Alexander Coates takes on an Internship at Network Marketing. Twenty year old Alexander Coates has been here at Network Marketing Towers for 2 weeks doing work experience during his summer holidays from Aberdeen University. This was never going to be a fluffy 2 weeks of kicking back and doing a bit of filing – our intention was to show him what the world of work is really like. So – how did we do? We asked Alex a few key questions:
- What are you studying and where?
I’m about to enter my third year of studying History at The University of Aberdeen
- Why have you chosen to do work experience?
In current times it’d be foolish not to. The competition for jobs open to graduates is massive. I gather that for Network Marketing Graduate Program there were 300+ applicants all fighting for 6 roles. It’s all about doing what you can to stand out to employers and improve your employability. Work experience helps me do this.
- What work experience have you done during the summer?
I previously worked at Costcutter in their HR department and I’m currently working in Network Marketing’s Leeds office
- What have you been doing?
At Costcutter I was working in the HR department gaining knowledge of what is done on a day to day basis working within a HR department. At Network Marketing I've been working within the realm of Recruitment. Learning about the systems they use and understanding how they deal with both candidates and clients to fill vacancies effectively and with the right talent. Ultimately this has given me experience of what it’s like working within an incredibly fast based environment and industry.
- Do you feel like you've made a difference to both yourself and the company? If so, how?
To myself and my own future? Definitely. I have been able to develop vital employability skills in the office, on the telephone, and dealing with clients and candidates in a professional, commercial manner. From the company perspective I can see clearly the positive impact my work has on the recruitment campaigns for the consultants and clients.
- Have you enjoyed your time at Network Marketing and if so, what have you enjoyed most?
I have really enjoyed my time here and it has been time well spent. It would be difficult saying what I enjoyed the most, perhaps lunch? With all joking aside, I have thoroughly enjoyed developing new skills I previously lacked which will help me progress as an individual and as a future employee.
- How do you think taking part in work experience will affect your employability compared to someone who hasn’t, and why?
As I stated previously, without work experience, forget about real work. Work experience is even more important than a degree, without it you’re unemployable. Even the slightest thing could help kick-start your career, whether it’s a week or a month, relevant to the career you want or not. The world of work is orientated around what you HAVE done, not what you COULD do. In short, I'm one step ahead of some of the competition, and that can only be a positive thing.
- What’s the biggest take away you have from this experience/most important thing you’ve learned?
Now that’s a really hard question. It depends on how you look at it. To me, one of the most valuable things I am going to take from this experience is overcoming the fear of telephone calls. Before I began to work I would fear ever having to call someone, especially in public, it’s extremely odd I know. A product of the 21st century can’t use a phone with confidence? That’s unheard of. So, this particular experience has been extremely important to me. Although it was hard it’s also been extremely rewarding. Before I came to work for Costcutter or Network Marketing I had been considering going out and doing a PHD in History and go into lecturing. I had it all planned out, challenge for a first class degree, apply to St Andrews and Edinburgh, get my PHD in European Medieval History or Imperial History and then see which University were looking for those types of Historians. However once I began to work, I realised there is a world outside of books. Don’t get me wrong I still have a passion for History and will always consider doing it. Yet working brought with it a new set of challenges and opened a number of new paths which interest me. The eye opening experience is one that I will take away and have to think about over the next two years, but at least I have that in mind now rather than then. In a nutshell- without this work experience my mind would have been narrow and my opportunities slim. So – what do the guys at Network Marketing think about Alex and his contribution to the business? ‘As an intern has gone above and beyond what we could have expected. In the office early, leaves late, works hard. A credit to himself and made a real contribution to our business in a very short period of time.’ Jonathan Hirst, Managing Director, Network Marketing ‘Thrown in at the deep end, Alex was working hard at finding candidates for our vacancies from day one. Many of these candidates are interviewing as we speak…not a bad result for a ‘work experience’ person. I think Alex has picked up some fantastic work-based skills which will be invaluable to him in his future career. I really admire him for giving up part of his summer break to do this and I believe it will really make a difference in the future in whatever he chooses to do. He’s also been great fun to have around and had no problem fitting into our Friday lunch ‘gang’ – celebrating with a well-deserved glass of wine after a hard week’s work – we like to teach the ‘softer’ skills too.’ Julie Storey, Director, Network Marketing. ‘Alex has been absolute pleasure to work with. He has been an excellent addition to the team and has been extremely helpful. Alex has taken on all tasks with enthusiasm and has a positive and infectious personality.’ Harjit Dlay, Associate Director, Network Marketing ‘Alex has shown enthusiasm and commitment in his first week with us. He’s a confident character and has not been shy to ask questions and learn about the recruitment process.’ Emma Thomson, Senior Consultant, The Book ‘Alex has proved to be a hard worker who gets stuck in and he’s not afraid to ask ‘intelligent’ questions. He’s very bright and witty, a great character to have around!’ Angela Hough, Consultant, The Book In short, he’s done a great job and will be missed. He’s welcome back any time.