This time last year, I was boarding a plane and leaving my university life behind in the United States of America. I had recently graduated from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, both with cum laude honours.
Moving back to the United Kingdom after four and a half years across the Atlantic was a major step, and just like every other student, I found the transition into post-student life daunting. On top of constantly reminding myself to drive on the left-hand side of the road and refraining from saying the words “cell phone” and “gas station” (which was a lot more effort than I originally anticipated), I was also building up the courage to search for my first full-time job.
The Search Begins
Like so many other recent graduates, I was thrust into the real (and certainly stressful) world of job hunting. I had made a quick decision to move to London without any job certainty and I was ready to take on the challenge of finding my first ‘real’ job.
After speaking to friends and family, I was focused on finding an active job, one that wouldn’t be the same every day. A close friend, who works for Douglas & Gordon, suggested looking into becoming a Property Negotiator. This was mainly due to the friendly work environment, my interest in property and the ability to not be sat behind a desk all day (however, I did slightly underestimate the number of flights of stairs that I would have to climb during this job!).
As a former swimmer for Great Britain and Division I collegiate athlete, I was used to working hard for something I wanted and dedicating myself to things I was passionate about, but one thing that became apparent was the vast amount of work experience needed for most jobs. Ultimately, I somewhat lacked in this department and since I had committed almost all my time to my athletic career and studies, I felt like I was at a disadvantage. I found this part of the job hunt challenging and sometimes overwhelming as most former athletes do, but I found that Douglas & Gordon really looked past this. They valued my personal skills and attributes that I had developed during my swimming and academic career, rather than simply looking at my CV.
A Year On
Looking back, Douglas & Gordon helped me transition into work life in the best way that I could have hoped for. The interview process was as stress-free as possible and I actually ended up enjoying my interview, which is a concept that I don’t think many jobseekers can relate to! In terms of preparation, D&G provided insightful training that helped me feel welcome to the industry and with the continued support even up until now, the company has helped me become a more experienced and confident Sales Negotiator.
Last, but certainly not least, one thing that really stood out to me when I joined was the D&G culture. As my first full-time job, I was concerned that I would not enjoy the workplace or would feel inexperienced, however this was not the case. Honestly, I think I was more nervous for my first day of work than I had been for some of my swimming races! D&G really went the extra mile with social events that helped us newcomers feel welcomed. Even during lockdown, there were online social events that kept us all feeling connected and ultimately helped provide a sense of community during these uncertain times, which says a lot about the company. Over these past ten months, I have made some great friends and I have learned a vast amount from my colleagues. I am very grateful that my first job experience has been such a pleasant one and I hope that everyone who has left school will have a similar experience when finding their first full time job.