International Graduate Story: Iuliana

Posted on: 12 January 2024 by Aditi Gupta in Graduate stories

Iuliana Smaranda is a Class of 2018 MA International Business graduate. In this post she shares her journey in kickstarting a career in the UK.

Iuliana emphasises the importance of engaging in employability-enhancing activities at university, as well as reaching out to the Career Studio as important steps to undertake to secure a graduate job after studies.

What is your current role and how would you describe a typical day in your role?

I am currently working in Operations for a multinational IT company called Insight UK. My day consists of setting up customer accounts, creating records and customer access, engaging with customers via email and phone, raising tickets for issues.

What do you like the most about your current role? 

I would definitely say the ability to learn new things constantly and innovate. Also, the working environment is very supportive and you feel you always have someone to rely on.

What do you find challenging about your current role? 

I try to look at challenges from a perspective of grit and resilience, rather than fear, even if we are all scared of the unknown. Sometimes, there are situations in which I do not know the answer, especially since IT is a very vast and fast-paced domain, where change is the norm. However, as I mentioned above my colleagues are always very accommodating and helpful and I rely on their knowledge and eagerness to help me get through any sort of difficult situations.

How did you go about finding this job opportunity? Do you have any advice for current students on how to look for roles of interest?

I actually found it on LinkedIn. I consider this platform to be an extremely powerful tool for securing a role, especially after working in recruitment. I would strongly recommend current students to use the Career Studio. They have a multitude of resources and workshops that guarantee to improve your employability. I think I signed up for most of the workshops that seemed relevant for what I was looking for and I found the advice and the knowledge imparted there were invaluable. Also, I would encourage the students to use the other services such as having your CV checked and doing a mock interview with a Careers Coach.

What did the recruitment and selection process involve and how did you prepare for it?

It consisted of several interviews - out of which one was a telephone interview and the other one was a video interview. I prepared by researching the values of the company and finding examples in which I embodies the values of that company. I thought of at least 5 situations in which I used the most common skills required for that specific role and structured my answers based on the STAR model.

What made you choose the UK as a graduate job destination?

Mostly for the learning opportunities and for the career progression, but also for the multiculturality of the place. I would lie if I said I did not enjoy speaking a foreign language every day at work and while away from home, it is a way of constantly improving yourself.

In your opinion, what steps can current international students take for enhancing their employability and preparing themselves better for the graduate job market?

My opinion is that the most important steps are to use the resources that the Career Studio offers and to try and find a part-time job during your studies. I know it can be challenging at times, but the rewards are very high. You will gain skills and learn how to adapt to the working world much faster and your efforts will not go unnoticed by any future employers.

What advice would you offer to current international students who are looking to enter the job market?

Do not be discouraged if you face rejection, we all do, the secret to success is to learn to stand up after rejection and continue in the face of adversity. If you put in the work and do the research, you will be compensated. Make sure you use your university years wisely and engage in part-time work and/or extracurricular activities.