Hi Everyone, hope you’re all doing great. As the last post did really well we thought we would bring you a journey of another alumni.
Most people after graduation do look for 9- 5 job, typically office based. Such job roles require a lot of professionalism and many of us don’t have that much experience in the beginning. So where would you start? How would you go about it? What if you don’t have the relevant experience? You may have a lot of questions, as usual we hope that this post helps you and inspires you.
Introduction To Emily & Her Background
For this post we interviewed Emily Mann. She did English, Business and Textiles for her A levels. She wanted to keep her options open and be able to grasp any opportunity that interested her in the future. The advantage of doing English was that it really developed her communication skills, both written and verbal. In the working world, this skills makes graduates very employable. Textiles interested her as she was passionate about using her creativity to design Asian clothes. For example she made a Korean dress (Hanbok) into a corset style.
At University Emily opted for Business and Management (Marketing Pathway). University certainly helped Emily develop skills such as Team Work where compromise was essential. In different situations she’d find herself adopting different roles as prioritizing the team’s mutual goals was vital. Marketing consists of a lot of presentations. Presentation is definitely a skill one needs as it can be useful in the working world. You may have to give clients a brief on something, and conducting a presentation is the way to do so. Emily’s found that throughout her course her confidence has boosted because of how many presentation’s she’s given.
Not only the module content has given me knowledge on business and marketing, but the idea of presentations gave me an opportunity to face my fears in speaking in front of people (I get very nervous when it comes to presenting). It’s one of those things where I really have to keep practising to not let my nerves take over.
Prior to her current job, Emily volunteered at the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising for 3 months. It was a 9-5 role that involved basic admin duties such a data entry. Her tasks also included in creating social media contents for the company. Voluntary work really looks awesome on your CV as it shows companies you’re hardworking and not lazy, it does in the end give you some insight and experience within the field you wish to work in.
Where is Emily Now?
Emily currently works as an Office Assistant at BMA Models/Artists. This is a renowned Modelling Agency that’s broadened its reach to actors and even influencers such as Youtubers.
Key Responsibilities of an Office Assistant
– General admin duties
– Meeting new applicants, models, artists and influencers
– Updating databases
– Cold calling and emailing
– Supporting managers, their team and department of all aspects of the
My role as an Office Assistant includes general admin duties. I will be updating and
editing applicant’s details on EXCEL sheet which is like data entry. On a daily basis,
we have new applicants and existing models/artists who visit us at our Head Office
to join us. During that time, I will interview the model/artists and take down their
skills, performances, experiences, personal details and their attributes. If they are
ready to sign with us we will send them contracts. That will be the beginning of the
applicant’s application process to be represented by BMA. Another main role of job
is supporting managers and all departments (Model agents and Artist agents).
Key Skills Required To Be An Office Assistant
-Attention to detail
-Excellent typing and computer skills
-Excellent communication skills
-Proficient at Microsoft Office
Emily is keen on furthering her office experience at the moment. We think this is a great idea as such experience can be a great stepping stone and could be useful in a variety of fields. She plans on taking courses and learning about areas such as digital marketing that would make her more employable. Alongside of this, she plans on starting her own blog and vlog too. This is a great hobby that can open doors to new opportunities.
Advice for Students and Graduates
My advise to students is to get as much experience as you can whether it is paid or
unpaid because it will look good on the CV. Employers love seeing voluntary work
as well because it shows that you are dedicated and taking time to do something.
Applying for internships over the summer is really helpful for you to get a job after
graduating! These are usually for 3 months (it can be paid or unpaid). Internships
are very valued by employers and it’s something I didn’t do, that I would do if I went
Want to get into Admin?
My advise is to try for smaller companies, for example in size so that you can learn
within a small team. You usually get to know what everyone’s doing and learn each
department. With bigger companies, I feel that the job applicants are longer, more
applicants and it’s such a big admin job meaning a lot of paperwork.
Expectation vs Reality
We expect life after University to be really smooth but it isn’t always as easy. Sometimes you get rejected because they hire someone with more experience. Sometimes you don’t make it because of the level of competition and volume of applications companies receive is way too much.
Commission Based Roles
Another expectation a lot of us tend to have is that finding a job with a stable income would come easy. Emily talks about how a lot of the appealing roles advertised she came across were door to door sales, and they were mostly commission based. Commission based roles are great in a way as no-one can put a limit to your earning but it can also mean you can make zero. Hence such roles aren’t for everyone and you have to be really careful what you apply to.
The Big Transition & Loss of Freedom
Did anyone else expect adulthood to be fun when they were younger? When you enter the working world you often have to get used to a routine, one that you may not be used to. Emily talks about how one of her struggles was getting used to the office hours and suddenly realizing that a major change has occurred.
Apologies for scaring you a little there. As much as we don’t wish to scare you about life after graduation, it’s better to be prepared from now as you can always take relevant actions to make things better. We’ve said this before and we will say it again, be patient and apply to as many jobs as you can. Keeping an open mind will certainly help, especially if you are lacking in experience. As usual, we hope that this post has helped you. Do let us know your thoughts. We’d like to thank Emily for collaborating with us and wish her all the best with her future endeavors.
We will see you guys in the next post!