A huge element of each Master’s programme at Imperial College Business School is the highly personalised Careers service. As part of this, each student is appointed a dedicated Career Consultant to help them through every step of the job application process. Ultimately they make sure that they make sure that our students take the first step in their dream career after graduating from the Business School.
In this article, two of our MSc Career Consultants share an insight into their role and how they work with students, as well as their favourite part of the job.
When I was in my final year at Manchester University, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my career. I think it’s a real challenge knowing exactly the right career path is for you without trying out a few things first. Luckily, I ended up on a Business Management graduate programme at BT that allowed me to do exactly that. In my final rotation in the graduate recruitment team, I discovered I had a passion for careers and went on to work for five years in total at BT before spending three years leading UK graduate recruitment at a top global law firm.
I changed career in 2017 to become a career coach and consultant, and split my time now between working at Imperial College Business School and coaching private clients. I love the variety this gives me, although most of the clients I work with outside of the Business School tend to be graduates or those just a few years into their professional career too! I decided to work full-time in careers because personal and professional development is something I’m passionate about. I’ve had ups and downs in my own career, and have found that the right support from a coach, mentor or line manager can be invaluable. Whether we like it or not, our careers are heavily tied up in our personal identities, so if we’re struggling or feeling lost in our career, the rest of our life can suffer too.
My favourite part of the role at the Business School is definitely the one-to-one student appointments as their Career Consultant. Sometimes these can be challenging if students are feeling frustrated, but when you help someone turn their experience around and start to see solutions instead of problems, it’s the best feeling in the world. In particular, I love doing mock interviews with students. Having done hundreds of ‘real-life’ interviews in a corporate setting, I feel it’s an area I am able to add real value with, providing detailed and specific feedback for each individual answer given. I also love helping students prepare for interviews generally. The biggest mistake we see is students trying to memorise word perfect, scripted answers to each and every interview question they think could come up. These can really lack authenticity and passion, so it’s our job to help students get so comfortable with their experiences and motivation that they can speak naturally, without it becoming a memory test.
There are a few students who I have worked with who felt overwhelmed by the job application process, and it has really affected their motivation and confidence – two things that are very helpful in a job search! At the Business School, we often encourage a networked approach to job hunting – trying to create meaningful and long-lasting connections with people who work in industries they’re interested in working in. This may sound simple, but the reality of putting yourself out there and having conversations with people you have never met before can feel intimidating and (understandably) very daunting to our students.
My favourite success stories are from students who aren’t natural networkers, but have pushed their comfort zones and built a whole host of new connections at their target companies, ultimately leading to a successful job offer.
I am a Career Consultant supporting the energy sector. , I worked across a variety of organisations including Goldman Sachs, KPMG and Avon Cosmetics. My role in each of these organisations was across recruitment and learning and development, focusing on graduate development, leadership and management skills.
I chose to become a Career Consultant due to my interest in helping students develop their skills and identify what they are passionate about. Part of my role as a Career Consultant involves coaching students on their ambitions and interests whilst identifying potential career opportunities. The role is widely varied with activities ranging from delivery of skills workshops, meeting one-to-one with students to support the application process, conducting mock interviews and liaising with key organisations to identify employment opportunities and events for our students. My favourite part of the job is the satisfaction I receive from knowing my support has helped a student to secure a role.
A highlight of my time at Imperial has been supporting a student through the interview preparation, including writing the initial application through to networking within the organisation and conducting mock interviews. Through much hard work and practice, the student was able to secure the role with their dream employer. My advice to anyone who is going through the interview process is: practice, practice, practice.
Imperial College Business School is special due to its students. The diversity, talent and experience are unrivalled. I have been honoured to meet so many individuals with talents across the board. Each person has a unique story to tell and that’s what makes Imperial College Business School special to me.