Surviving as a student in the working world

INTRA season is rolling up for DCU students, or already on the go in the case of some courses. With these placements, there is a chance to make your mark and gain experience.

Recruitment Administrator in Therapie Clinic and past student of DCU, Mark Crabbe has some valuable tips on making an impression with your CV, standing out during an internship and making sure you’re taken seriously despite being one of the youngest in the office.

Mark puts up job ads and recruits for four different countries. After reading ‘too many CVs’ his advice is to make it easy to look at for the people trawling through mounds of resumes. “Really the best thing is a good layout, that’s the honest truth.” While this is perfectly impossible with the current INTRA Portal, it is a tip to carry on to the next time you’re applying for a job.

“The first thing someone is going to do is either look at your qualifications, depending on the job, or your work experince,” said Mark. He advised against including a picture as recruiters would prefer to save themselves from seeming biased on a person’s look, gender or ethnicity.

You don’t need to put everything down, just relevant experience. Mark suggested having multiple CVs tailored to diiferent sectors and to be specific if you’re looking seriously.

In term of internships “I suppose you have to show that you’re hungry for more,” said Mark. “Ask questions, that’s the main thing.. And don’t be afraid to ask for help,” it shows the manager that youre genuinely interested in learning more and being good at the job.

“I think they [unpaid internships] are worth it, if its a very specific thing you want to do. You have to value yourself as well.” In an interview, you might be asked ‘What are your salary expectations?’. Don’t undersell yourself here or when you’re applying for jobs.

Being very young in a new workplace can be tough. There could be bias against a new person if some employees have the attitude of ‘They won’t be as good because I’m older I know more.’

“It is hard to gain that respect, sometimes it’s impossible. In some companies theres a bad culture,” said Mark. “Don’t doubt yourself, that’s not your fault that’s just someone elses opinion that you can prove wrong. It’s not up to you to prove them wrong, but it is satisfying”

Sometimes it can be that the staff in your new workplace are more comfortable with going to people they already know can do the job. It can take time for everyone to settle into working with a new person, just as its taking you time to adjust to the job.

“I’ve always had the problem of self doubt in a lot of jobs, but when I went into this one I was like ‘I can totally do this’” said Mark, “I had to say that to myself because if didn’t I would have just left.”

“The most important thing is, don’t let their doubt affect you or how good you are at the job becuase if you got the job it means you can do it, someone believed in you and you should believe in yourself.”

Róise McGagh

Image Credit: Rachel Halpin