Technology focus for final edition of Graduate Career in 2012

The fourth and final edition of Graduate Career for 2012 is free with The Times today (Thursday, November 15th) with a focus on technology.

Produced in association with graduate recruitment website Milkround, the November issue also includes a spotlight on graduate career opportunities in East Anglia along with the usual blend of informative features about student living and the graduate jobs market.

Read about careers in renewable and nuclear energy plus how the European Space Agency’s annual graduate programme needs engineering, physics, biology, medicine and business graduates together with lawyers.

There is also an interview with Professor Stephen Hoskins of the University of the West of England Bristol outlining why teaching design is important for British business, and how recent graduates looking to set up a technology business can get into the industry with funding.

Find out why last year more than one in five first year undergrads dropped out of university and the number is expected to rise further for 2012, which councils are actively working with graduates to help them find work and how to clean up your social media web trail so it doesn’t stop you getting hired by savvy recruiters.

Graduate Career is free with The Times today (Thursday, November 15th) and available online at www.graduatecareer.com.

Milkround ups on-campus promotion with launch of Brand Ambassadors

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Students will be seen on campus putting their marketing skills into practice as Milkround launches its Brand Ambassadors scheme.

Seven students have been recruited by the UK’s number one graduate recruitment website to promote the brand on their campus and register their friends and colleagues for its personalised services.

The role gives students the chance to flex their marketing muscle by joining the promotions team at fairs and campus events, identifying sponsorship opportunities, engaging with their peers through lecture shout outs and career talks and using their contacts to boost brand awareness.

Ambassadors will be encouraged to use their initiative and knowledge of their university campus to arrange additional promotional activities with the full support of the Milkround marketing team.

Activities can even extend off-campus as long as they remain focused on the overall objective of sign up.

Milkround Brand Ambassador Marwa Achour said: “I am looking forward to meeting students and sharing my knowledge about the amazing opportunities available through Milkround! Many students struggle at finding internships or knowing what careers are available for them, and this is where Milkround comes in.”

Fellow Brand Ambassador Noori Muhammed added they wanted “to meet new people and provide them with the information to increase their opportunity of securing an internship, placement or graduate job.”

Milkround Candidate Marketing Executive Laura Smith has overseen the launch of the Milkround Brand Ambassadors. She said: “This is an opportunity for ambitious students who want to gain experience in marketing, event promotion and PR to put their skills into practice. We will provide our Ambassadors with full training and the support and guidance they need to trial their own ideas as well as delivering the core aim of improving our brand on campus and registering users to the site”.

“We want passionate and motivated individuals who are confident communicating with new people and self-motivated towards achieving registration targets, and we expect them to have plenty of suggestions for making the role their own so it really beefs up their CVs.”

Milkround’s Brand Ambassadors will expand in the New Year offering more opportunities for students to promote the most widely-used graduate recruitment website.

Onrec Awards 2012

Last night we attended the Onrec Awards to celebrate all the recruitment achievements of the past year.  We were delighted to present the Best Corporate Graduate Site Award to Credit Suisse – congratulations from everyone at Milkround.

We’d like to extend our congratulations to all the winners and nominees.  You can see the full list here.  Make sure you take a look at the photos too.

Thank you to Onrec for hosting a lovely evening.

Guest post: My journey into online marketing

Louis Collin takes over our blog to explain how he gained an internship… 

“My journey into online marketing began after yet another fruitless day looking for jobs. Having left a position working as a Teacher’s Assistant in a primary school a month earlier,  I was growing tired of seeing days disappear without anything to show for them. Spurred on by this frustration I decided to start a music blog. A couple of days later I was the proud owner of MEGATUNES. Working on my blog gave me something productive to do with my days, and something to show for the hours I was already spending in front of my laptop. It also provided a healthy creative output.

On top of all this MEGATUNES was a way of advertising myself to potential employers, and ultimately it kick-started a chain of events that led me to my current position. When I applied for an internship at Competitionhunter (a small internet start-up company), I was able to call upon MEGATUNES as an example of my experience within the blogosphere as well as an indication of using social media to promote a product. As a direct consequence of my internship with Competitionhunter I got some freelance work with Theorymine: a company that sells unique mathematical theorems as a novelty gift. I knew the brainchild behind the company, and was able to offer my services when she told me she was looking for someone to do their online marketing. These experiences proved key in landing my current position at Lifestep.

In a relatively short time I have gone from unemployed – with very limited experience – to working in an area I would have never previously considered. It has taught me the importance in staying productive. Job hunting can be a soul destroying process. A day in the life of the unemployed can be a tedious monotony of checking emails, sending emails and countless cups of tea. This coupled with having no money can sap morale. MEGATUNES allowed me to have a different focus to my days, I loved blogging and this kept me positive.

When opportunities did arise at Competitionhunter and Theorymine, I made sure I achieved at least one thing at each position, which would stand out on my CV. At Competitionhunter I thought there was a story in the relationship between the economic downturn and the increase in the number of people entering competitions. I sent countless emails to journalists whom I thought would be interested. A few carefully negotiated phone calls later, I managed to get the story run in The Metro. It was a similar tale at Theorymine. I believed journalists would be interested in the story of Flaminia Cavello (The founder of Theorymine) who is uniquely positioned as a young female entrepreneur with a background the sciences. Journalists agreed, and her story was run on a few prominent websites as a result.

These achievements may seem small in themselves, but they serve the purpose of providing practical evidence for future interviews. So, when I am asked “What can you bring to our Company?” I will be able to provide these examples as a demonstration of my strengths.

Parenthetically, I would recommend working in a small company to anyone. Competitionhunter, Theorymine and Lifestep all have less than 5 employees. This means I have been given real responsibility from day one. I have seen how a company is run first hand and have been asked for input on key matters. Essentially I have been fast-tracked into gaining invaluable experience.

I am currently doing a paid internship with Lifestep. In many respects it’s a dream opportunity for me. Lifestep is a company that excels in training young students or graduates on how to get the jobs they desire. I am picking up new CV tips and interview techniques every day! As part of the internship I also get a place on their much acclaimed Headstart course in Easter. I know I will come out of this opportunity in a strong position to pursue any future endeavours.

Working for Lifestep has been a rapid and natural progression. Yet it all began very simply with MEGATUNES. What started as me pursuing my passion for music had resulted in me becoming favourably positioned in a very competitive job market. So far I have learnt you have always got to stay productive, even if it is something as simple as a blog. You have got to find the right opportunities and make sure you take something from every single one. If you do this, you will always be moving in a positive direction.”

You can catch Louis tweeting at @Lifestepcareers 

Are our graduate expectations too high? #trugrad #trulondon

This blog covers my experience at #trulondon as well as the key results from new research by Milkround and aia regarding Gen Y and their social media habits.

Yesterday I attended #trulondon and once again I was swept up with the discussion going on around me ranging from #trugrads right through to Pinterest.  As usual there was lively debate both in person and on the hashtag #trulondon.  Taking my background the track I was most interested in was #trugrads.  I attended this track last February so was interested to see if anything had changed in the past year.

Unfortunately it seemed not much.  There is still a large gap between what employers expect and what graduates are actually doing.  Most of the students who were there were expecting a lot of help in finding a graduate job.  Many were scared off by the recent stats showing the vast amount of applications per job. However there are still roles which graduate recruiters are finding hard to fill because graduates either lack the necessary skills or don’t know how to promote their skills. Many of the students were expecting help with this, in particular through their careers service.  Recruiters in the room though questioned ‘are we entering a culture where students are expecting to be spoon fed too much?’

Some tips I’d give graduates:

  • Gain experience – whether this be voluntary or paid.  If you’re interested in marketing then market yourself – start a blog, tweet, why not start a board on Pinterest
  • Start networking – both offline and online.  The power  really is in your network – start discussions online with influencers, hiring managers and get yourself noticed in the social space.  Also start attending offline events, in particular industry specific.
  • Research – google how to write a CV, typical interview questions etc.  Why not ask people in your network if they can look at your CV or run through a typical interview.
  • Don’t give up – knock backs are a part of life, each one will help you build on your experience and find a role that really suits you.

I was supposed to give a track myself yesterday on Gen Y’s habits on social media but unfortunately during the madness of the unconference I didn’t have time.  The topic was the recent research we’ve conducted at Milkround alongside aia.  I was going to spend time sharing these stats and debating what they could mean for social recruiting in the graduate space.  A lot of cool ideas come out of #trulondon but are ‘Gen Y’, the digital natives, actually keeping up with all the latest technology we’re throwing at them?

We conducted 2 studies – one last year and a further one that drilled down a bit further last month. Here are just some of the key stats:

Social Media Survey – conducted by aia & Milkround

1350 respondents said:

  • 16 % use Google + daily, while 11 % use it most days. 46 % never use it.
  • 45 % have a LinkedIn profile
  • 70 % are aware that graduate recruiters use social media to promote their jobs – but over 51 % would like more assistance in how to use social media when job hunting.
  • Half of all respondents would use a mobile device to register for more details about a job, but less than a quarter would apply for a job via a mobile device.

Social Recruiting Survey – conducted by Milkround

506 respondents said:

  • 43 % have a LinkedIn profile
  • Found that the use of social media depends on which stage they are at:
    • Job Hunting Stage: 64 %
    • Research Stage: 65 %
    • Application Stage: 20 %
    • Interview Stage: 16 %
  • Facebook: 65% would add where they work on their FB profile.
  • Only 17 % of the 57 % that had a twitter account use hashtags.

It’s interesting to see that graduates are becoming more socially savvy whilst looking for a job but it seems like they’re not quite there – many need guidance on how to use these channels.  It will be interesting to see if the gap between students and recruiters narrows in the near future. Here at Milkround we try and bridge this gap by educating students and grads through doings presentations at universities about social media.

If you’d like to receive the Executive Summary for these two studies please get in touch Rhiannon.hughes@milkround.com