Full name: Daniel Walsh
Degree title: Logistics with Supply Chain Management
Year of graduation: 2018
Name of the organisation where you work: BT
Job title: Buyer, Procurement
What does a typical day in your job look like?
One day I could be negotiating a deal for a product or service, the next drawing up a contract, so the job is quite varied. However, typically my role involves talking to stakeholders to understand the needs of business and to source the right goods and services from the right suppliers. I am also required to negotiate with potential suppliers in order to get the best deal for BT, taking into account both cost and functionality of the good and service.
What has been the highlight of your job so far?
Negotiating my first deal, making cost savings and getting the contract signed off was a key highlight. Also getting to work on projects such as the UK 999 Call Platform, which is of major importance to the country, is very rewarding.
What skills have you developed in your role?
I have developed my communication skills and ability to adapt my tone and language to differing situations. A key part of getting the best deal is to build a rapport with your suppliers, and good communication skills are an integral part of this.
How has your current role shaped your career plans?
I definitely feel my experience in Procurement has opened the door to more Commercial/Financial roles that I may not have considered before. Maths at school was never my strong point, however practical experience in a heavily numbers-based role has boosted my knowledge and confidence.
How did you secure your role?
I secured my role by applying through BT’s Graduate Scheme website. The application involved online tests, a video interview and finally an assessment centre. The assessment centre was made up of a 1-to-1 interview, group assignment and three individual tasks.
Did you secure your role when you were still a student? If so, when and where did you start looking for a role?
I started searching for jobs as soon as I started final year and was lucky enough to get my role at BT by the end of November. Earlier the better really helped me, but it isn’t necessarily the be all and end all!
Did you do a placement or gain any other work experience before securing your graduate role?
I did my placement year as an Inventory Planner at Nestle, and I definitely found it helped me secure a job with BT. Having done various application processes for a placement role, coming to do a graduate scheme application wasn’t a daunting prospect, as they follow a very similar format.
Furthermore when it came to interviews, I could draw on my placement experiences to answer questions and highlight why I would be a good fit for the job.
What advice would you offer to final year students or other recent graduates looking for a role?
Get involved as much as you can with extra-curricular activities at university. They give you something extra to talk about other than your degree in interviews and can show you to be a more rounded individual.
Also widen your net when it comes to searching for jobs. You may be aiming for your dream role right from the start, but don’t let that stop you from taking a job which could be equally, if not more beneficial to your future career! Now is a perfect time to step out of your comfort zone.