We caught up with Henry to ask him his top tips for how to secure a graduate role at Bright Network's new hiring event, the Growth Associate Demo Day.
Why did you apply to Bright Network's Growth Associate Demo Day?
The reason why I personally applied was, because in today's climate where a lot of job applications are done online, processes can overlook the importance of face-to-face contact. So with online applications you don't get the sense of a person or get to know them, unlike at the Growth Associate Demo Day. Here I was able to judge the tone of several different employers, by having an actual conversation with them, and also get instant feedback. I also find completing job applications and cover letters in particular very time-consuming. At Growth Associate Demo Day, I found it easier to make the points I'd make on a cover letter straight away, because I was better able to judge what was most important to employers. Another key thing for myself is that I have dyslexia, so I found doing online and written applications quite difficult. The opportunity to jump over that part straight into the interview stage, with potentially not one but several employers, I found very beneficial.
What happens on the Growth Associate Demo Day?
You arrive and get to know all of the other candidates, and do a few practice exercises. We did an exercise to introduce ourselves to the other candidates and relieve ourselves of any nerves. After that the companies will come into the room and introduce themselves before the group task kicks off. During this you deliver a short presentation in groups in front of the comapnies. After lunch, you go on to do a Reverse Careers Fair, where you basically have your own stall, to which the companies come around one by one. In this activity you bring items along with you for your stall to highlight your key experiences. And then, if you're successful, you will have an interview with one or possibly more of the companies later that day.
What did you bring for your Reverse Careers Fair stand?
I do a lot of acting and comedy stand-up - those were what I was really involved in during my time at University. So I brought a lot of posters from past shows I've been involved with. I also brought some history books to reflect what my personal interests are, from the course that I studied, and some travel books to demonstrate some future goals of mine. This is a great opportunity to reflect what interests I have and what character I am. I'd suggest to anyone to try to find key experiences outside of your degree, be that societies or sports events, and bring items that signpost them. Don't make the mistake of focusing on just one aspect. Instead, try to bring a wide range of topical conversation starters, from your degree, to societies, to things you did before or after university, or actual things that you like to do in your spare time.
Why would you encourage a graduate looking for a role to apply to the Bright Network Growth Associate Demo Day?
Going to a Growth Associate Demo Day is a really great opportunity to work out what kind of persona a company has and straight away, not just for the employer, but for yourself, work out whether theirs' is the right company for you. Rather than do an online application where you might second-guess what an employer wants to hear, you can actually match up the most relevant experience, key skills, and relay that to the employers on the day.