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Graduate Profile: Laura Stockley

 

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Laura Stockley

Junior Consultant, eBiz Answers Ltd

Business Studies with Marketing, University of Chichester

    Laura Stockley 


What is it like being a graduate within the Oracle sector? 

It’s great fun. There is so much to do and so much to learn that you are always developing.


Describe a typical day

I don’t really have a typical day. Every day has been different. Mostly I just get given tasks as and when they come. I do anything from, research to blogs to data entry to testing, so it really varies and there is always something to do. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of set up on Oracle in order to get ready for some new clients and also to familiarise myself with Oracle eBTax system.


Is the job what you thought it would be?

It’s pretty much what I thought it would be. I’m only just starting out so there is a lot more to come, but so far it’s been what I’ve expected if not better. My boss Andrew has been great and really helpful, which has exceeded my expectations of this role.


Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would do differently?

If I could change anything I probably would change my degree slightly. Even though I took all the accounting modules at university, I have found that friends who actually have accounting/finance/IT in their degree title have found it easier to secure interviews, despite me  achieving a higher grade than they did. I would also probably change university. However much I loved my university and the course I did, I have found that in the graduate job world it has negatively affected my job prospects. Some graduate schemes even had it down as a university college rather than a university, which is it not. I didn’t realise when choosing universities that it would have such a big impact, apart from if you go to some of the more obvious top universities such as Oxford or Cambridge. Additionally in hindsight I would have chosen to go on placement. Due to circumstances at the time I chose not to go on a placement, and it is the one of the big things I regret. People who have been on placement have found it a lot easier to secure a job because they gained a lot of valuable experience, which has helped them in their career path or shown them that it’s not the path for them. The university didn’t really sell the placement experience, which they really should because, from what friends have fed back, it is really worth it. I don’t think I would change the route I have gone down, as for now I feel that this is right for me and is what I enjoy.


How was your job searching process? What was easy/what was hard?

Personally I found most of it quite hard. There aren’t masses of options in my  local area and I kept missing out to people with more practical experience. I found creating my CV and getting an interview was fairly easy, but the interview itself I did find a bit of a struggle. Some of them are very intense and even with lots of preparation it’s hard to fully sell yourself, especially when the position is highly competitive. Even after chasing up I received little or no feedback from interviews except for ‘someone else just had more experience’ and so I found it really hard to improve.


How did you prepare for your interview?

Before my interview I did a lot of research on the company, Oracle, tax and even scoped out employers on Linkedin. I also went and saw an advisor at the job centre who gave me helpful interview tips.


What advice would you give to graduate job seekers?

Research, research, research! Research everything from the job role to potential employers. Find out everything you can before you commit yourself to a position. You’ll find jobs advertised in the strangest of places so don’t limit yourself to just job websites.  Also ensure that you are always proactive, the job isn’t going to come to you and I think one of the reasons I got my job is because I was persistent and chased up. Don’t give up! Not everyone walks straight out of university into their ideal job. Be patient and the right thing will come along. The graduate world is highly competitive so expect a few knock backs, but don’t be disheartened it happens to everyone. My friend got turned down for a job the first time, he then reapplied when it came back up and his interview went so well they cancelled all the others and offered him the job there and then. Finding a graduate job takes a lot of patience but it’s definitely worth it!
 

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