Dylan Ryan is a final year Business (Sandwich) student at Manchester Met. He has secured a role as a Business Technology Graduate for DHL for after graduation. We spoke to Dylan to find out more about how he secured this great opportunity and discover what tips he has for other final years who may not know what their next steps are.
Where was the role advertised and what was the application/interview process?
The role was advertised on My Career Hub and all the usual graduate job websites. It involved an online application form first, then 2 online psychometric tests (numeral and verbal). A telephone interview followed, and then an assessment centre – this was daunting as there were 15 graduates, over 20 assessors and just 3 places available.
How many roles did you apply to before you secured a job? What did you learn from this process?
This was the only role I applied to. I did have an invitation to go back to my placement job at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, so it took something to really stand out for me to apply elsewhere. An advantage of this was that I was able to give my full concentration to this application.
It is also worth noting that only months before, I had no idea which industry I wanted to go into (which is common for many students). Speak to a Careers Consultants, show them which skills you have, and they will propose recommendations on what career may suit you.
What experience/employability skills did you gain whilst at University to help you to secure a graduate role?
My degree has enabled me to gain knowledge and skills in how to become an effective business leader. A lot of these don’t come into fruition until you go out into the working world and put theory into practice.
I couldn’t recommend to people enough to do a placement year. This is what really sets you apart when applying for graduate jobs as you’re able to draw on a lot of skills and experiences, to show them that you are able to hit the ground running.
Looking back, what advice would you give to other students to better prepare themselves for their graduate job search?
Commit yourself to a few applications and tailor each application to what the employer is looking for. Applying to a large number of companies can be distracting. Also, you must use Careers and Employability! I have been very fortunate to get some great advice from them and they will point you in the right direction.
How did you use Careers and Employability in your graduate job search and how did it help you?
I have used Careers and Employability throughout University and it has been instrumental in gaining my graduate role.
Back in second year when I was pursuing an industrial placement at Enterprise Rent-A-Car the Business Placements Team helped me pull together a CV, and I met with one of the team at every stage of my application (application form, telephone interview, branch interview and assessment centre) in order to be prepared.
This year the Business Careers Consultant Hazel has been an amazing help. Again, meeting with me at each stage of the application process. Together we refined my CV adding new skills from my time at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Hazel instilled confidence in me, set up practice interviews and also provided extremely useful links for practice online psychometric tests similar to those which many employers now use. You would be at a major disadvantage not to use this service whilst at the University.
If you are a final year still searching for your first graduate job, you can access a range of events and support from Careers and Employability to help you with your next steps! Attend Focus on Your Future Week (6 – 10 June) to meet employers, develop your skills and explore the options available to you after graduation or check out our website for further information about what we can offer.