We caught up with Olivia to discuss how LDN Apprenticeships helped her secure a role. Here, Olivia also shares her insights on tough interviews and her top tips for Bright Network members.
Why were you interested in applying for a role with LDN Apprenticeships?
Searching for jobs as a recent graduate is daunting but doing it during a pandemic brought more challenges than I could ever prepare for. I was anxious that I would be unable to secure a role, so I was prepared to apply for anything. LDN Apprenticeships appealed to me because they were open to hearing from candidates who did not have experience. Instead, they cared about the term EEWAP, which stands for Energy, Enthusiasm, Willingness to learn, Ability to take feedback and Propensity for Action. There are so many young people out there who would make a great employee, but they were unable to secure an internship or attend university because of life circumstances. Although I enjoyed every minute of university, I found it quite challenging as I wasn’t able to balance my university work with activities, such as summer internships, that I could add to my CV. LDN Apprenticeships gives a chance to people like me, by judging us on our character, not our list of achievements.
The coronavirus pandemic began whilst I was in my final term of third year, so I had to complete my university degree online at home. I never really managed to close that chapter of my life, but an apprenticeship offered me the chance to nourish my thirst for learning whilst also being in paid employment.
How did you build your commercial awareness before the interview?
Research, research, research. I made sure to research the organisations, both LDN Apprenticeships and my employer, Pracedo and memorised their company values. During the interview process, I made sure to mention these values, not only to prove that I had done my homework but to also show that I was a good fit for the company and their culture. I also read the company’s blog and looked at events they had attended to create a list of points I wanted to ask them about. However, I wasn’t afraid to deviate from this list if something particularly interesting arose through conversation.
How did Bright Network help you secure this role?
When I joined Bright Network, I registered an interest in the Technology sector. As an English graduate, I thought that aiming for a role in Technology was wishful thinking as it’s a very competitive industry and my degree was from an unrelated field. The position was included on an email sent by Bright Network, that listed opportunities I may be interested in. If I wasn’t registered with Bright Network, I would have never found this job. Bright Network also provided lots of interesting talks and courses that supported my job search by providing crucial experiences that I could reference in an interview.
What top three tips would you give Bright Network members looking to following in your footsteps?
- Express a clear interest in the sectors you’re looking to work in, even if you don’t think you have a chance. Aim high!
- We receive so many emails every day, so take the extra time to sort through your inbox for new opportunities, to avoid missing out on something exciting.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things. Salesforce was something I had never heard of before. However, I took a chance and it’s safe to say that I’ve pleasantly surprised and really love my job!
What’s been the toughest interview question you faced?
I’ve always found the question “Name a challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it” difficult, as I haven’t faced any major challenges before. However, although my challenges could seem minor to some, everything is relative. An interviewer will appreciate the ability to be honest and admit your struggles. Plus, your problem-solving skills during a challenge are really what sets you apart from others.
The toughest question asked by my interviewer for my current role, who was also the CEO of the company, was “Approximately how many tennis balls do you think there are inside London?” Safe to say, I had not prepared for this question. The CEO was testing to see how easily we lost composure when thrown something unexpected, which is a key skill that consultants need to have.