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From Graduate to Scala Developer

Pexels Photo 1205651

At Signify we are always keen to ensure our candidates find a role they love whether they are a Junior looking to take the next step up, a Senior looking for more responsibility or a Graduate making the big move to starting their career. Our Senior Consultant Rachael was keen to help Graduate Alex Vivian find her perfect role, as both a fresh out of university, Graduate and a woman in tech, Alex had found it overwhelming when trying to decide what her first role would be. Once Rachael got in touch she helped Alex at each and every step and now Alex is thrilled to be starting a role as a Scala Developer at ITV, check out Alex's journey below. 

This July I graduated from university, the next step for me was to start looking for a job. Initially, this didn’t seem like it would be too complicated, but I actually wasn’t that sure about what I wanted to do or where I should start. I obviously knew there were certain things that I wasn’t interested in, but there were also a fair few things I had enjoyed studying, so to begin with I just applied for any role that included anything I might be interested. In retrospect this was not a good tactic because I very quickly lost track of what roles I had applied for and what companies they were with (not great when you get a call about a role that you don’t remember much about).

Something that I wasn’t expecting from applying for so many roles was the number of calls I started getting from recruiters. More often than not, they wouldn’t call about the role I had applied for, but instead they would tell me about other roles they were recruiting for that they thought I would be great for, and to begin with I thought this was great and expressed interest in the majority of the roles they were suggesting, only to never hear from most of them again (or to have them call me again and pitch the same role again), and it quickly began to feel like more effort than it was worth.

Because of this I started to become pickier about what roles I was applying for, both online and through recruiters. This turned out to be a really good thing for me, because it helped me to focus more on what I was most interested in, which was Scala roles or roles with more of a big data focus. Really, I knew if I wanted to get into big data, then the best course of action would be to do a masters, but because that wasn’t what I wanted to do right now, the focus became Scala.

I quickly found out that finding a lower level Scala role is tough, because not many companies are looking for a graduate Scala developer. I still didn’t really know where to look or what I was doing, so I still didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere until I came across Signify.  When I first got a call from Rachael, I just assumed it would be like all my previous experiences with recruiters, so I wasn’t expecting that much. Instead, Rachael really took the time to talk to me about what I was interested in, and then found me opportunities that would suit me.

From then on, my job search started to look up, as I started getting interviews for roles that I had a genuine interest in.  There was a bit of a learning curve, because I didn’t have much interview experience, so the nerves would make me second guess myself a bit, and this was highlighted in the feedback I was getting. Other than that, the feedback I was getting was overwhelmingly positive, and this was a huge help in coming across more confident in later interviews because I started to feel like I did know what I was talking about. Another big thing that I think really helped me come across as more confident was the pep talks from Rachael before my interviews, reminding me of all the positive feedback right before my interviews.

After a few interviews, I did find a job that I am really excited to be starting thanks to Rachael. If you had told me that I would find my first role through a recruiter,  then I probably wouldn’t have believed you but Rachael changed my perception on recruitment, she really listened to what I wanted and helped me with each step ensuring I felt confident and ready for the interviews. Although I’m hoping I won’t have to look for another job any time soon, it has been a valuable experience working with Rachael, not only giving me an idea of how to search for a job more effectively in the future, but really helping to me to become more sure of myself, which is such a useful thing for so many situations both inside and outside work.

I now feel confident in my Scala role as a woman within the tech industry and I would really encourage all women who are keen to start a career in programming or engineering to go forward for all opportunities they are interested in. Rachael really encouraged me in this aspect and I now feel much more positive knowing I am in a role that I will love and I am excited to be part of a team where I can develop my skills.

Are you finding the whole job search a bit overwhelming? Get in touch and let us take the stress away and help you find the ideal opportunity.