BA Accounting & Finance with a Year in Industry, 2020
Adam is a Class of 2020 graduate (BA Accounting and Finance with a Year in Industry), who has recently started working as a Trainee Chartered Accountant at haysmacintyre, specialising in Taxation.
The move to studying online happened so fast - how did you adapt to finishing your degree remotely?
I think the key thing for me was to remember that my coursemates and I were all in the same boat. I relied heavily on my friendship network to get through the drastic change and we all adapted together, helping each other out where we could. This took many forms, but was usually either through messaging on apps such as WhatsApp, or by Skyping each other and having a face-to-face conversations. This was really helpful, especially when it came to studying, as it meant that we could work through questions together, like we would have done in a tutorial.
Was your search for a graduate job affected by the pandemic?
Thankfully, I received an offer of a graduate role in February, prior to the UK going into lockdown. I did, however, have two further assessment centres scheduled for late-March and April. I was hoping to attend these centres more for the experience than anything, and so decided to just cancel these and accept the position I had already been offered (which was my gut decision anyway).
What has it been like starting your new role in the context of the pandemic?
In a word – difficult. Starting any new job can be exceptionally daunting, let alone starting a new job remotely whilst in the midst of a global pandemic. The key thing to remember here though is that you’re not alone. The majority of employers taking on new graduates will normally take on a whole group of them at the same time, and they will be going through the same experience as you.
Using my own employer as an example, they have done exceptionally well in terms of preparing newcomers and making their transition from study to working as easy as possible. Another thing to remember is that if you’re starting a new role in January or September of 2021, all employers will be well-equipped to welcome you to the firm, as they will have done this throughout 2020 and learnt from any mistakes that were made, or make the process even better.
If, when you join, you feel that things could be improved or your experience made better in any way, raise this with a member of your team or HR; I’m sure they want you to feel as supported and welcome as possible, given the very strange times we are living in, and will do all that they can to help.
Do you have any advice for your Class of 2020 peers, who are still looking for graduate roles or starting new roles remotely?
Don’t give up.
Whilst it may seem like there’s no way that you get that graduate role that you’ve been dreaming of, don’t give up hope, there is still a chance you will get it.
And if there is nothing available at the moment, consider applying for a job that is only temporary, whilst keeping an eye out for that role that you really want. In my eyes, any experience is good experience, and all jobs offer transferable skills that employers absolutely love.
So maybe you have to stack shelves in your local supermarket for a few months, deliver packages for Amazon, or volunteer as a front-line worker before the job you want becomes available, all of these things offer exceptional transferable skills that will help you get that job when it becomes available.
If you have found that job and are due to start soon remotely, again, don’t worry. Whilst it may be a bit challenging at first, you will have all the support you could need from your colleagues who I’m sure will do their best to help you integrate into the firm/company as best you possibly can.
Did your experiences with ULMS help you to be resilient and adaptable in these challenging times?
My experiences with ULMS really did help me to become more resilient and adaptable. The numerous presentations and workshops put on by ULMS do make a difference, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t made full use of these to do so before they graduate; they really are invaluable.
Not only do the skills you learn at ULMS help you to cope in these challenging times, but attending them and going that extra mile to better yourself is what employers love, and will certainly help you land your next job.