Joel graduated in 2010 with an MMath in Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research. He is now a Research Scientist at Qinetiq.
Did you complete an internship or other work experience whilst at university? Did your internship or work experience lead directly on to a graduate job or further work?
Yes, I completed an internship with the Shell Step program. It didn't lead directly to a graduate job but it was useful.
What has been the highlight of your graduate job so far and your biggest achievement within the role?
Doing complex research in mathematics, I have attended some conferences as a company representative and got to collaborate with University of York and Cambridge researchers and supervisors.
What advice would you give to students who are applying to graduate level jobs and what skills and experience do you think are necessary to be successful in such an application?
Firstly, concentrate on your degree, getting a 2.1 or higher is vital. Get work experience in your chosen field as early as possible and as often as possible. Get involved with something somewhat related to what you wish to do. For example, if you wish to be a programmer, try and get involved in an open source project or even start one.
Applying to a graduate scheme can be a daunting task for an undergraduate. Can you tell us about your experience of the application process and is there any advice you can offer on being successful at each of the various stages of recruitment?
My application process involved a telephone interview and an assessment day. Key things to do in preparation are as follows:
Research the questions they have asked in previous interviews and in their competitors interviews (usually found online) and prepare answers in advanced. Don't have to be recited verbatim for each one but know which examples you are going to give and how you are going to evidence each point.
Make sure you practise numerical and reasoning tests online. When you do the actual test, don't panic if you don't finish it completely, just make sure that what you have answered is correct.