How I got my UK graduate job during the pandemic

Written by Mia Zhang, MSc Human Resource Management, 2020

I am an international student from China and graduated from The University of Manchester in 2020 with a degree in MSc Human Resource Management.  After graduating, I embarked on the difficult task of finding a job during the pandemic. At the end of 2020, I secured a graduate role and joined a Chinese company that is based in the UK. Currently, I am working from home (my bed!) in my ‘Zoom office’ every day. In this post, I will briefly share my personal job search experience, and some of my insights and skills that may inspire and help other international students who find themselves in a similar situation.

I came to the UK in 2019 to study for my Master’s degree here at the University. When the first semester began, I was made aware that the graduate programmes had already started but my spoken English was not good enough to apply. Therefore, I decided to begin my job search in July 2020 but after completing several online tests, I soon realised that I still had some shortcomings. Having a limited English proficiency and a non-business background it made it difficult for my applications to ‘stand out from the crowd’.  As a result, I quickly adjusted my strategy.

Fortunately, the graduate programme for British companies is often aimed at students who are about to graduate or have just graduated, so after submitting my dissertation in September 2020, I officially started my job search. I only chose companies that didn’t require online tests, had a short interview process, and clearly provided visas. This strategy allowed me to devote myself to preparing for interviews and researching target companies. At the same time, I avoided fierce competition from those applying to the ‘Big Four’ or investment banks.

Finally, in November 2020, I received a call from the company I am currently working for inviting me to their assessment centre. After I successfully passed both the assessment centre and the manager interview, I was offered a position as a Channel Sales Specialist. I joined Hikvision UK & Ireland in mid-December and finally got my Skilled Worker visa and signed a formal contract in early 2021.

Looking back on my job search journey, I would like to share the following three points:

  1. Form a clear strategy before job searching. Think about your dream job and the jobs that match your abilities. Determine your target position and company, and make preparations for the job after you know where you are heading. Blindly submitting your CV will waste time and affect your confidence in the job searching process.
  1. Surround yourself with people who share your ambition. The process of finding a job is full of frustrations and self-doubt. Having a job-seeking friend to encourage you can relieve stress and help you obtain more job-seeking information. I met a friend while searching and we encouraged each other to find a job together, and now we are working in the same company!
  1. Make full use of the University’s Career Service. The University of Manchester provides a lot of support for students in their job search. Although I did not find a job when I was in the university, I used the Careers Service in order to improve my CV. I also participated in the webinars for international students where I was able to meet other international students who also want to stay in the UK.  Finally, I wish any international students who wants to get a job in the UK good luck!

As a graduate, you have access to the Careers Service for two years after you finish. Remember to look on CareerConnect for upcoming opportunities and events you can get involved in.

我是如何在疫情下在英国找到一份毕业生工作的

Mia Zhang, 曼彻斯特大学人力资源管理硕士(2020届)

我是一名来自中国的在英留学生。2020年,我获得了曼彻斯特大学人力资源管理硕士学位。毕业后,我踏上了艰难的疫情下求职之路, 并于2020年底,成功入职一家在英中国企业。目前,我每天在家(床上!)工作中。接下来,我会简单分享我个人的求职经历,以及自己的一点感悟和技巧,希望能够对其他的国际学生有所启发和帮助。

我在中国完成了本科教育,2019年夏天才来到英国攻读硕士。刚入学的时候,针对应届生的秋招已经开始,可我的英文口语能力不足以申请英国的应届生项目。2020年7月我开始准备简历和面试。但是,经过了几次的在线测试后,我意识到自己仍有不足。非英语能力者也非商科背景,很难在这一环节从应聘者中脱颖而出。还好英国公司的秋招针对的往往是即将毕业或者刚刚已经毕业的学生,所以2020年9月交完毕业论文后,我正式开启了求职旅程。我迅速转变了策略,只选择无需在线测试、面试流程短平快,并明确提供签证的公司。这个策略使我可以投入到对面试的准备和对目标公司的搜索和调研中,同时也避开了和申请投行四大的精英们的激烈竞争。终于,我在2020年11月的时候接到了现在就职的公司的电话,通过了AC面和总经理面,12月中旬成功入职,2021年初拿到了签证并签订了正式合同。我现在是海康威视(英国及爱尔兰)的海外渠道销售。

回首我的求职旅程,我想分享的主要有以下三点。

一,在正式找工作前,要形成清晰的策略。自己理想的工作与自己能力相匹配的工作两者结合,确定自己求职的目标岗位和公司,明确后再进行求职的准备。像无头苍蝇一样盲目投递简历,会造成精力的极大浪费,也会影响找工作的信心。

二,找一个共同求职的伙伴。找工作的过程是很容易产生挫败感和自我怀疑的,求职伙伴之间可以互相鼓励缓解压力并且获取更多的求职信息。我当时就认识了另一个朋友一起互相督促找工作,现在我们已经在同一家公司上班啦!

三,充分利用学校的就业指导服务(Careers Service)。曼彻斯特大学会为学生的求职提供很多帮助,我虽然在上学期间没有找工作,但是有申请过修改简历的服务,也会经常参加针对国际学生的webinar,认识其他也希望留在英国的留学生,也可以了解到其他校友如何在英国开拓自己的事业。此外,毕业后也可以使用就业指导服务哦

最后,希望所有想留在英国工作的小伙伴都如愿以偿!

毕业生在毕业后两年内仍可以使用就业服务。记得查看CareerConnect 了解最新的工作机会和活动。

Graduate Graduate jobs International

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: