My name is James, I am 23 and I have recently finished my degree in marketing at Sheffield Hallam University.
After returning to the Isle of Man, I was able to find a job quickly as a graduate, but it wasn’t quite in my desired field so I decided to take part in the Department of Enterprise's Graduate Employability Scheme to expand my knowledge of broader aspects of how a business operates, and simultaneously enhance my employability.
Having completed the course, I now find that I can draw upon the experiences and knowledge I gained on the Programme and can reference learning from the course during interviews, demonstrating my wider understanding of the different areas of business.
It looks great on my CV and has helped me build the confidence I needed as I moved from studying at university, into the world of full-time work.
Week one, day one and two
Day one was about breaking us into what the course was about. We began with an exercise that simplified how a business operates and all the aspects that need to work together.
Throughout the first two days, we discussed and assessed how business processes could be improved and what could be holding a business back. The hands-on exercises really helped me understand what it would be like overseeing different departments and illustrated how cohesion and continuous improvement between departments is critical to an organisation’s output.
Week one, day three and four
The third and fourth days covered marketing, in the sense that we explored the concept of customer value, digital marketing, website design and SEO.
Personally, I enjoyed these a lot because I’m looking to secure a role within a marketing team, but it is an interesting topic regardless of career path. We also had an afternoon improving Microsoft Excel skills where I learned so much that will definitely come in handy in the workplace.
Week one, day five
On the fifth day, and end to the first week, we covered Accounting and Bookkeeping principles, which was a tough topic but I’m glad it was a part of the course as it helped me understand more about the different aspects of a working environment.
Week two, day one
Week two was a change of pace and a change of topics as it was based around personal development and employability.
The first day consisted of understanding personal effectiveness and managing performance. This topic was really insightful and allowed me to assess and align how I work as an individual and what impacts my productivity. I find myself taking so much from what I learned this day and applying it to my own routine day to day.
Week two, day two
The seventh day of the course consisted of someone from EPL Recruitment (a recruitment agency in the Isle of Man) coming in and talking to us about interview skills, career advice and guidance regarding how to get a job. It was really interesting to hear what someone from the recruitment industry had to say and I gained specific advice based on my current position.
Week two, day three
Communication was the main topic of day eight. We discussed and adapted our LinkedIn profiles, had a session learning about the importance and nature of reports and presentations in the workplace. We also had a session based on persuasion and negotiation.
I found this day particularly interesting as it illustrated how we could apply what we were learning to situations inside or outside of an organisation.
Week two, day four
On the ninth day of the training course we addressed conflict in the workplace which really highlighted how conflict isn’t just what you think it is at face value, it’s often deep seeded and rarely arises until the situation worsens. We learned about the origins of different types of conflict and how we could combat such instances in all sorts of scenarios.
The afternoon of this day was dedicated to our mock interviews with some of the Island’s recruitment agencies. As much as I get nervous about interviews, I found this to be one of the best things the course provided. The agency held the interview for 20 minutes and then went through each aspect of it with me afterward to highlight what I did well, and offer constructive improvement points for my interview technique. They also covered an array of other things I should expect when attending real interviews in the future.
Week two, day five
The final day was based on project management and was one of my favorite topics covered throughout the fortnight. This topic consisted of what processes are required when carrying out projects but also all the factors that need addressing for the project to be a success. We discussed and analysed real-world examples; the good and the bad, and it showed us how what we were discussing would be brought into reality.
The Graduate Employability Training Programme offers a free opportunity of graduates to enhance their employability through a two-week training course, and the opportunity to meet like-minded grads who are choosing the Isle of Man as the place to start their career.
To find out more about the Graduate Employability Training Programme and register your interest for the next course, click here.