Grad experiences: Making the leap from student to graduate

Grad experiences: Making the leap from student to graduate

Thursday, 1st of December

Guest blog from David Risley,

I studied at The University of West England, Bristol. My degree is in Business Management and I graduated in 2015. Since leaving university I have been working for a company called MVF Global. MVF is a digital marketing firm and one of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK. My role is as a Senior Business Development and Account Manager in our healthcare and finance departments, this means I am responsible for bringing in large new clients and the client management for accounts where their billing value is over 500k per year.

What is your best memory from university?

My best memory of university was in my first year in a module called business information systems management or BISM. It was by far the least popular module and also my least favorite, however one day my lecturer told me that he expected me to get a first. This was the first time I had considered that I actually could get a first and made me actually work much harder in everything I was doing. I sort of now look back on this as a defining moment in my university and now professional career. There were other great moments as well but doing those moments’ right means not remembering many of them, so we will stick with this one.

What was the hardest thing you did at university?

I would probably say my dissertation; it is a collection of everything I am bad at. I have always done well at exams and done awfully at course work that’s just the way it is, I get better results when the quality of my English or the coherence of the argument is less important and the correct content and answer to the question is more important. Thus being a dyslexic and dyspraxic person whom has always performed poorly in any sort of course work let alone a comprehensive dissertation I found this very difficult.

Did you take part in any clubs or societies?

Some of my best times at university was in different clubs. Football club took a leading role in this and I played for the university team for 3 years but I got involved in a few different ones in my team from other sports like basketball, tennis or squash, taking a role in the student union or the sci fi club. I thought it was a unique time when all this stuff is there for you to find and so readily available so I thought it was best to dive into as much as possible.

What’s the wildest night you have had during your time at university?

Doing wild nights right means not remembering much or any of them. There have been loads and it is hard to pick out any one. I’d say going hand in hand with diving into as many extracurricular activities as possible was diving into the nightlife of Bristol, university is as much about experience as it is education. Experience everything.

What’s the biggest prank you pulled on a mate?

We once filled our friends room up with cups of water. It sounds simple but it does work quite well, it is a long an arduous clean-up for them.

How did you find your placement and graduate roles?

I loved my placement and I love my graduate role if anything more. Placement was great as it was a real look into corporate life and everyone is telling you to do the same thing basically as uni, experience as much as you can, get involved and decide: is this the kind of job I want if not why not. Identify the things you like and don’t like and come the end of the year you will know where you want to go at the end of uni into your graduate job and have a years of working experience to help you get there.

Did you go to any careers events (workshops, fairs, networking etc.) at university? 

Yeah, I went to a few I think I could have gone to more but my placement year really helped me to know what I wanted to do so I felt I didn’t need career events. I may have been wrong as a lot of people thought like me and have not been quite so lucky with their graduate jobs.

What is your one top quality that you think each university student should possess?

I think each student should be curious and experimental, a running theme of this has been diving into things and getting involved and I have never been scared to do that. It helps you get a rounded view on any situation and experience to draw upon when you need it. It certainly helps me now in my graduate job and has helped me make it a real success.

This blog post was guest-written as part of our November HirEd e-zine — a handy mag full of adivce and opportunities for undergrads. Read the e-zine in full here.


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