My name is Lara Pearson, I study Computer Science and Management at Loughborough University and I am a Bright Network Campus Champion. This role involves spreading the word of Bright Network to other students at Loughborough which is something I really enjoy doing as I have personally used their service to further my career and therefore really believe in it.
Like most second years, I began looking for an industrial placement this year; a daunting process to say the least. Throughout the application process, you get asked so many questions about what experience you’ve had leading a team, managing relationships or meeting deadlines. For any applicant this can be slightly overwhelming, you need to learn to think on the spot and how to highlight your experience and personality in such a small space of time.
Make the most of every opportunity
One of my top tips for preparing for any interview down the line would be to get involved in as much as you can now, whether that’s joining a society, a committee or just going to some employability events. In the long term this can help you have good examples for any interview questions that might come your way. When I attended my final interview for a placement at P&G, I felt prepared because not only had I done my research on the company and read through the top interview tips on the Bright Network website, but I had also gone over all of my recent experience; from events to societies to positions of responsibility. This meant that when they asked me questions about leading teams, managing relationships and meeting deadlines; I had a different answer for each one.
Interviewers notice if you only have one piece of work experience that you keep bringing up for each question. By trying out different positions of responsibility at university, not only will you get to try out something new and exciting, but you’ll also have more to speak about in your interviews. At my university I get involved in as much as I can, from committees to sports to academic representation. This means that I have been able to get to know lots of people at Loughborough; resulting in me getting more opportunities from my network. For example, I’m hosting an Accenture Consulting Challenge after one of their employees connected with me on LinkedIn and asked if I would be interested in organising the session based on my experience in one of my societies.
Utilising your experience
By getting involved in various opportunities, I can talk about the smaller roles I have first, in order to answer the easier questions in an interview. Then when they ask a question where I don’t have a solid answer, I bring up my role on Enactus Loughborough’s committee because I put so much of my spare time into it and my role is so varied that I can use it to answer almost any question.
Overall, my top tip would be to get involved and utilise your spare time to try out new things, you never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn. The more time you put into a role, the more you’ll get out of it and the more examples you’ll have to bring up in your next interview. It worked for me as I got the job at P&G and will be starting there in July. Best of luck for your next interview!