How did you get a job in a start up?
Luck (and good timing). I never set out to get a job in a start up and quite frankly a few years ago I didn’t even know what one was. I had always worked in retail or sales jobs, as it was easy, fairly decent pay and all that seemed to be available in the small town that I lived in.
I was approaching the time of starting my second year of university and I knew that I wanted a part time job alongside my studies. Several months before returning to university I had set up my own small business, I enjoyed the experience thoroughly and made the decision to work in a small company to gain as much experience as possible of what it is like to run a firm successfully.
I set out to look for jobs in the Shoreditch area and came across a HR role through my university’s job portal. That summer I had spent a lot of time with my careers service to make my CV top notch (thank you QMUL). At the same time I had started applications for 2nd year internships with the likes of JP Morgan, KPMG and the rest of the corporates you seem to be told as a student to apply to. I never really sat down to think why I was applying to these companies; I guess it was just to go down the route that everyone else seemed to be going on.
I made an application to the HR role and was invited to an interview with the founder. I made a special trip to London and was pretty impressed once I arrived to the offices just off Old Street. The interview was completely different to anything I’ve had before. It was long, tough, grilling and really tested my capabilities and expertise. I was never daunted and felt at ease with the interviewer. I was offered a position and starting working one day a week as a HR coordinator.
The most surprising thing for me was that I was allowed to be involved in other areas that were outside of my job role. This seemed strange at the time but it wasn’t something to complain about. Whilst I was recruiting for graduates for the company, at the same time I could be testing and giving feedback on apps, maintaining the social media of the company and even helping out on the finances. Within a few months I had realised that I really enjoyed working in a start up so I went on a search for an internship with a start up for my second year internship (I completely scrapped the idea of working for a corporate). I landed an internship working in Ireland for a PR and events company- More on this in my next blog 🙂