for them will mean you’ll feel more fulfilled in all parts of your life. At university I built a finance app because I love UX design. It ended up as a Top 100 app in seventeen countries and Number 2 in Burkina Faso! I’m already thinking of new ideas for the next one. Plus, you never know – you might find a group at your new workplace who are equally passionate about the same things you are and that makes every day feel even more fun.