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08 June 2016

Recent graduate of Digital Marketing finds job in London within 4 months

Interview with Alex Petmezas

 

Q: Alex PetmezasWhat did you study at the International Faculty? When did you graduate?

A: I completed the BSc (Hons) in Computer Science and continued with the MA in Digital Marketing and Social Media. I graduated in 2015.

 

Q: What were your steps right after graduation?

A: I had already decided to move abroad for work but I also wanted to get some work experience first so after I submitted my master's dissertation, I started looking around to find an internship. I ended up doing a very useful 6-month internship which helped me a lot during the job hunting process.

 

Q: How did you decide to move to London?

A: I was initially looking at Paris as well as London. However, as far as working in marketing while staying in Europe is concerned, London is really the place to be. A lot of opportunities with many different types of companies. Some are smaller than others but regardless of size, most of them are very interesting and a great kick start to someone's marketing career.

 

Q: Describe your job-hunting journey.

A: Once I was settled in London, I would go on every website with job listings that I could find and applied to any position that was relevant to my studies, my experience and obviously that seemed interesting to me.

A large percentage of the jobs were listed by recruitment agencies so I would often talk with recruiters about jobs I had applied for or others that might interest me.

Finally, some of the applications turned into interviews and after 2-3 rounds of interviews, the company would make their final decision. After having sent many applications and having talked and been interviewed by a few companies, I was finally made a job offer which I gladly accepted. It took me about 4 months in total to find a job which is usually the average time a recent graduate will need.

 

Q: What was the biggest challenge?

A: Looking for a job can be a pretty stressful and uncertain situation. In my case specifically, I had just moved to a new country, I had very few local friends and I had no job. It was not always mentally easy. However, I tried to remain focused on my goal of finding a job while still getting to know the city and meeting people and in the end it was worth it.

 

Q: What do corporate recruiters look for?

A: From my experience, having a good degree is definitely important. The University of Sheffield degree made a real difference. Moreover, they will also focus quite a lot on the skills and work experience that are listed in your CV and make sure that they match the skills required for the job. If you can also explain how you have applied these skills in a previous internship or job, or even during a personal project, this can also be extremely helpful to show them that you not only have the theoretical knowledge but can also apply everything that you know.

Finally, usually in the second interview, a lot of companies will ask you to do a short 10-15 minutes presentation in order to see how comfortable you are with doing the required research in order to create the presentation but also to see how good your presentation skills are.

 

Q: How did your studies at the International Faculty help you for the jump start of your career?

A: Studying at the International Faculty, CITY College has been crucial in my job search. Not only because I acquired all the necessary knowledge and skills, which is the minimum, but also because all the advice I received from every lecturer throughout my studies has been very useful. As students, a lot of times we were wondering why lecturers would often repeat a lot of things about job search, doing good presentations, being able to do good research and many other things which did not seem that relevant at the time. However, most of these things have been extremely valuable after my studies.

Also, the professional seminars, company visits and other activities like these have also been beneficial.

 

Q: What is the job you found about? (job title, duties etc?)

A: My job title is Campaign Executive in a large technology company. We work with brands (some big ones like P&G, Nestle, Unilever but also smaller ones) and create and implement their promotional marketing efforts. That includes e-coupons, online competitions, new product trials, social media applications and any other activity that might help these clients with this aspect of their marketing plan.

I am involved in some of the planning of these strategies as well as in the implementation, monitoring of ongoing campaigns and reporting results of campaigns that have ended. It is a very good job that can really help kick start my marketing career because I am involved in so many different things as well as be in direct communication with some big clients.

 

Q: What would you advise future graduates?

A: Besides the common advice of focusing on their studies, coursework and exams, another advice I would give would be to read a lot outside of the class material about their area of study to learn more on their subject.

Moreover, I would advise students to participate to a lot of different seminars that the Faculty organizes because they can also be very beneficial. Attending the annual career fair and interviewing or talking with some companies is also something that could help or any other job search related event can be very good in order to prepare the students before going into the "real" world after their studies. Additionally, any relevant work experience is probably one of the most crucial things that will allow graduates to find a great job quickly.

Furthermore, something else that I believe can be extremely worthwhile for graduates is to move to another country at least for a couple of years. Start a great job in a new city, meet new people, challenge themselves in many ways and after that, they can always go back to their home country if they still wish to do that.

Finally, to never stop having fun, learning new things, doing the hobbies that they love because while having a good career is certainly important, having a good balance between work and personal life is what matters at the end of the day.

 

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