Guest blog by LSE alumna Anazia Braganza:
Upon graduating from LSE, I was fearful like many of not having a job offer already. In a slight panic I scrolled through job openings and found one that seemed relatively interesting at an advertising agency. Before I knew it I was interviewing there and had secured a graduate offer at this prestigious firm – happy ending right? The culture was great and the work at first was intriguing. However, as the months wore on, I strove to be pushed more and challenged intellectually, and whilst I had always been an ardent admirer of the organisation, working with them just wasn’t for me.
One weekend, taking a step back, I decided to really think about exactly what kind of work I wanted to do; speaking to other LSE graduates and the LSE Careers team really helped. I was able to quickly pinpoint that I actually enjoyed my degree in Accounting and Finance, even if like most my prime use of the Peacock Theatre was for naps! My genuine interest in finance and particularly valuations led me to conclude that Corporate Finance would be a better-suited career for me. Breaking into the sector was notoriously hard and I knew interviewers would question the rationale for changing from my current job. However reading and learning about the sector, and networking with my contacts in the industry really did help.
I realised, in terms of skill set there was actually a lot of overlap between my role as an advertising executive and what I wanted to do – this was something I would aim to leverage during interviews. In terms of applications, I decided to ‘cast my net’ relatively wide, as I knew the process wouldn’t be easy. In the face of rejections, I continued to stay positive and worked hard for every interview, really doing my due diligence on the specific company and tailoring my interview technique with LSE Careers. Eventually it all paid off and I got my target job! For anyone in a similar position – don’t be put off by the daunting task of applications. Work hard, stay positive, leverage your network and LSE Careers. It won’t be easy but doing all of this will really improve your chances of success.