Stress free, practical job hunting tips by LSE postgraduate student, Janet Lau, who is studying Management Information Systems and Digital Innovation (MISDI) and a Department of Management student ambassador 2022/23.
From my experience, getting a job is not easy but it is also not impossible therefore I thought I would share what I have learnt to help you maximise your chances.
1. Early failure makes you successful later – Apply early to avoid disappointment!
I know this sounds obvious, but applying early is indeed the way to success. A lot of popular graduate schemes have deadlines in late September, therefore applying for these allows you to practise more of the online tests.
Almost all companies have practice tests on their website, so make use of those!
More importantly, applying early also allows you to have a second chance. However, it is important to note that several graduate schemes have limitations on how many times you can apply every year, for instance, EY only allows one application every 6 months.
2. Leverage the career centre resources
LSE provides plenty of resources, you just need to know where to find them. Career consultants are always happy to help, whether it is a mock interview, CV clinic or pointing you to the right direction.
There are also digital tools for you to practise online tests or tailor your CV according to job descriptions, so do not miss out on them! Looking back, I wish I had started to practise online tests in early September, as once the term starts it could be tricky to find time to sharpen your knife!
3. Seize the opportunities to talk to alumni and go to work events!
LSE Careers offers plenty of events, from networking events to alumni panels. The sentence I have heard the most is: “I just work across the street, and it is lovely to be back.”
The alumni speakers I have met have been so open and enthusiastic in sharing how they secured their jobs. One of the most interesting stories is from Gabriel Moos, an alum who left Goldman Sachs for Amazon. Gabriel’s friends thought he was making the wrong move when he left his banking analyst role and switched to become a product manager, but he proved them wrong, and his transition has been rewarding. I learnt that you need to be brave to pursue your passion and don’t be afraid of change!
Alumni panels are valuable and eye-opening, and you never know what stories you might hear, who you might meet or what opportunities you might discover – Keep an eye on career events!
4. Connect and network with employers
During my office visit to Boston Consulting Group X (the digital arm of BCG) I met Rich Cobbold, their Global Director of recruitment, and he was kind enough to share his tips on connecting with people and networking.
Rich’s advice for anyone searching and applying for jobs is to compose a list of companies you want to work for and connect with their employees on LinkedIn. Ask them about their role and anything you would like to know about the company, and most importantly don’t pressure them to reply immediately. Make personal connections! Don’t be discouraged if your response rate is not high, you only need one chance to make it work!
5. Follow your heart, not the buzzword.
As a student in Department of Management, it is way too easy to get consulting fever. It seemed to me that all my peers wanted to get into consulting or had previously worked in consulting themselves. I understood that consulting is vibrant, exciting, and filled with challenges that push people to thrive in a short period of time; it is natural to think you want consulting, but do you?
While consulting is an amazing career, I have learnt that there are plenty of other amazing career paths; such as project management, business analytics and risk advisory.
Keep your options open;
- throw yourself into various career events,
- talk to people, feel their vibe, and
- ask yourself whether you click with the industry and existing employees.
Following others without asking yourself what you really want will not do you any good. Everyone is unique, and it takes time to figure out your speciality and interests. Job hunting works best when you identify your niche, nourish it, and implement it in a career you love.
Remember who you are and good luck!
Learn more about:
- Our MISDI programme
- Career support on offer throughout your time here in the Department of Management
- Get involved with our alumni, volunteering opportunities and connect with the Department of Management.
- Find out more about the organisations we work with