We are thrilled to have Charlotte, our fabulous Consultant Resourcer - who left Bain and Gray this Spring - share her experience of taking some time out to travel before starting her new role in a graduate scheme. She talks about her time with us at Bain and Gray, her unforgettable time travelling with friends, the process of applying for her graduate scheme and a little insight in to what she will be doing when she starts her new role. Grab yourself a cuppa - this is a lovely read!
For me, one of the hardest parts about graduating from university was knowing what to do next. As an International Business Management graduate, I knew I wanted to work in London, but I was unsure on which career path I wanted to take. Over summer, I applied to be a temporary candidate at Bain and Gray, and this was the best decision I made! Gaining professional experience in a series of temporary roles really allowed me to find my feet in the business world while working in a variety of industries. Not only this, my temporary roles also allowed me more time for my permanent job applications and interviews. After a couple of months of temporary work, I was made aware of a permanent position at Bain and Gray and I jumped at the opportunity. The job specification excited me and I knew Bain and Gray was a great company to work for, having communicated with Consultants on the Temporary and Permanent Desk whilst I was a candidate. I realised how much each Consultant nurtured and gave direction to their candidates and I really wanted to join the team.
In September 2021, I was successful and I joined Bain and Gray as a Consultant Resourcer. I loved the culture here and was able to work first-hand with candidates and really get to grips with the recruitment market. Not only this, but I was also able to take on additional responsibilities, including maternity cover for the Marketing Manager. I was welcomed so seamlessly by the whole team and I took pride in my work, specifically as I knew I was helping candidates who were in a position similar to mine a few months prior.
After a government-advised work from home period in December 2021 however, a group of my friends decided they were going to go travelling in Central and South America as restrictions abroad were easing. Although this was something I had never wholly considered when graduating university, I was aware that I had lost out on the time able to travel in my summer breaks at university as a result of COVID-19. I gave the idea some thought and spoke to my sister, who only had positive things to say about her travelling trip. I decided to join my friends on this trip as I realised that I may never be faced with an opportunity like this again.
Although I was sad to leave behind the amazing team at Bain and Gray, I knew that I had such an exciting 4 months in store! To anyone considering going travelling … do it! I made life-long friends and great connections along the way, all whilst experiencing different cultures and getting involved in activities out of the ordinary, such as hiking a volcano in Guatemala, scuba diving in Mexico, and trekking to Machu Picchu in Peru. Not only is travelling non-stop excitement and fun, but it is also a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and really handle new and unknown situations. I really believe that travelling is as valuable as professional experience, as I was able to enhance my communication, organisation, stress and time management, and adaptability skills through a range of different situations, all which I know will help me in the years to come.
If we go back to summer last year when I was a disoriented graduate trying to navigate the world of work, I was well acquainted with graduate schemes, having applied to several in my final year of university and being unsuccessful on various counts. Nevertheless, I knew a graduate scheme was a great opportunity for me to gain experience in a variety of different business functions and would enable me to discover my interests and passions. As a result, I applied again for a business graduate scheme that I had applied for the previous year. I focused my efforts on just one graduate scheme as this was the only one that I felt was of interest to me and was related to my university degree.
I got further than I thought in this process and was offered the job whilst I was away travelling this year. There were 4 parts to the application process: 1) register your interest 2) strength-based assessment 3) video interview 4) assessment centre. My video interview was a strengths-based interview which I loved as it allowed me to exemplify what I was good at, allowing the employer to understand more about my personality, working style and strengths, rather than the usual competency-based interview questions which often sound rehearsed. Some examples of the questions I was asked are: ‘What are your strengths?’ ‘How would you handle complex data?’ ‘Do you prefer working individually or in a team?’.
Alongside another strengths-based interview in my assessment centre, I was also required to do a group task in which myself and my team had to work together to come up with a creative solution to a business problem. This task was all about working together, keeping time, and coming to a decision. Finally, I undertook an individual task in which I had to read through a document and summarise the key findings, this which was all about sifting through and analysing large quantities of data.
Throughout the process, I did lots of preparation and background research on the company, which I feel really benefitted me. Solely applying to the one graduate scheme that I was interested in meant that I had more time to prepare for each stage, this crucially contributing to my success. Not only this, my experience at Bain and Gray was a huge contributing factor to my success as I gained confidence in a professional working environment and gained invaluable experience working to targets, communicating with candidates and high-profile clients, navigating new software, and dealing with various administrative tasks.
I start my new position on Monday 5th September and I am hugely excited to meet my team and get started. My first rotation is within the Marketing Department where I will be working on ‘Global Sponsorships and Events’. I believe graduate schemes, apprenticeships and training programs are a great way to explore different career paths and discover your passions and interests, and I am hoping my new role will do exactly this! Moreover, working on temporary roles at Bain and Gray while you are applying to these graduate schemes is a great way to gain experience while also allowing yourself time to focus on these important applications.