Michael Bailey, Business Intelligence Manager, Bron Afon Housing

Why did you decide to get involved with the CCR Graduate Scheme?

There were a few main reasons we looked at the graduate scheme.. The first being cost, as with everything at the moment we are looking for ways keep costs down so we can spend money where it is needed. Using the CCR graduate scheme over traditional recruiters was one way we could do that and still end up with a fantastic candidate. We also wanted greater access to market, the CCR was able to engage and leverage their contact to attract recent graduates from Cardiff University, University of South Wales and the OU.

Why should other businesses consider taking on a graduate through the CCR Graduate Scheme?

The main reason to hire a graduates is that they haven’t been ‘round the block’ in my experience as long as you are willing to invest the time a graduate can be easy to shape into what you need. They become embedded in your organisations culture and do not have to unlearn and bad habits or ‘old ways’ of doing things. A lot of graduate have covered business skills as part of their course and are eager to apply the skills they have to a ‘real world’ business, this is fantastic for the graduate as they get to learn but you as the employee also benefit from new perspectives and up-to-date specialist or technical skills that are being taught in university. The other benefit is that many will be comfortable with the latest technology and will be able to offer further ROI or cost savings as they can apply to ease with technology by applying automation where it previously wasn’t thought possible.

Future planning is also somewhere, a well-trained and happy graduate can often stay in an organisation for year, soaking up all the subject matter knowledge and have the potential to become an active leader of your organisation in the years to come.

Do you have any advice for recent graduates looking to secure their first job?

My advice to recent graduates looking to secure their first job would be to remember that not everyone has the same journey, while your friends and other members of your cohort may walk into their ‘dream job’ comparing yourself to them will only cause additional angst and stress. Its ok to make mistakes, its ok to quit jobs that don’t make you happy and don’t push you forward.

Make a good first impression, this is so important. Ask your potential employer what their dress code is, even if the interview is via Zoom or Teams. Ask them what technologies they are using and spend some time looking up how those technologies can be used in their sector.

When you do nail that job remember that your team mates and managers are human and (should) also be learning. It’s ok to ask them to go over the process or piece of work again. Tell them when you don’t understand, it will often help them as much as you.

Now more than ever it’s important to look after your health, both physical and mental and in my experience go hand-in-hand. Go for that run or cycle, try lots of healthy activities, find what works for you and something you enjoy. You will thank yourself in 10 years’ time!

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