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How Aculab is helping me Kickstart my career

Starting a new job can be one of the most stressful situations we encounter as adults.

When you throw starting your very first job after leaving education into the mix, whilst in the middle of a pandemic, it is a hard call over whether the interview process or the first day was the most nerve-wracking.

I thought I would write about my experience to help others starting on a similar path.

Before starting this role, I had an exceptionally long seven months of job searching, which was an experience. Having never experienced recruitment agencies and the trials of social media recruitment processes, I hadn’t really known what to expect. Unfortunately, like a lot of graduates I found myself in a position where my qualifications didn't really fit the job I would aspire to do as a career. I found myself lacking in experience for my ideal role and in a bit of a catch 22 of needing experience, but not being able to get a role to get the experience.

That was when I first heard of the Kickstart Scheme. It was a perfect opportunity for someone like me, a graduate without much work experience, looking for an opportunity to really start my career. The Digital Analyst opportunity from Aculab immediately attracted me, as I’m very interested in technology and communications. The offering made clear that there were lots of training opportunities and I felt like it would be a role where I could build practical skills, making this opportunity perfect for me.

In my job search I’ve used every application and interview as an opportunity to gain experience, but I’ve found some processes really tough. I’m non-verbal and use a device to communicate (another reason why a tech-savvy communication firm appealed to me), so you can imagine some of the difficulties I had when interviewing remotely! Unfortunately, some firms just weren’t prepared to interview me if I couldn’t speak on a zoom call.

At the interview, I was so nervous. I had prepared by researching Aculab and the services offered and drafting answers for questions I thought might come up. Just to say, from my perspective it was refreshing for an organisation to easily adapt the process for my disability and give me time to type my responses. Despite my challenges and nerves, I felt really comfortable having a discussion about the role and that is one of my standout first impressions.

Aculab are really open and wanted to understand how I communicate best so they can adapt to me, which has meant that I’ve been able to settle in and make good connections with the rest of the induction group.

So far, I’ve just completed my first two weeks and I feel like I’ve learnt so much already. In this time I've already picked up an overview of the business, been able to start learning programming languages like Python and gotten to grips with Praat and analysing audio files. Aculab has really met my expectations and their induction is a good mix of practical experience and self-led learning.

One of the biggest surprises has been the flexibility. As an induction group we’ve been asked about our interests and invited to do certain tasks based on our individual preferences, which is one of the things that has led to this blog. It’s definitely a lot to take in but on a six-month contract, I don’t want to waste a minute of it and it feels like the whole induction group I’m in are all eager to get stuck in.

My experience so far has been brilliant, and I’m so pleased I took the Kickstart opportunity with Aculab. It is a bit surreal to be an employee at an organisation for the first time, whilst not actually leaving my house and it’s been a real learning curve, but everyone I’ve met at Aculab has been supportive and welcoming. One thing’s for sure, I cannot wait to carry on with my development over the next six months to improve my knowledge and skills.

Reece Wheeler

 

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