Category Archives: PSC Graduates

Interview with PSC Graduate Guy Brett-Robertson

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Guy, currently an Actuarial Associate at Punter Southall, tells us about how his involvement with the PSC during his time at university has helped kick-start his career.

When did you graduate from St Andrews and what was your field of study?

In the Summer of 2015, with a MPhys in Astrophysics

Could you describe your current role/typical workday?

Typical hours: 9-6. About 50% working on spreadsheets, programs and documents on my computer. About 50% of my time is spent talking to colleagues, followed by paper work and meetings. The work is very diverse as it’s a consultancy. I’m often doing around 10 different tasks each day which keeps it interesting.

Which qualities proved most useful in securing your current position?

  • My strong mathematical and analytical abilities
  • Programming/IT skills
  • Written and oral communication
  • Ability to communicate difficult concepts at all levels
  • The fact that I am both team-oriented and comfortable working independently
  • Good time management, particularly when there are conflicting deadlines

What prompted you to embark on the PSC curriculum?

Wanting to be more well-rounded.

How well did the professional skills programme prepare you for a corporate environment?

It really helped with interviews, especially improving my answers to competency based questions. Beyond that it was moderately helpful in general.

What advice would you give to final year students who are unsure about their career paths?

Fake it ’til you make it. Chances are you’ll feel as clueless as you do now long after you graduate, but that’s OK, so does everyone else. If you haven’t already, you need to learn to manage those feelings and just play the game for a while. Success will come.

To find out how you can get involved with the Professional Skills Curriculum visit https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/careermatters/professionalskills/programme/ 

Find our latest events here: https://www.facebook.com/ProfessionalSkillsCurriculum/

INTERVIEW WITH PSC GRADUATE HAYLEIGH EDSON: TRAINEE ON THE ALDI MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME

When did you graduate from St Andrews?psc-post-hayleigh

In June 2016 with a BSc (Hons) in Management.

Could you describe your current role/typical workday?

Being on the Aldi Graduate Area Manager programme. I am currently doing my ‘store time’ learning the role of store staff for half of my training year, which involves managing teams of staff throughout the day to meet strict productivity targets and customer service levels. Daily tasks include ensuring products are available and prioritising tasks.

Which qualities proved most useful in securing your current position?

The recruitment process for this programme is tough. I believe that my ability to look at situations as part of a bigger picture was instrumental. Ultimately, maintaining composure and confidence despite the various challenges I faced in the interview process was key to securing the position.

What prompted you to embark on the PSC curriculum?

In my second year I became treasurer of the badminton club. The president that year recommended that getting involved with the PSC would be a good way to learn skills that would transfer into running the club, and also be useful for the future. At the end of my second year I was elected president and decided to take his advice so that I could run the club in the best way possible. For this reason I focused on leadership modules, knowing  it would demonstrate a willingness to improve my skills.

How well did the professional skills programme prepare you for a corporate environment?

I believe the PSC programme (alongside the experience I was getting with people management, my part time job and my role in university sport) provided me with real examples of key things asked in situational interviews and also meant that I knew what to expect when I started working for Aldi. Although I am not in a typical ‘corporate environment’ the skills are definitely transferable.

What advice would you give to final year students who are unsure about their career paths?

Keep your options open! Try and get experience through sports/societies/part time work/shadowing that you can transfer into a variety of roles and talk about in interviews. Apply to jobs early because many have deadlines for each year’s intake.