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Career coaching: Max

Name: Max Sinclair

Degree: Computer Science with Embedded Systems Engineering

You graduated in 2021, can you tell us a bit more about what you are doing now (career related)?

Currently I’m applying to graduate schemes and using a recruiter to help me find a job. Graduate schemes are an obvious choice, although the recruitment process is much slower and competitive. Using a recruiter on the other hand is the polar opposite. Recruiters are very fast and you tend to get feedback quite quickly. However, the recruiter is incentivised to get you to accept a job so they can be pushy (they are mostly nice though!). I would not recommend using one unless you know roughly what salary you are looking for and can handle some minor pressure from them.

In relation to my applications, I’m currently trying to improve how I interview. For pastoral/personal interviews I have had to really improve how I talk about my subject to other people. The main thing for me is slowing down and trying to talk slightly less. I tend to be quite enthusiastic about my subject and that can annoy interviewers, especially if you give too long an answer. 

For my technical interviews, I still need practice. I'm still early in the process and haven’t done many. My biggest problem is that while I tend to do well in them, I have stumbled on some basic questions due to being nervous. I really need to go over some of my basic theory and perhaps look into other similar questions before doing more.

Where were you in relation to your career planning/making applications before you graduated?

Prior to graduation I had no plans, I found the course load on my subject quite difficult and couldn’t handle the multi-tasking of job searching at the same time. 

I had been to the careers fair several times and roughly knew the timings for graduate schemes but made no applications. It wasn’t until after, I started considering what to do, I received a text from the uni advertising careers coaching and on a whim decided to try it.

We hear you have engaged in careers coaching; what did you do, and how did it help?

Going into the coaching, I wasn’t feeling very confident and I didn’t really know what to expect. Helen Steel (my coach) has been amazing throughout the process. It started by providing a clear set of objectives for me to do. From rewriting my CV to creating a linked-in account. I was given a lot of valuable advice throughout and given guidance on how to further improve. Combined with frequent checkups as I applied to job schemes I have found it to be very useful.

Would you recommend careers coaching to other students and graduates?

Yes, I think the careers coaching is very useful, at a minimum it helps provide structure to your applications. However, it's more likely to go beyond and really help you prepare for what is a daunting process. My only advice would be if you’re a finalist, don’t worry if you can’t engage while on your course, due to load. You can always come back to it after!