As an international student, securing that first job is a daunting thought that arises in every student's mind, particularly as the academic year passes the mid-way point.
Students at Alumni event

To support current students of the University of Edinburgh Business School, an esteemed Alumni panel, organised by the Student Development Team, came together to share their experiences of landing their first job in the UK. The panel consisted of four Alumni, with a wide range of experience ranging from the marketing sector to the financial sector.

The talk began with friendly introductions and a quick summary of their profiles, after which interview experiences, assessment centre tasks and case studies were discussed.

Research

The panel collectively couldn’t emphasis enough the importance of researching the company as a part of the application. Despite it being an obvious point, a huge percentage of applicants look over this, resulting in under-performance during interviews.

Writing your CV

In addition, Alumni described refining or tailoring CVs and resumes according to the job description as crucial. Utilising artificial intelligence tools can help to match your CV as close as possible to the job advertisement and can be extremely beneficial where automated resume shortlisting is in place. However, this needs to be balanced with the need to stay ethical and truthful while writing a CV.

The panel also encouraged students to use the facilities provided by the Student Development Team as well as the University Careers Team to improve their resume and practice interview skills.

Online interviews and assessments

Online assessments and video interviews are usually the next step. The panel suggested practicing for online assessments using dedicated web resources.

Video interviews require more practice. The panel suggests everyone prepare a master document with solid answers to the usual questions asked in an interview so you can be prepared with answers beforehand. Practising in front of a mirror, or through a close friend group can also be extremely helpful.

Throughout the session the panellists reminded us not to give up and instead be persistent, courageous, confident and proud of what we have achieved so far.

Assessments

Some interview processes will include some form of assessment. This is your opportunity to go the extra mile and is a great way to ensure you stand out from other candidates. The most important piece of advice, agreed upon by everyone, is not to lose hope even at the toughest of times and irrespective of how many denials. You only need a single positive reply. Hence, having that confidence in yourself is crucial in achieving success.

Soon after the panel concluded and moved towards an amazing networking session with all the panellists marking an amazing evening at the Business School!

Neeraja Nair Puthusseril Anilkumar, MSc Business Analytics