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May 08, 2015
I was asked to write a blog about the difficulties (or not) in finding a job after the Masters course at WMG. I am Mattia, and I commenced study at WMG on the MSc in Supply Chain and Logistics Management (SCLM) after more than 5 years of work experience in the financial and banking industry in London and in Italy (my own country).
I decided to change my career because I did not fully enjoy what I was doing in the banking sector, and I thought (before starting the masters), and I now strongly believe that Supply Chain Management and working for a manufacturing company is what I would like to do in my future career.
Coming from the “professional” world, as opposed to being a new graduate, probably helped me in understanding the mechanisms and the factors that can improve the chances of getting a job. Here are my 'suggestions'. Before though, I would like to stress the fact that everyone has different backgrounds and skills and probably different approaches to this, but I hope that my experience can help in having a different point of view on this matter.
I believe that there are four elements that contribute to successful job hunting.
1) Know yourself and what you are looking for: Easy to say but more difficult to do. It took me 5 years to understand what I like and do not like in a job/industry, and 3 different positions and companies. Nevertheless, my suggestion is to try to explore during the masters what you are good at and what you enjoy e.g. do you enjoy more of the ‘strategic/planning’ bit of a task, or more the ‘analytical calculations’ of it? It is likely that what you liked during the masters might also be what you like in your job. Try to focus on positions/jobs that reflect your attitudes and liking. For example, during my career in banking, I was a consultant doing regulatory issues/project management activities on one side (more of a ‘soft skill’ job), but also I was involved in risk model building and assessment (more of an ‘analytical’ job). This allowed me to understand that I much prefer analytical roles, thus my research for a new job has focused on the latter.
2) Have a CV ready at the highest standards: This is very important, as it is the starting point of your application process
(see point 3). Due to the fact that I came from a professional job, I already had a CV which I believed was a good one. Nevertheless, I decided to attend some of the 'Student Careers & Skills' services seminars, in particular how to build a CV and a Cover Letter, and some one-to-one sessions to assess the quality of my CV. This was very useful and allowed me to modify my CV to be in line with the UK market expectations.
3) Start early and be proactive: I started to look for a job in October when the Masters commenced. This is because the majority of the best/largest companies begin to select graduates from November/December, for positions starting in September the following year (a few weeks after the end of the Masters course). I see three benefits in starting early: (i) you have not fully started with your project, thus you can dedicate time to job hunting; (ii) more jobs are available, thus more choice and probably less competition; and (iii) you start to get a grip on the kind of selection process that UK companies employ - which can be very different to what you are used to in your home Country (this is certainly true for Italy) - such as CV screening, competency questions, on-line tests (numerical, psychometric, verbal reasoning, etc.), phone/video interviews, and - most importantly - the final assessment centre. Because this is a very intense and challenging process, the more you ‘practice’, the better you become. I started in October to send out around 20/25 applications: some did not pass the first stage (CV screening); some passed few stages, and only few ended up with an assessment centre (2 to be precise). The point I want to make is that, the more you apply, the better chances to get into the final stages and thus securing a job very early in the academic year.
4) Seek help from the WMG and Warwick support functions if needed: I have already mentioned the 'Student Careers & Skills', but inside WMG there are other source of information and support available. WMG actively look out for job opportunities for their graduates and email out about opportunities that you can apply for. They also organise employers to come and present to students at WMG about their company and job opportunities. Plus we’ve had Alumni visit WMG and tell us about their work experience since WMG.
In conclusion, you would wonder if this approach paid off. The answer is yes. I was lucky enough to secure a job as supply chain management graduate for a large UK manufacturer/retailer before Christmas, starting in September (just after the end of the Masters course). This provided me with the tranquillity to focus on the academic side of my Warwick experience. It was not easy though. In November/December I had nearly 10 jobs application process opened, and I had to do all the tests, phone interviews, and assessment centres which required a good amount of preparation. This, on top of the Masters work, proved to be very challenging, but I believe it was worth the effort. I have some colleagues that also started early and they secured jobs months before the end of the Masters. I would say that the key elements of my job hunting was seeking help and support from the University but, most importantly, being proactive and not expecting that jobs will come to me without putting in the required effort.
July 05, 2013
I've recently been in communication with WMG Alumni . Rasmus commenced study at WMG on the MSc in Management for Business Excellence (MBE) following completion of his B.Eng. in Global Management and Manufacturing engineering at Aarhus University in his home country of Denmark.
He thoroughly enjoyed his graduation ceremony at Warwick in January and has since written to us to share his thoughts and experiences of his time studying the MSc in Management for Business Excellence and how it is helping him now in his career.
Here's what Rasmus had to say...
It was really nice being back for the graduation, which for me was a very memorable experience. I have never experienced anything like that before. The atmosphere around the whole ceremony really made me feel proud of my accomplishment.
Since completing my studies at WMG, I found a job as a Production Engineer at Siemens Windpower where my role is to develop new production concepts and introduce new products for production. It's a role where one of my main responsibilities is to link everything together into a whole assembly concept. I have to 'translate' what is being done at an engineering level into a manufacturing process with quality standards, assembly equipment, operators etc. and all with a sound and robust business case.
Additionally my role is to work as a consultant which means I also have to bring in new knowledge and thereby increase the existing level of knowledge within the department who hired my support. In other words I have a clear customer supplier relationship, internally speaking, where I need to produce excellent products in the shape of assembly concepts for my customer to buy.
Since starting my job and undertaking my responsibilities, it's really brought my mind back to MBE and its learning environment. We had to solve a problem by gathering knowledge and bringing it all together in a group presentation. The level of our results highly depended on our skills and ability to work as a team, which involved all sorts of challenges. I knew from what I was told, that this would also be the case when we got a job, but I did not really believe it. I'd thought of a job as being different because you have the risk of being fired and other factors such as being paid - things that made me doubt that working in a job-team would be as challenging as an MBE team. But now I've come to realise that how we were learning on the course really is true to life as to how things are in industry. I have the same challenges in my job team as in all the MBE teams I was in.
So did MBE provide me with the skills to handle this? The answer would be yes and in two ways; firstly the whole method in how we learned without having any 'lectures' as such and secondly the post learning reflection through blogs. Nobody is telling you what to do or how to solve the problem. Instead it all depends on your abilities to gain knowledge from different sources and bring it all together for a robust solution. In this process you will hit some obstacles in different shapes which I personally overcame by reflecting on the situation as we did when blogging about MBE.
I surely enjoyed my time at Warwick in the MBE environment. It was hard and required a lot of work but at the same time it was fun. And that only becomes better now in knowing that my effort is being acknowledged and utilised in my current job. One thing I'm sure of is that if you enjoy working in the MBE environment, you will love to work in the real life. In industry, you do not have the same level of a 'safe environment' that you have throughout the learning on MBE, but now in the workplace, I have already been praised for how I work and that is basically just for being a MBE student.
I want to say thank you to the Course Leader, Paul Roberts for all the guidance throughout the year and for his inspiring personality.
I am really happy about my current situation and my choice of taking MBE as an M.Sc. I don't know what the future will bring, but I know I will be ready and I'm looking forward to it!
You can read more about Rasmus's story on his Alumni profile.
Rasmus is open to questions, so if anyone would like to know more about his job or how MBE has helped him, feel free to leave me a comment and ask.
June 07, 2012
Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/education/wmgmasters/newsandevents/
I recently had the pleasure to meet with WMG Research Fellow Dr Hadi Abulrub- 'Hadi' about his recent trip to Jordan to meet with young motivated individuals who wanted to learn more about how to succeed in their future careers. Hadi has worked hard and gained an array of experience to be in a great position to share his knowledge with others. Prior to his current research in 3D Visualisation at WMG, Hadi completed a PhD in Engineering and a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Diploma in Management and Leadership and so benefits from both academic and business skills. He has also done previous recruitment trips to the Middle East and even initiated a scholarship scheme for Jordanian students coming to study in the UK.
As a proud representative of WMG, by his own initiative and organisation and supported and sponsored by WMG, Hadi wanted to visit home country to share his knowlege.
On Saturday 12th May, Hadi hosted 'Uncover the Ingredients for Success' a full day of workshops and presentations to an audience of prospective students and motivated young individuals. The day proved popular with over 145 people registering to attend.
During the day, Hadi gave a number of presentations about WMG and the Masters programmes available. He also spoke about Innovation in WMG and the Visualisation and Metrology Centre in which he performs his research. A very important topic to prospective students is also scholarships and Hadi gave great advice on where to find scholarships in the UK, how to prepare a good scholarship application and writing a good CV.
But Hadi's main aim of the visit was to teach key skills to succeed. With this in mind he gave a presentation on 'Leadership: The Tool for Successful Entrepreneurship' and set the attendees to work on interative tasks including working on case studies, group discussions and question and answer sessions on Leadership and Management skills and success in business. There were also fun drawing activities to demonstrate perception, essential communication skills and writing SMART objectives to apply to goals, measure success and re-evaluation and self development in life and in business.
I spoke to Hadi before his visit and I remember him telling me that he not only want to share his knowledge and teach skills, he wanted "to get into the hearts of people" so they can understand and share his passion.
He wanted the day to not only be about teaching but for people to enjoy interative activities and learn through experimental learning which is a belief shared throughout WMG and the teachings on the MSc courses.
After the event, I asked Hadi to summarise for me how he felt about the day; “For me, the best thing about hosting this event was transferring knowledge to the young generation to help them to excel in life and achieve their dreams”
There were al so several positive comments from attendees including Lina from Jordan University of Science and Technology who said
April 12, 2012
Recently, at a WMG Open Day, I had the pleasure of meeting WMG Alumnus Surya Saha, a recent WMG MSc graduate from India. Surya was delighted to share his story and talk about his experiences at WMG...
For me, my journey in WMG was extraordinary. The mixture of opportunities was too good to miss and most importantly I never felt isolated. Doing a Masters is hard work but there was always support. There are personal tutors who act as mentors, supervisors who are extremely helpful and supportive throughout one’s project and other staff who are there to listen. The most important thing that I want to highlight is every student is valued and recognized in WMG. Everyone’s ideas are heard and there is always someone to help share those ideas and knowledge further. According to me I would say that this is one of the greatest strengths of WMG - to share and support knowledge in its research and academic excellence.
Regarding academic teaching, the MSc course structure is designed with a combination of modules, simulations and a dissertation. It provides a very innovative and collaborative way of learning to develop one’s skills and competencies. The way of teaching is mostly based on a practical approach including giving presentations, working through case studies of real business scenarios and visiting companies to see first hand operations within industry. This gives a robust understanding of knowledge that is integrated with real life experience. I think it has given me a lot of scope to learn and be proactive in continuing to learn. This entire approach of teaching has lot to offer for the future.
The research work in WMG, I guess its self explanatory. It’s the only centre in the UK that has received recognition for its excellence and contribution towards various industries all over the globe. The department is full of talents and the main thing that I have learned from them is to continuously learn.
As a proud alumnus, I would always tell people that I was and I am being valued by WMG throughout. As a graduate I still receive support and guidance from WMG. For example, I initiated a business quiz social event in 2012 after I became an alumni and I am really thankful to the management in supporting me to conduct this event which was successfully received and I am looking forward to continue this so that I can keep myself involved with WMG to help spread knowledge and encourage students to create a better future.
For students considering coming to WMG, I would say ‘go for it’. There are so many opportunities. It’s a place of innovation, ideas and encouragement."
If you have any questions for Surya or you are also a MSc graduate, feel free to leave us a comment to ask your question or share your experience.