The Venture Graduate Career Journey

Mathew Hinder, Business Support, Taff Housing Association.

The Venture Graduate Programme is more than ‘just’ an expert recruitment service, matching graduates with the role and employer that’s ‘right’ for them.

We’re a career partner for our graduates (and their employers) – a team you can trust to advise, help and support you on your journey, whether you’re a graduate looking for the right role, or an employer looking to recruit the best talent.

That journey is structured around our unique Career Accelerator Programme – which is aligned to the graduate’s current skillset, their job and their employer’s training – providing both the immediate upskilling they need and the future skills required for sustainable success.

The result? A positive recruitment and development journey for everyone involved, as we discovered when we spoke to Mathew Hinder, a Venture Graduate enjoying his role and career progression as Graduate Business Support with Taff Housing Association …  

“I’ve learnt a lot and developed quickly, working in areas that really matter.”

I started my role at Taff Housing Association in February 2022, with the initial few months focused on an external data protection and cyber security audit. That meant I had to learn a lot – and quickly –  researching laws and regulations such as GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018, reviewing current policies and undertaking internal information gathering.

Within a short space of time, I became responsible for collecting critical information from Data Protection Impact Assessments and Third-Party Questionnaires – data that’s vital for cyber security, GDPR training and the internal Systems Register – and my work has seen me receive a green rating in the audit.

Since then, I have conducted work in a wide variety of areas – from governance, legal and regulatory compliance, and project management, to health and safety, business performance, general admin and much more. I have now worked in all departments of the organisation, liaising with colleagues at all levels.”

“The support and encouragement has really boosted my confidence.”

“It’s been a really enjoyable experience. Everyone has been very welcoming and encouraging, which has helped me quickly settle into the new role. The support I’ve received has allowed me to learn a lot about the industry and gain knowledge across the various areas of the organisation. Playing a key role in an external audit as soon as joining, and then becoming responsible for numerous business activities, has really boosted my confidence. The trust and belief shown in me by my line manager has meant that I’ve felt like a valued member of the team from day one.”

“The variety of the role really excites me”

“The variety of the work makes the role exciting. I’ve worked across all areas of the operation and that’s given me a greater understanding of the different functions of the organisation, and the depth of the industry. I enjoy the flexibility, autonomy and responsibility and that’s allowed me to develop my skills and knowledge in numerous areas – giving me an umbrella view of the organisation which I can use to link different areas of work together.

“What’s been the most challenging part of my role so far? Having the confidence to make decisions when working with more senior members of the team. Being ‘new’ and inexperienced can be daunting, but fortunately, the relaxed atmosphere and flat structure of the organisation has made this a lot easier to settle in.

“Working in new areas such as cyber security or regulatory compliance has also been a challenge – especially when working with people who are vastly experienced in these fields – but that’s been made easier by having the time to research and learn, as well as being able to ask questions whenever I want.”

The 3 Big Takeaways from Mathew …

Mathew is clearly relishing his role and quickly developing his career – and kindly answered three big questions to help other graduates who are starting their journey:  

What have you learnt about yourself?

“The most surprising thing I’ve learnt about myself is the satisfaction I get from taking responsibility for large and important areas of work. What initially felt like pressure or a challenge has grown into a confidence to take ownership of key responsibilities. It’s meant that I’ve been able to take a real pride in the standard of the work delivered; and inspired me to develop knowledge in new areas such as cyber security and data protection. It’s great to know that this has proven to be a valuable asset to the organisation, as I’ve used this information to help many colleagues in modernising their work.”

What advice would you give other graduates looking for employment?

“The best advice I would give is to be patient. Some application processes can be lengthy and you’re not going to be successful with every application. This may be frustrating and disappointing but it’s important to remember there will be plenty more opportunities. Talking to others who have been through the process is another piece of advice I would give. This will allow you to plan for what can be a challenging process – and also understand why it takes longer for some people to find the right match and be successful.”

Would you recommend Venture Graduates to others?

“Absolutely! Venture offers a wide range of jobs across all industries, to people from any background. The application process is user-friendly and geared to your success – including a variety of interview methods which give you the chance to showcase your strengths, knowledge, and experiences. Venture’s Career Accelerator Programme is a great opportunity to not only expand your skills and knowledge, but also to meet other graduates who are in the same situation as yourself. You feel part of a supportive network, and that really makes a difference.”

The final words go to Sarah Cole, Taff Housing’s Executive Director of Business & Finance, who’s been delighted by Mathew’s progress as a valued member of the team:

“It’s been such a positive experience for everyone. Venture understood the qualities we were looking for in a candidate and provided a very good selection of potential graduates to interview. Mathew’s progress says it all, really – with the updated format of the training programme working well for our requirements and Mathew’s needs. We’re now looking for more graduate recruits – and would definitely recommend the Venture service to anyone looking for support with their graduate recruitment.”  

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