Eleanor Davidson - Communications Marketing Assistant
I came into the programme having completed my degree in Fashion Communication and Promotion. I had always had it in my head that I wanted to work in fashion but after three years of studying, I concluded that like many graduates, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. What I did know however, was that I’d fallen in love with Nottingham and I wanted to stay in the city. In my final year, I spent a lot of time worrying about securing a job post-graduation so you can only imagine my excitement when I found out about the opportunities available on the Graduate Development Programme.
The application process was challenging and there were several stages to pass through before securing an interview. From the first moment I engaged with the grad programme, I was learning new, ‘real-world’ skills that I will carry with me through the rest of my career. Before being selected for an interview, we were presented with a creative challenge that allowed me to play to my strengths and make use of specific skills I’d gained from my degree. I found having a creative task to complete made the whole process a lot more fun and less nerve-wrecking.
One of my favourite things about being on the Graduate Development Programme is the workshops that we get access to. I think one of the biggest challenges after graduating is transitioning from university into a work environment and the workshops really help to bridge that gap. At the same time, I am given a lot of responsibility within my role and opportunities to try new things, so I feel like I’m constantly learning, which is exactly what you want from your first job. I have even managed to gain some experience in other departments such as social media, which has broadened my skillset and will help me when applying for other jobs in the future.
Entering this new role during a global pandemic has brought with it its own set of unique challenges, the biggest one being working from home. Trying to build relationships with colleagues and learning how to use new systems and processes from home took some getting used to but you soon learn to appreciate the benefits of working remotely and everyone is always just a message away if you need any help. In a sense, I feel that participating in the Graduate Development Programme during the COVID-19 pandemic has made me even more resilient than I may otherwise have been under ‘normal’ circumstances. Moving forwards, I am very excited to see what the rest of my time at NTU has in store for me and what I’ll move on to after the Graduate Development Programme.