“Just keep motivated” – A graduate’s advice for securing a full time job

By Natalie Whitehouse

Patience and hard work are key to securing a full time job, says Shriya Pancholi; a Journalism and Media graduate who managed to get employed as a Social Media Assistant by Dunelm – without even having to go for an interview!

The 21-year-old fashion enthusiast applied for a host of jobs before securing the position at Dunelm, after already applying for a different role within the company:

“I originally applied for the role of Public Relations Assistant around August and had an interview for the role. My interviewer was very happy with the skills, qualities and experience I had but decided that I would be perfectly suited to a job in social media, and told me that if a social media vacancy ever came up, she would offer me the job.”

Shriya also notes that previous experience at the company assisted her greatly in becoming part of the Dunelm team:

“During my final year I managed to get a four week placement at Dunelm within the PR and Social Media Department. I put myself out there and looked for a placement, even though it wasn’t a requirement of my course. Because the manager and the rest of the team remembered me, she was more than happy to offer me a job.”

Experience definitely plays a major role in securing a full time job after university. As well as her placement at Dunelm, Shriya has undertaken a vast amount of work within journalism, most notably as a writer for The Demon and fashion blogger for Bonafide Supernova:

“Even if you don’t need work experience or a placement for your degree, it is really important to do it anyway,” she stresses, “I wouldn’t have the great job I have today if I didn’t put myself out there and give up some of my time – it was definitely worth it.”

Shriya Pancholi

As for her role at Dunelm, Shriya has been Social Media Assistant at the company since the end of September – after finishing traveling in the Far East, no less.

Some of her day-to-day duties include checking the social channels, liaising with the web and digital marketing team and speaking to external PR agencies, as well as being involved in projects, citing Dunelm’s recent Christmas competition as her favourite thus far.

Alongside this, Shriya also writes Dunelm’s quarterly company magazine, the Gazette, focusing on colleague information, managerial updates and financial reviews:

“I love writing the Gazette,” she adds, “Because I come from a Journalism and Media background, I love being able to merge the two in my role and it’s great to see the finished version of the Gazette once it has been printed.”

The diversity and constant changes within her role are also qualities which have made Shriya fall in love with what she does:

“I love the fact that I have something new to come in to everyday. Although I’m running the same social channels and focusing on similar content, there’s always something new that pops up. It’s really interesting learning something new every day. No two days are the same!”

But the graduate does admit she misses university life, and has a message for all current students:

“I absolutely love my job, but I do miss university. I would say to all students, make the most of your time at university, because it goes so fast! Yes, I hated the 9:00am lectures and yes I hated sitting through seminars that seemed to go on for hours, but looking back, I wouldn’t have changed it for anything.”

And Shriya also has some encouraging words for graduates who are still seeking employment:

“Even if you don’t have your dream job yet, just keep motivated, work hard and it’ll only be a matter of time before you have the career you really want.”

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