Author Archives: Serenna

Excited or Stressed?

In a meeting with my Professional Development Manager this week, I was reflecting on my year. She asked the question, ‘Now that you’ve been here, are you more or less excited or more or less stressed when you consider finishing University?’

Hmmmmm.

I think back to securing my placement. Stressful. For the fear of being sent to the last place on Earth you wanted to be, doing the worst job you could imagine, you just HAD to find a placement. Whilst keeping on top of everything else of course. So when you spend 3 days writing an application, submit it and receive an automatically generated email within 2 minutes of pressing the button, your heart kind of sinks. Especially knowing, you’ve got to go through it all over again.

stressed

Will looking for a grad job be exactly the same?

I was having coffee with my Mum and I was talking about some options I was considering for when I complete my degree. She exclaimed, ‘Isn’t this just so exciting?!’ The idea of just starting out, with so many paths in front of you made my mum green with envy. ‘You have the chance to do exactly what you want to.’

Is she right? So why don’t we feel excited?

Maybe we’ve become cynical; because there’s so much competition we’ll never get a job and we’ll be paying off out student loans forever, and we’ll never be able to afford to buy a house…

These are statements I hear a lot. I blame the media. However, none of them are fundamentally true. I’ve come to thinking that I got here didn’t I? Why would a grad job be any different? In fact, I’m in a better position than I was before with a year’s industrial work experience under my belt and a number of people I could turn to for advice or support. I also have a much clearer idea of what it is I want.

So actually, although placement/job hunting can be a stressful experience, let’s start getting excited! There really is so much to look forward to.

excited-face

Love Serenna xxx

My job has taught me to travel

Before my placement, most people would have considered me as one of those career driven types. I had researched many of the top companies and developed an extensive CV to market myself. I always thought, I’ll secure my degree, get a good grad job and then I’ll be flying! Then I started at IBM.

It’s not that I’m any less ambitious now about the career that I want, but maybe I want a different career. Or maybe it’s just not been a good week.

For the first time in my life I have been earning money that has allowed me to travel. In December, I went to Bali and the Gili Islands for 2 weeks, last month I was in Dublin, next week I will be in New York. In April its Paris and in May, Santander. I’m having a break then (as I have no more holiday allowance left!) and then in September it’ll be a flight to Turkey. I have the bug.

The temple that floats in the sea once the tide comes in!

Pulling a pint in the Guiness Storehouse, Dublin Kecak dance performance in Ubud Watching the sun go down on Gili Trawangan Seminyak Beach Kilmainham Gaol

When I say my job has taught me to travel, I do not mean travelling through my work. Let me explain why. In IBM, one of the largest divisions is GBS (the Global Business Services). To you and I, that’s the consultants who spend 4 to 5 nights a week away from home. I speak to many graduates who join GBS a few months after their inductions. The typical story goes a bit like this…

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January is a funny time.

I am in the second week back after Christmas (I say back; not back to work as such as I hadn’t taken any holiday after Christmas, but back in the office. Trust me, it’s a big difference) and it feels weird.

Nearly 7 months into my placement and I’m pretty comfortable with my job role. I was so consistently busy when I started that I had to learn fast. And I learned A LOT. Strangely, the most important things I’ve learned have never been those I would have expected (more to come on this in another blog!)

However, now that onboarding graduates into IBM has become second nature it’s become hard not to get complacent. Plus, complacency nearly always equals boredom and I refuse to be bored. Thank goodness then for end of year reviews (I know, I can’t believe I’m saying this either!), but seriously a formal review process forces you to reflect on your experiences. By reflecting on them you can learn from them and then plan ahead for the future. Not only that, my manager wanted the chance to give me personal feedback from all my colleagues and let me know that my work is appreciated. Like being back at school, who can deny that they enjoy receiving a gold star to show their parents?!

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