Last week we had a talk from three Pearson College London Alumni, who truly demonstrated the importance of having the confidence to sell yourself, and the criticality of making the most of opportunities you are given.
The second in the series - 'An Evening With' - hosted by Vice-Principal Ben Hughes, was just as enjoyable and intriguing as the previous encounter.
Despite the panelists being at the start of their careers, it is highly impressive to see what they have already achieved and roles they currently hold in highly prestigious corporations. However, they have not achieved this by luck, all three of them evidenced how hard working they were and how they grasped every opportunity they were given.
Ben's message was significantly powerful; "Everybody says they are hard-working, but what do you have to evidence this?"
Ben, currently working at Lloyds of London, gives the example of when he emailed multiple companies in his first year asking for an internship. Ben personally went into Lloyd's of London hoping they would give him a role - when they said 'no', he did not take this as the end. Instead he put himself forward as an unpaid intern, an offer that Lloyd's could not, and did not turn down. Ben treated the 6 month internship as a vehicle to show he was hard-working, and he did possess the skills that would benefit Lloyd's of London. Ben used the internship as a prolonged interview.
Ben introduced a new method of using a database, and by the end Lloyd's offered him a part-time job, which would later become his current, full-time job. This case study explicitly shows the importance of selling yourself. Despite the high status of Ben's job, he states that the most critical aspect is to remain authentic and not to force yourself to fit into any role as you will not enjoy it, succeed or have any passion. This concept is elaborated by Ben, of Capgemini Invent.
Ben states that the industry engagement (such as internships) provided by Pearson College London are a great opportunity to get a flavour of the environment that students may be interested in operating in. Seizing as many of these opportunities as possible will put students in promising positions to fit in. This prevents loss of personality to fit in, risking loss of their personal identity and passion for the role.
Use every free period to enhance yourself - summer periods being the most crucial.
Furthermore, Ben stated the notion that in any position you should never think that you do not deserve to be there. Be brave and offer your insight in situations because people are always open to new perspectives, and you will certainly have something to offer.
Throughout the night, the three lads were humorous and demonstrated strong chemistry amongst them. This atmosphere between them has been brought about by each of them sticking to the idea of being honest, being genuine and having their own personal identity.
Sam, Carmichael Fisher, was the final member of the panel. The key message from Sam on the night was the importance of your network and your exposure.
Sam himself used his own experience of asking his University tutor out for a coffee to talk about his career aspirations. At at later date, when this tutor was asked if he knew anyone who would be interested in a role he was offering, the tutor was able to put Sam in front of him due to this previous encounter.
Referring back to Ben's message, Sam then made the most of this opportunity by demonstrating his skills and ensuring the manager was highly impressed by his work ethic. Sam was also able to see a new perspective on that environment which he could then used in other working environments. By attending these events and understanding the importance of LinkedIn, every student should be able to grow and effectively utilise their network to achieve new opportunities to enhance their credentials.
If you are unsure how to use LinkedIn, or if you believe you are not using it, to its full potential, Katie has a great blog that will help you improve your skills, as its importance can not be overseen.
Conclusively, all students should question what can they get out of Pearson College London. The answer is a lot, however a person's true potential is only achieved if they seek further opportunities to extend their knowledge and skills, as loads of students are graduating with a degree, so by being able to demonstrate real-life working examples of essential skills to employers, students will put themselves in a much better position.
All students are very appreciative for the opportunity to embrace the working and studying experiences of the panelists, who demonstrated their gratitude to Pearson College London by returning.
For more information visit the Pearson College London website: https://www.pearsoncollegelondon.ac.uk/