At our recent Aspire event “The changing face of 21st century careers and higher education” we learned the sobering news that there are around 100 applicants for every graduate job in the UK. What better way to prepare for this competitive employment market than to attend a seminar on how to “Be part of the 1%”? That was exactly the topic that member of The Abbey’s Governing Council, former PWC partner and CFO of the Prince’s Trust Nigel Hopes took on as he presented a masterclass for Sixth Form students.
After introducing himself and his career path, during which he had experience of interviewing candidates for just the graduate roles to which our pupils aspire, Nigel explained the two key changes he feels have happened since he began his career: globalisation and the importance of building relationships on your own merit, thanks to the welcome decline of nepotism.
Nigel then delved into the process followed by the majority of blue chip recruitment programmes and advised the students to employ tactics such as humour to make their stand out. He also stressed the importance of being up to date with current affairs and able to give meaningful responses to question about global politics, economics and social issues. He also cautioned would-be graduate employees to be sensible when it comes to their social media footprint, confirming that candidates do lost opportunities due to inappropriate material found during a social media audit.
The girls found the session a valuable insight into the challenges of today’s recruitment market and were eager to absorb the tips that Nigel offered.