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P.J.

Prior to joining Making The Leap, I was a recent graduate who struggled greatly with finding a job – particularly because the pandemic had crippled the job market. I also had extreme difficulties during interviews because I suffered from a stutter. I quickly learnt that the strength of your application is irrelevant if you cannot articulate yourself well during an interview.

Like many others, I resorted to getting help from Universal Credit where my work coach eventually put me in touch with Gareth who introduced me to Making the Leap (MTL). Our meeting was insightful and helpful because he explained what MTL is and how they can help me, especially with my specific circumstances (i.e., handling pressure and interview practice).

Then, during the workshops, I got a chance to learn about and develop skills I didn’t realise I even needed help with. A key example that comes to mind is using LinkedIn effectively. Before MTL, I was fairly averse to social media as a whole, but MTL dedicated a whole session to virtual networking which taught me the value of creating (a professional online presence) connections online. This is something I will continue to learn about and develop.

On the workshop, I found that mock interview sessions were extremely helpful. One aspect of undergoing the interview process that I found to be incredibly daunting were group interviews. I was always left feeling slightly embarrassed and uncomfortable sharing my answers in front of a group of strangers – this was only exacerbated by my speaking issues. I found that constantly being in practice sessions desensitised me to nervousness and anxiety which ultimately allowed me to be more open. After this, group interviews were much easier because I started to loosen up and actually enjoy the experience. Having this attitude about the interview came across to the interviewer and I started getting really positive feedback from employers (which was very new to me!). I also got a tonne of questions in practice that came up in my real interviews.

I ended up securing a role within a financial services company I previously thought I had no chance with, which was an amazing feeling. In the future, I want to continue developing within my role and progress through the company. For anyone looking to join MTL, just do it. If you put your all into the workshops and take the plunge, you will develop and practice so many skills that are useful in your job search. I would also say take advantage of all the opportunities, especially if they seem nerve-wracking or scary because most likely, that will be the area you need the most help with. Overall, I am extremely grateful for all the help MTL gave me and I definitely recommend it to anyone struggling to find a role.

By P.J.

Some of our Fellows on a Virtual Activity with our Corporate Partners, Hedley May

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