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Graduating in 2017? Take a look at what last year’s grads are up to now

Helen Jackson
Campaigns Executive

It’s been one year since 2016 graduates threw their mortar boards into the air and waved goodbye to the bubble that is university to embark upon life in “the real world”.

But what have they been up to since?

We’ve spoken to 5 grads who finished their degrees last year and are now working in roles up and down the country.

If you’re a 2017 graduate, it’s definitely worth a read - it may help you find the answer to that dreaded question: "what’s next?"


1. Josie studied History at the University of Exeter 

Now, she’s a Recruitment Consultant at Harvey Nash

Josie left the South West to find a position in London – a move that she felt was always on the cards, having grown up near-by. However, while she had an idea of where she wanted to be, she wasn’t certain about what career to pursue:

“When I was in third year, I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do after university,” she remembered. “I knew I wanted to work with people, I wanted to work with clients and I wanted to work in a sociable job.”

After carefully considering what career would allow her to achieve this, she landed on Recruitment and successfully applied to join global agency Harvey Nash’s London branch – one of their 40+ international offices – in July 2016. Since then, she’s been enjoying life as a grad:

“I really liked being a student and I enjoyed the lifestyle but… now I have money to travel, see places I always wanted to go… and I really enjoy my career.”



2. Tom studied Psychology at the University of Warwick 

Now, he’s a Programmatic Display Account Manager at Merkle-Periscopix

A talent for stats and an interest in Digital Marketing not only encouraged Tom to pursue a career at Merkle-Periscopix, but also helped to impress the award-winning agency during his interview:

“I think I got the job because of a keenness to work with big data, as I showed in the modules I took at university. I was also really keen to specialise in this area of Marketing, which I showed in my research before applying to the role.”

Since starting, he’s put his skills to good use designing and implementing online campaigns for a range of clients. After completing his comprehensive training – which taught him all there is to know about this rapidly growing sphere – he now spends his days devising strategies for campaigns, analysing performance data and optimising them, and then reporting back to clients on their success.

However, it’s not only the work that has been keeping him busy:

“[Merkle] have a high focus on hiring graduates, which makes it a really fun place to work every day. There’s always something new going on and lots of social events.”

You too could experience everything that this young and dynamic team has to offer – they’re looking for grads with a 2:1 or above, strong numerical skills and a knack for communication to join their expanding Programmatic team. Expect a starting salary of up to £25,000, great working hours and other perks such as an onsite auditorium for film screenings, office yoga classes every Thursday and regular social trips out.



3. Zanzi studied International Business Management and Spanish at Lancaster University 

Now, she’s a Client Associate at Threefold, part of Shopper Media Group

When graduation came Zanzi was living in Madrid, having studied Spanish as part of her degree. However, she knew she wanted to start her career in the UK, as well as follow a creative route:

“As my degree was in International Business Management, it covered quite a different range of modules… But I was always more interested in the Marketing aspects and more creative side of things,” she reflected.

It was this ambition that led her to apply for Marketing agencies across the UK – with her first priority being finding a role that suited her, rather than a location that did: “I was actually open to moving anywhere in the UK,” she said.

However, after attending a Shopper Media Group assessment centre and later being offered a role in their Manchester start-up company, Threefold, her decision was made: “I knew that’s where I wanted to be,” she recalled. She started with them in January 2017 and has spent her first few months getting to grips with her new role:

“As Threefold is a start-up, there’s been a lot of new processes, but I’ve had a lot of training along the way and it’s been a great learning experience so far.”



4. Emma studied Business and International Management at Northumbria University

Now, she’s a Recruitment Consultant at Maxxima

Unlike many of us, Emma knew from early on in her uni life what she wanted to do once it was all over – work in Recruitment.

“I had some friends and family in Recruitment, and I always thought that would be a good option for me,” she shared. In fact, she was already working with London-based specialists Maxxima before she graduated in July 2016, having impressed them at an assessment day in January, she secured a position and started in June.

Yet, she’s found starting work fresh out of uni easy, because of the culture Maxxima has cultivated in its Shoreditch offices:

“I found my transition from university to Maxxima really easy. It’s a really chilled out office, we’re all allowed to work when we want and everyone has [taken] the same graduate route, so is really supportive and gets on really well.”

If you fancy following in Emma’s footsteps, you’re in luck: Maxxima is recruiting right now. As their Trainee Recruitment Consultant, you can expect plenty of support to build your professional network within their area of expertise: Health and Social Care. There’s plenty to get involved in outside of the office too – open mic nights, football tournaments and team dinners in central London are all regular occurrences. Plus, thanks to on-target earnings set to double your £20,000 starting salary, you’ll be free to live grad life in the capital to the full.



5. Jack studied Geography at Durham University 

Now, he’s a Graduate Consultant at IFS

Since bidding farewell to the North East last summer, Jack has been working with international consultancy, IFS, where he has learnt a lot about the world of commerce – something he never had the chance to do while he was a student:

“My degree, which was Physical Geography, was not a degree that gave me a huge amount of business understanding or knowledge,” he said. “[Now] I've begun to see how a business can actually function efficiently.”

However, his first year on this 18 to 24-month training scheme has not just expanded his expertise within this area; it’s enabled him to broaden his cultural horizons too:

“We had five weeks in Sri Lanka, where we got thrown right into [learning] the software,” he revealed. “But it isn’t all work – you do get the evenings and weekends to yourselves, so get a unique opportunity to see a beautiful country.”

Since returning, Jack has continued to develop his skills in order to become a fully-fledged Consultant. Once he is, he’ll advise customers about IFS’ leading business software, which is supplied to over 1 million users in the UK, Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. It’s a responsibility that he feels fully prepared to take on, thanks to the expert guidance he’s had so far:

“The IFS Mentoring scheme means you’re paired with a senior consultant, who is a good port of call for any issues with the software or as a consultant,” he explained.