Improve your competitiveness for interviews? Read on…
Ever felt like this about your future career choice? Fear not: we have a solution. Or perhaps you have some idea but are not that sure of what the job would entail or what other industries are out there?
From the age of about 16, I’d always wanted to be an equities trader. I had grand ambitions of buying low and selling high, and being extremely wealthy by the age of 30. Instead, I am 28, have no real income and am spending my savings on launching a new start up. If someone had told me aged 18 what my career path would actually turn out like after graduation, I would have been very confused and professed to have never even heard of some (most!) of the industries I went into: Government Economist, Asset Management, Management Consulting, a brief break to do something called an ‘MBA’ (?!), back to Asset Management (very briefly), a little more management consulting and now entrepreneurship.
Although I have done and seen a variety of different jobs, one thing was quite common. The ability to take something uncertain and break it down in a logical way was the key to success in every job I did. In other words, problem-solving is crucial.
It’s important to do some research into what you want to do with your career: it is your career and you owe it to yourself to be happy. By not doing much research myself, I ended up making a lot of choices that weren’t quite right for me, and did not make the most of my interests and skills. The result was that I felt pretty unhappy in some roles. Had I done some more research into considering the right role for me, I may have found it sooner and avoided some of the mistakes I made. Of course, leaving a job also has implications for an employer too in terms of their hiring process and the costs associated with that and training.
After speaking to and working with close to 300 students across the UK, Singapore and the US, it seems that one thing is clear: there is often not enough information as to what different industries are really like from the perspective of those working in the job themselves.
So, I bring you the earliest version of Think Smart. I have asked current and ex-professionals to write problems for you to solve that represent their experiences from a ‘day in the life’ in Accountancy, Finance, Consulting, Investigative Journalism and more. These are all situations they have been in or are likely to be in and/or pieces of knowledge required for their day to day jobs.
A sample problem from the Management Consulting section
The problems provide you with an opportunity to experience the types of skills needed in the job as well as the situations you may well face very soon if you end up in that industry. You can save your favourite problems, add words to your work bank and get your own personalised dashboard which you can use to discuss career options with peers, faculty and careers advisors.
A sample dashboard for a student after using the tool
Please do keep engaged with the website because as Think Smart grows, we will be providing access to internships, jobs and more education courses that are relevant to the industries you are interested in. The prototype at www.thinking-smarter.com is available on mobile and desktop.
Crucially, if you have no idea as to your next steps, this should help you to discover some industries and identify areas that you are interested in!
Please do get in touch with any thoughts and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Rohin Aggarwal is the Founder and CEO of Think Smarter Group Limited – a start up aimed at improving students’ careers awareness and employability