Hello. I am just writing to let you know that I have secured a place on the United Biscuits Graduate Scheme which I am absolutely thrilled about! I will be within the procurement department, training to become a buyer, hopefully within a year – and what could be better than buying biscuits ingredients?! I can honestly say that the reason I was able to secure this position was massively down to the experience that I gained over my placement year. The examples that I was able to use at interview were much more relevant and I was not as intimidated by the fact that senior people in the department were interviewing me as I had worked alongside senior people in the past and trust me they are very normal! The application process was quite tough with an online application form, aptitude testing, telephone interview and a whole day assessment centre which included a 20 minute pre prepared presentation. It is interesting though how you can grow to like or dislike a company as you go through the process based on how quickly they get back to you and obviously after meeting the employees at assessment centres. I definitely wanted the position more and more the further along I got!

Now I’ll just quickly mention my graduate applications in general… I applied to 8 companies in total and they were a bit of a mix really, though there was a definite food theme! I reached at least the first round interview with 7 out of the 8, which again is definitely down to the experience I gained on placement. The graduate job market is definitely much more competitive than I had anticipated though and I was rejected by 5 of the 8 companies, so I’m going to say it again even though you have probably heard it a million times – make sure you get as much experience as possible along with getting involved in anything that will make you stand out from the crowd. As I said before, I did also grow to realise that some of the roles weren’t actually for me as I went along their recruitment process and so did pull out of two of my potential jobs. So even if you aren’t completely sure of what you want to do (I still wasn’t even after my placement), you do find yourself discovering more of what you do and don’t like as you go along. The key point to make is that although your placement year will 100% boost your employability, the market is still very competitive and you will most likely receive some rejections but just make sure you keep going and it will all work out as it is meant to in the end!