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Maths graduate Ben Devlin explains how the Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair helped him realise the range of careers available to him.
Queen’s graduate Ben Devlin works as a Retirement Consultant at Willis Towers Watson in Dublin. He was taken on by the firm as a graduate actuarial consultant in late 2017. He may have made the transition from university to work look easy, but the reality was lots of applications, CV and cover letter submissions and interviews.
“I secured my graduate job after applying to many different actuarial roles,” says Ben.
Asking the right questions
Ben was able to get a better understanding of the options open to him by asking the right questions at the Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair: What positions at your company would be a good option for someone with my degree? What is it like to work at your company?
“I was able to get an insight into the range of careers that are available to me as a graduate. I was able to talk to people who worked for these firms and get an insight of what it is like to work for these firms on a day to day basis,” he says.
Building up skills
Ben built up relevant work experience during his time at Queen’s.
“I participated in the London Finance and Business tour where I was able to get an experience of what it is like to work in an environment such as London. This helped me understand the roles that existed in firms in the finance industry and understand the application process. This in turn helped me prepare better for interviews and to land a summer internship the following year.”
His advice to current students? “Make the most of the opportunities available at Queen’s. It is also important to get internship or graduate applications in as early as possible in order to become more familiar with the application process,” he says.
When Queen’s graduate Rachel Murphy (nee Hill) met her employer at a Queen’s Flagship Careers Fair, it took her career off in an exciting new direction.
Like many students, History graduate Rachel Murphy (nee Hill) chose her degree subject because of her passion for the subject, rather than because she has a particular career goal in mind.
“In terms of my career, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, which made deciding on a subject to study at university quite tricky. In the end, I decided to study History as it was a subject that I loved at school and the subject which I knew I would enjoy the most. Enjoying my time at university was very important to me and this was my main motivation to study at Queen’s and to study History,” she says.
Exploring my options
While at Queen’s, Rachel was keen to explore career options and to build up valuable skills that would make her more employable after graduation. She gained work experience at PwC and built up her confidence by sitting on the Students’ Union Council.
“This was great experience and built up my confidence for going forward into the working environment,” says Rachel.
She also booked a consultation with a Careers consultant at Queen’s Careers service to get CV and interview guidance.
She started the September following her graduation, moved through the Management Programme and was promoted to Management Assistant seven months later.
“The job had various roles and responsibilities which keep me very occupied throughout the day,” she says.
For more of an insight into the Graduate Management Programme at Enterprise, watch this video:
Four year on, Rachel is Projects Officer at the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster, the largest rural youth organisation in Northern Ireland which aims to nurture and develop young people. She credits Queen’s Careers service for helping her develop the skills she needs to succeed and for giving her that crucial first employer introduction.
If, like Rachel, you are unsure what you want to do after graduation, register today for our Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair. You can meet employers who are looking to recruit graduates just like you.
But don’t take out word for it – here is what Rachel had to say:
“My advice for current students is get involved with Queen’s and all it has to offer. I would also advise to make use of the careers service as soon as possible and to really think about what their plans for after University,” she says.