It�s a scary prospect graduating from university. You�ve spent the majority of your life, 15 years + in full time education and now comes the hard part � job hunting. A lot of graduates we have spoken to want to take a different route to the degree course they chose at 17 and it can be confusing to know which career path to take. Before they go into the profession they have trained for or the one they have decided they actually want to be in, they will still need the money to keep themselves working so they can pay bills. Searching classifieds such as LeoList can help them find that temporary job or even a job that they decide to stay in! It is always best to look.

Kate joined us on our first grad scheme with a completely unrelated degree and a great resume helped by looking at this site, and has learned so much in her time with us, quickly becoming a valuable member of the team. She was recently approached by her university for feedback on her choices after leaving uni; here she shares with us her tips on how to find the career you are looking for if you are still in the dark.

Name: Kate Hall

Degree: Zoology

�When I was at university I expected to go into a career associated with my degree subject. However, after doing work experience in various fields to do with Zoology I started to realise that, while I still loved the subject, I didn�t enjoy the types of work available.

Apart from biology, my other strong subject at school was Maths, and I had thought about doing a degree in Maths, or in Finance. So when I decided a career in Zoology wasn�t for me, I went back to that option.

I wasn�t aware of Paraplanning until I applied for the role at Para-Sols. Having looked at the job description and carried out a bit of research on Paraplanning (a relatively new role which involves working closely with Financial Planners), I thought it was a good match for my transferable skill set, and looked like a job I could enjoy.

Now I�m in the job I like the variety � no two cases are the same. I�ve also enjoyed learning a new subject from scratch, and progressing in terms of my professional qualifications.�

My tips:

  • Don�t be put off if you don�t have prior knowledge of a sector, like finance, in my case. If your general skillset is good, then give it a try!
  • Explore the various options for careers in the sector you�re interested in – you might discover a job you never knew existed that is actually a perfect fit for you, which is what happened to me!
  • Be open-minded and don’t be afraid to try new things – it’s the only way to discover the right career path for you.
  • Some students who are still undecided in college may turn to sites like collegepaperworld to help them with essays, research papers, dissertations, and other academic papers. If you are finding that you can’t grasp the curriculum, this could help you.

We have recently welcomed another wave of graduates in to the Para-Sols team and couldn’t be happier to have them on board. It’s a lot of fun going through the whole recruitment process with them, and finding people who have a genuine interest in Paraplanning and the wider Financial Services industry.

It’s not always easy though to figure out the best way to interview someone who is fresh from university and is likely to have little or no work experience. So what’s the best way to assess those candidates and work out who you want to hire? Well, rather than a standard interview where candidates limited practical experience will impact on the effectiveness of this structure, we instead select our graduates based on an assessment day. From initial CVs and covering letters, we shortlisted candidates down to 10, and invited them along to spend the day with us and used a variety of methods to assess them. Here’s how we broke it down and why it has worked for us.

Numerical and literacy tests – Everyone can use spell check on a CV and covering letter, but being a good Paraplanner requires that extra eye for detail and accuracy. The tests we used weren’t long rambling exams, but just enough to make you think and identify those with great attention to detail.
One on One interviews – It was still essential to have some one on one time with candidates; we used this to find out their motivations and career aspirations and what they had learnt so far through university and part time employment that they thought would make them tip-top Paraplanners.
Variety of team building exercises – This is really one of the more interesting parts of the day, where we split the candidates up into small teams and give them problem solving and research tasks to work on together. By observing in this way, it can tell you so much about who’s proactive, who is a natural leader, and who really engages in the task at hand. It also highlights candidates that work well in a team and really listen to other people’s point of view and be objective in their response.

By looking at the results of all these elements together, you get a great picture of who is going to be the right man / woman for the job! By the end of the day candidates are really relaxed and you get a feel for personality too – which is hard to gauge in an interview only setting. Being a small business ultimately we also want people who will just fit in well with our vibe!

We used the same process last year when we recruited Kate and Simon who have done amazingly well ever since. We’ll report back on the progress of the new graduates over the coming months.

This edition of Meet the Team features Kim Binks, our Client Relationship Manager.

Kim spends her time supporting our existing firms, making sure they’re getting the most out of the service, as well as managing new firms that come on board and ensuring the process run smoothly. Here you can find out a little bit more about her…..

Favourite Album…

Definitely Maybe – Oasis

Favourite Film…

Forrest Gump

If you were a chocolate bar what would you be…

Reeces pieces

Your ultimate holiday destination…

South America

If you could have one superpower what would it be…

Time travel

My team would describe me as….

A technophobe

What would your last meal be…

Lamb Sunday Dinner

If you were stranded on a desert island what 1 item would you take…

Mosquito repelant

Favourite word…

Spurious

Most hated word…

Hashtag

Favourite Actor…

Leonardo DiCaprio

Favourite Book…

Any of the Harry Potters

Favourite Emoji…

?

Life Motto…

In the end we regret the chances we didn’t take

Our recent birthday celebrations saw the team take part in go karting (in the rain!) and the boys dominated the podium.. the girls are still the Pictionary champions though!

Jo award

Jo recently won the Best Paraplanner category at the 2016 Money Marketing awards. She fought off a lot of competition to be crowned Best Paraplanner in the UK and got to celebrate at a glitzy, black tie event in London.