Hello again! I hope that everyone had a nice Christmas and New Year break, and that everyone’s exams went well.

As an industrial experience student, Christmas was an especially busy holiday for me; which is something to bare in mind if you are to consider this option. It seemed that a huge proportion of placements closed over this period. On the 31st of December I received an e-mail from Rate My Placement saying that ‘156 deadlines close today’; to give you an idea!  This meant having to find a balance between revision for exams, researching and completing applications, and some time to enjoy Christmas.

Since my last blog, I have applied to KPMG for a business development role, Hogan Lovells (a city law firm) for a Human Resources role, Rolls Royce for a purchasing role, Vauxhall for a generic role, Porsche for a generic role, Hyundai for a generic role and Warner Bros for a Brand Marketing role.

As for my success, I was invited to complete three online tests by KPMG, I passed them all, but unfortunately I was sent an email a couple of days later to say that my application would not be progressed. It had been looked at by hand and rejected on the grounds that my academics were not strong enough. This really shows how important first year grades are, and what a difference that they can make. I did very well in all but two modules.

I received an email from Hogan Lovells saying that the position had already been filled. It is important to learn from this, that placements are often filled on a first come first served basis, so it’s vital to apply early.

I was also invited to complete a numerical and a verbal online reasoning tests for Rolls Royce, I have not yet heard from them regarding the result.

As for the others, I have not yet heard anything; including the outcome of my applications to Jaguar Land Rover and Disney, as detailed in my last blog… But, fingers crossed!

There are several things I have learned whilst completing these applications, and researching other companies to which I’m hoping to apply. Firstly, the importance of experience outside of academic life. Several questions have asked about very specific extra curricular experiences. I have had some society involvement, I’m a keen horse rider and I’ve had several part time jobs. This has usually meant that I’m able to think of something to answer these questions,  but it hasn’t always been easy. This highlights the necessity to get involved in things outside of the classroom!

Secondly, the vast majority of applications I have completed and am looking to complete, require the completion of online tests. I would advise looking for practices of these, to familiarise yourself with the types of questions that you might be asked. The organisations will often supply you with links to practice tests, but if you wish to go further there are a few good online resources and books which can provide more practice.

Lastly, make yourself aware of deadlines well in advance. I made a short (which was actually more of a long) list of companies in which I was interested, during the summer (whilst sat on a beach in an Antigua! The Times 100 and Guardian 300 graduate recruitment books formed my holiday reading). Where possible, I then noted when each of the deadlines were, in order, so that I could stay aware of when each one closed.

I hope that the above will be helpful to you in some way and I wish everyone the best of luck for second term!