Degree: Information Systems, University of Greenwich
Year of graduation: 2006
Occupation: Technical Graduate at Reuters
What do you do in your job?
On the Reuters graduate scheme, you get to do two main placements of 10 to 12 months each, with an interim placement of four to six weeks. I am on my first placement, which is a project manager and project co-ordinator role. I am working with a new Beijing development centre, overseeing the training of some of our applications to staff in Beijing. The project co-ordinator side involves planning, sorting out the logistics for trips, and making general arrangements. On the project-management side, I create project plans and schedules, oversee the training for the teams when they are in London, and make sure we have the resources in London to carry out the training. The role involves a lot of liaising with the teams to make sure going things are going according to plan, and also reporting back to managers on the progress of the project.
What was your motivation in applying?
I knew I wanted to get on a graduate scheme. I initially looked at the financial industry, because it dictates a high level of quality from its IT. Reuters quickly became one of my obvious choices. After the application process I got a great impression of the company. The staff who were there were really nice, and what I’d heard about the scheme gave off such a good impression that it became one of my top choices.
What did the application process involve?
First, you send in your CV, and then you answer a set of questions online. The deadline is December of the year before you want to start. One of the things I liked was that Reuters didn’t drag out the application process too long. Then you attend a big assessment centre that lasts for a day. At this, we had to do group exercises, an interview, a presentation, and some tests.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I am working with the Beijing team and it’s a fantastic opportunity to network and get contacts in different areas of the world. Seeing the way they train is remarkable. The cultures can be so different in their learning styles. The graduate scheme overall is good for networking, and that is encouraged from an early stage. Everyone I’ve come across is so willing to help and friendly. Also, the training is fantastic; we have done courses including soft skills and product skills.
Most challenging part of your job?
The UK teams I am working with have other job roles too, so we are always trying to negotiate with their time and making sure they are committed to the project. Also, the difference in learning styles between the London and Beijing teams, although it’s interesting, can be difficult to deal with. Getting around these differences can be quite a challenge.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field:
Get a head start – the early bird really does catch the worm. This is especially true for big companies. If you want to get on a graduate scheme, you can’t wait until you get exams out of the way. Also, assessment centres can be nerve-racking and they don’t always make it easy for you, although at Reuters I found that everybody did their best to help you through the assessment process. I would advise getting as much practice at interviews, tests and so on as you can.