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Oliver Reynolds

Oliver Reynolds

Tell us a bit about your career story and how you gained your first graduate role.

I interviewed for jobs in Barcelona remotely while in the last few months of my Economics degree at Warwick. I remember searching on a lot of different job posting platforms, as well as getting in touch with recruitment firms based in Barcelona.

I prepped intensely for the interviews, writing and memorising answers to questions I thought I may be asked and doing lots of mock interviews with my parents. I found that recording myself doing the mock interviews, and then going back over the recordings afterwards, was a good way of examining not only the content of the answers I gave but also my body language.

What did you do to enhance your CV and gain experience during your studies?

I got involved in university societies; I was treasurer of the Latin American society in my second year. In the summer of the second year I did an internship (also in Barcelona).

How did you find your first graduate level role and how many jobs did you apply for before you received your first offer?

My first graduate level role, the one I moved to Barcelona for, turned out not to be a good fit for me. I imagine lots of people may have similar experiences. However, the experience taught me a lot about myself as a person, how I worked best, what I enjoyed etc. The next job I got (the one I’m in now) has been great. I applied to a few organisations before receiving the offer for the first graduate job. My approach was to invest a fair amount of time in each application (learning lots about the company, writing a personalized cover letter for each position, prepping a lot for the interview etc.), rather than firing off lots of identical-sounding applications.

What 3 top tips would you give to students looking to find a graduate role in the UK or elsewhere in the world?

Try and do an internship in the country/city you’d like to work in before graduating, so you get an idea of whether you would actually like to live there full time. Also, having spent time in the country in the past signals to potential employers that you are serious about moving on a permanent basis.

Send a personalized cover letter with your application. Learn about the company you’re applying for, practise interview questions/mock interviews before the real thing. Also, as you will most likely be doing the interview remotely if the job is abroad, it may be harder to form a rapport with the interviewer, so it’s important that the answers to their questions are on point.

Don’t be afraid to not get it right first time. It’s pretty normal to not find your dream job straight away, but once you’ve started working and have a foot in the door, it’s a lot easier to then move on to roles better suited to you!