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Advice from an NBS Graduate of Global Distinction

There is a harsh reality for graduates and interns today eagerly looking to advertise themselves to graduate employers. Demand for business-related roles is high, and it can be an incredibly tough challenge to stand out amongst the competitive talent pool on offer to companies, along with balancing studies and a social life!


The aim of this blog is to address how to differentiate yourself from the competition, with advice from an NBS Graduate of Global Distinction and Grant Thornton Chartered Accountant Pete Waterman.


Having attended networking events at UEA such as employability week, we were interested to find out what impress’s employers about candidates, and Pete kindly provided our team with helpful insights of the employers’ perspective when recruiting, along with some valuable advice for current NBS students aiming to kickstart their career!


We asked Pete “What student qualities stand out to you when attending career events at UEA?”

How can you truly make a good impression to employers at these events? And how can you utilise them to help figure out what to pursue?


Come prepared and engage


Before attending the events make sure you’ve done background research and be punctual. Think from the perspective from the employer, getting into these good habits are key. You would never turn up to a client meeting without proper preparation!

It gives a positive impression when you are sat at the front, engaging and taking notes and being able to process information when listening to a talk as opposed to sitting at the back, disengaged.


Networking Agenda


When you have specific questions and a clear ambition, knowing what you want and the ability to pinpoint certain areas of background that taught you relevant skills.

It is okay to not have a clear idea as to what you want to do, figuring this out is very challenging and takes time! But it is important to take any opportunities that might give you the insight you need in order to get there, and events at employability week are a great place to start!


“Curiosity and appetite to learn are crucial and what we and other employers look for”


“What advice would you give to current NBS students seeking employment?”


Understand yourself and what you want


You need to understand and consider the culture you want to work within. What are the progression routes? What drives you? What is the best way for your employer to get the best out of you?


“What is your carrot on the end of the stick?”


Consider how you can get the most out of university


People often underestimate the transition into employment, but university is a great starting point for developing skills needed. The main thing here about is self-awareness. Being able to understand yourself as well as areas that you know need improvement and can work on makes you very attractive to employers.


“Have a think about how to create and take advantage of opportunities to develop. When you step outside of your comfort zone and feel yourself growing, that’s a brilliant example to talk about in an interview and shows employers a lot about your character and the growth mindset you have”


We’re lucky to have plenty of opportunities at UEA that enable you to develop not only your skills but your character. Whether you’re unsure of what career you want to pursue, or you’re chasing a set goal, utilising these resources proactively and going beyond your degree can truly set you on the right path (we will talk about this in our next blog!). Remember, we pay a lot of money for these opportunities, it’s important that we make the most of it!



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