10,000 Cheers for 10,000 Hits

Greetings all,

I feel it has been ages since making a post and for that I apologize.  I have since attended a couple interviews, but have yet to write anything for them.  My dedication has been hindered by a much enjoyed holiday spent with the relatives, as well as continued celebrations over the New Year with some friends in London.  Needless to say, all I got for Christmas was one extended hangover.

Alas however, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has come along and visited my blog, taking from it whatever joys it has been able to provide.  Earlier today it received its 10,000th visitor.  An amount I really never thought possible, but a true demonstration in the power of spamming your hyperlink across the web.  I joke!

As for the job front, I had a two-day assessment centre with AstraZeneca last month for a CIMA-based position within their Finance department.  A really great experience, but for reasons that will soon be explained to me in a feedback phone-call, I was unsuccessful.  I think I will continue focusing on accountancy-based schemes for the time being.  It seems to me like the most logical route to take after having sat down and really thought out what it is I can best contribute to a firm.  A contact of mine in London has kindly introduced me to an associate of his involved in forensic accounting, so I will be meeting with them later on in the week in an effort to extract what wisdom I can.

Thank you all very much for your support and do please continue to comment with your stories of success and/or missteps.



Interview: Allianz Insurance

Little bit of a change in course on this post – though having tried my hand at global lager markets, it shouldn’t be a surprise.  I thought for a change in scenery I would investigate a career into the extravagant and often headline-grabbing world of insurance.  Why ever would you do such a thing you ask?  Think of the dinner parties, the conversation massacres that might come of it!

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How to Impress Companies at Career Fairs

Ah yes, the career fair.  Let’s trot along a series of stalls where we will learn nothing more about a graduate programme than what could normally be attained by visiting the company’s website – the widely accepted view, and an easily accepted one at that.  But being a graduate and unemployed, I cannot afford to take this stance.  I’ve got to pull out every stop I can if I’m going to remedy this situation.  

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Interview: Bloomberg (Round 3 – Final)

Currently sitting on a train to Bristol.  There is a middle-aged man sitting opposite me wearing dirty painters clothes.  He’s got a small bag with him carrying a few more items stained with paint.  And he’s flipping through a book on graffiti.  He’s not what I imagined Banksy to look like.  Maybe I should ask him if he’s looking for a publicist.

I must apologize for this writing.  I met up with some friends after my interview in London to drown away some sorrows, and so the details of it are not as fresh in my mind as they might have been.  Anyways, just to clarify, this was one of those “What Not to Do” type interviews.

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Never Tell Your Parents Where You’re Applying To. Here’s Why.

It’s good to see other parties out there fighting the good fight for us.  Found this nice little endorsement compliments of Bloomberg.com

Millennials, perhaps more so than any other generation besides the baby boomers, already have a reputation. Recent reports suggest they lack a work ethic and rely too much on parents, some of whom have been accused of calling employers on behalf of their job-hunting sons and daughters.

On a positive note, Millennials are also known for their interest in jobs that allow them to make a difference in the world by having them perform community service or create projects that support sustainability.”

Guess we’re better known as the Generation Y-bothers to some out there.  Queue the Morgan Freeman voiceover.  They may be lazy… but one day, they will change the world.  Solid backseat thinking there.

The problem with that analysis stands right up on its own two feet without the need for a helping hand.  The generation rely too much on their parents.  The parents have been accused of… calling employers?  Well obviously the problem is bad facking parenting.  It’s not the kid’s fault he wasn’t forced out the door at the age of 6 to get a paper route and learn the value of a dollar.  And before you ask, yes I was forced out the door at the age of 6 to get a paper route (a joint venture with older siblings).

What I actually like about this article though, is that to recruiters who actually believe this stereotype, I look that much better.

Interview: Bloomberg (2nd Round)

Position: Sales & Analytics

I’m going to jump straight into the interview here, simply because it was the defining part of my day at Bloomberg, and the memory is fresh.

After discussing my interest in finance, Sales Manager John posed the following question to me:

“Your CV is great.  But if you want learn about finance, you’re better off going to a bank.  Why do you want to work for Bloomberg?”

Here is where the interview could have gone one of two ways.  Both paths crossed my mind.

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Applying to Investment Banks the TNG Way

Today I will do something foolish. That’s not something out of the ordinary. Just last week I found myself taking apart my PC and vacuuming out a good two years worth of dorm room dust bunnies. But unlike risking the unsubstantiated claims of what happens when vacuum-induced static meets circuitry, today I will be exposing a delicate part of myself to a practice commonly attributed to by many to be self-confidence-suicide. Today I will begin applying to investment banks.

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Interview: FactSet (Round 2)

The Position: Consultant

After submitting my CV and cover letter to FactSet, a month passed by and I figured a WMR had gone off somewhere.  Then out of the blue, I received an email on Monday at 4:30pm asking me if I could be in London on Tuesday for an interview and assessment.  Sure, I only plan my life one day in advance.  Thankfully for them I have no life.  And I know beggars can’t be choosers but that’s cutting it quite close.  I always give extra kudos to companies who give plenty of notice.

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A Guide to Applying for Graduate Jobs

Recently I was asked by a North American friend for some advice on getting a head-start in the graduate job market.  Yeah, I asked the same question.  Why me?  Needless to say, I was flattered.  The following is based on my response.

The process is a hard one indeed.  And it’s tough getting your foot in the door.  The competition for graduates today is very different from what it was before the recession.  Back then, graduates shopped for jobs.  Now, we take what we can get.  Therefore, the bar has been set much higher.  So you have to try that much more harder to set yourself apart from the competition.

My CV and cover letter have taken many forms over the years and I’ve made countless re-edits and new drafts.  It is a continuing process, but you begin to figure out what works and what doesn’t.   But there is no real method to churning out a foolproof set that applies to every recruiter.  Each one has their own preferences for what they want to see.  Many don’t even read cover letters, however, a proportion of those won’t even look at you unless you’ve submitted one.  It’s a tough and confusing game.  But don’t fret, there are ways to stand out and get noticed.

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Fast minds in a slow world. Broke through a recession and into a career. Now what?