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Case Study: Rebecca Drinkwater

Personal details
Degree:BSc (Hons) Zoology Profile picture
School(s): School of Biology
Year of Graduation:Jun-2014
LinkedIn:uk.linkedin.com/in/rebeccadrinkwater1
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: KBM Resourcing
Job title: Graduate Engineering Recruitment Consultant
Occupational Sector: Recruitment Consultancy
What has been your route to getting your current position?
I saw the position online, and called the office to find out more. I then applied with a CV and covering letter. Following this, I had a telephone interview with one of the directors, and was then invited to an interview with the Manager and the Director, and then an additional interview with the Manager and another company Director. The final interview stage was a taster day, where I was given the opportunity to learn about the job in action. I was given the task of attempting to fill a vacancy, and then finding work for a candidate who had been made redundant. After this I was offered the position!
What does your job involve ?
I recruit Design and Project Engineers for the Oil and Gas Industry. This involves working directly with Engineers to help them find positions, and working with clients to recruit positions they are struggling to fill. My role involves a number of different responsibilities, including marketing, advertising, and developing client relationships. I regularly conduct interviews, and meet clients in person to discuss vacancies and learn more about their companies. The role is also very sales focused, and so I make sales calls on a regular basis, either to find more vacancies or to find work for a particular candidate.
What are the best bits of your job ?
No day is the same in recruitment! You have to be ready to think on your feet, and I really enjoy the fast pace. It's also a great feeling when you find someone their ideal job, and it's particularly great when you help someone who has been made redundant, and is really struggling to find work to support their family.
Why were you successful?
While I was at St Andrews I got involved in a lot of extracurricular activities in addition to working part time, including being an active member of the St Andrews Voluntary Service, where I set up my own volunteer project, and recruited volunteers. This, in addition to my degree, allowed for a lot of talking points during the interviews, and gave me some good examples of skills I gained when I was asked competency questions in the interview.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
Communication skills - presentations and group activities were a regular part of my classes, and this has been particularly useful for my current role. Writing skills - I am regularly writing CV's and adverts, and all the essays and reports I wrote at university helped me to refine my writing skills. The ability to work independently - although we have a great support system here if we ever need assistance - from an early stage of working here everyone essentially manages their own section of the business, and so this is a really important skill.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
If you are interested in working in recruitment, before applying for any role I'd say definitely do your research, so that you have a really good idea of what this career entails before an interview, as this is one of the main questions you will be asked initially. Also, getting experience in a sales-oriented position is really useful, as although this isn't essential it could help your application stand out. I have really enjoyed my graduate scheme at KBM Resourcing - there is a great atmosphere here, and everyone gets along really well. We regularly go on evenings out, to music festivals etc, and get involved in all sorts of team building activities - recently we completed a cycle half marathon, and last year the team climbed a mountain in the alps!