Anju Devassy: BT Group PLC
Featured Success Stories
December 09, 2019
Anju, from India
I came for my Masters to the UK in January 2018. I had already accepted a campus placement back in India after my Bachelors, but I was keen on higher education so I that's how I am here. The first semester was on till May, thereafter I joined a summer internship at a company for 3 months. Our course also has a sandwich placement, which means that if you secure a placement you are allowed to work for 12 months. So luckily I was offered a job from 3 companies and I selected GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), it was really a good career path because I could learn how a big company works. I was involved in software development along with the work of a data analyst. I could learn a lot and enhance my skills. My placement ended in September 2019 and now I am back for the next semester.
‘They Also Hire In Accordance With The Skillset That They Are In Need Of’
How has your application process gone so far?
Anju: When I applied for a summer internship, I got invited by BT Group - we had several stages like the online aptitude tests and then some other tests and video interview. In the Assessment Center, we had 5 different stages of group discussions and activities, HR interviews, etc.
I think the interview and application process also differs from one company to another. For example, for BT Group, they had several stages in the process, for GSK they had just an online application and the interview because I was picked up from LinkedIn. A third company had a very unique interview in that they did not ask anything pertaining to the technical aspects of the job but they gave scenarios and case studies to judge my problem solving and managerial aptitude.
So I'd say that different companies have different modes. They also hire in accordance with the skillset that they are in need of.
‘Even When Searching For A Placement Year Internship/Work Experience It Becomes Important To Look For Companies That Will Potentially Sponsor VISAs As They May Convert An Offer’
What should students keep in mind before applying in terms of deadlines, skills etc.?
Anju: Timeline for Placement year graduates: for January intake students, the placement deadline is in September, so I would suggest them to start applying February - somewhere around 5-6 months before the deadline.
Even when searching for a placement year internship/work experience it becomes important to look for companies that will potentially sponsor VISAs as they may convert an offer.
Having a skillset and work experience from the UK definitely works favourably. I am already seeing the difference since I finished my placement - people have come back to me and I get acknowledged and noticed by the recruiters.
‘Because I Have Subscribed (to Student Circus), I Also Receive Emails About The Latest Vacancies’
What resources did you use in your job-hunt?
Anju: I have used the Careers services for my CV revisions, for an interview session. They are very keen and meticulous in their service: they look over the CV minutely and help re-arrange it the way the UK market needs it. They have guided me on preparing cover letters and even guided me on choosing the best offer from the ones I had. They also gave slots for mock interviews, personal counselling sessions - all you have to do is book an appointment with them. They also have a careers hub website that also lists vacancies, and that is helpful too.
I also got to know about Student Circus from the Careers Service. They gave us a list of websites where we can look for jobs. This list included Student Circus. Because I have subscribed, I also receive emails about the latest vacancies.
Anju: Going ahead, since I have to apply for a full-time job now, I am looking at Student Circus as a resource to shortlist jobs that provide Tier 2 VISA. I look at this list on a weekly basis to shortlist the companies and jobs I will apply to.
‘As Soon As You Have Set Your Foot In The UK And Are Settled, You Should Start Looking For Placements And Jobs’
Any word of advice for students looking for jobs?
Anju: I would say start right away - there are a lot of companies that have already started recruiting for the September 2020 intake. Many big companies start their recruitment process a year ahead. So I have also attended the Careers Fairs where various companies are coming and I get to talk to the recruiters. So September and October is an optimal time for the application process to start. I will be graduating in May/June and will be able to work after that.
I think it is important to lay the groundwork for yourself, which is by meeting and networking with prospective recruiters at careers events, so you can gauge what it is that the recruiters look for.
Since the post-study work VISA is coming back too, I would suggest the incoming students to prioritise their study and the hunt for a full-time job. I understand a lot of students work part-time too, but the ultimate goal is securing the degree. As soon as you have set your foot in the UK and are settled, you should start looking for placements and jobs. You might not get it right in the very first time but most of them have to apply for so many different job opportunities. You go to interviews, get that practice, you will land a job soon too.