Kiron McDuff

My Graduate Journey

Posted by Kiron McDuff at 01:50 PM

As it is fast approaching the end of my first year at DLG and with this being my first Blog post I thought I would talk about the journey that got me onto the graduate programme all those months ago.
I first started searching for a new job in April 2011 having spent a few years working in the education sector after university. At that time I wasn’t particularly sure of what field or role I wanted to do, a common occurrence amongst many people I knew. As a result I looked around and read up on many of the different graduate schemes that were in operation across a host of different industries. I felt that with my Business degree background that a financial services role would be a good match. From my research it was clear to see that Insurance is a growing industry that offers plenty of opportunities to develop and be successful. Of course I didn’t put all my eggs in one basket and applied to different Insurance companies and a few other financial services roles. No matter what the application was for it required research and completing the forms was time consuming and required a lot of thought. This was beneficial though because a couple of times I stopped applications before they were complete as I recognised that it wasn’t right for me.
Once the applications were sent off the process of waiting, online testing, waiting, telephone interviews, waiting began. I think the two things that I found most important during the process were: be prepared and be patient. You will have to be patient at times while waiting to find out if you have progressed to the next stage but as long as you have prepared and done your best then you can remain positive. Sometimes you have a long wait and you begin to think that you might not get a positive outcome. My response was to recognise that it was out of my hands and that I had done all I could do. There are usually setbacks but ultimately, for me, I made it to the last stage of the assessment process, the assessment day.
All of these are different but ultimately they are looking to find out the same things about you: how do you work in a team, what are your strengths and weaknesses, are your communication skills strong and a whole host of other things. My approach to the day was to try to be as calm as possible, easier said than done, and be myself. If you back your skills and are ready for any challenges that have been set for you then you will be fine. I was.
After the assessment day the nervous wait began. Our deadline for the outcomes was pushed back several times, such was the quality of applications we were told. In the end I found out I would be offered the job the day before I went on holiday. That was lucky as I wasn’t looking forward to being away and not knowing either way. In the end I went away happy in the knowledge that I would be coming back to a new career.

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