Here at Impact, we work with local school Pimlico Academy to help their students further themselves and prepare for the working world!
We help them with their CVs, hold mock interviews and offer work experience to their sixth-form students. This summer we had the pleasure of working alongside Elena and Nazifa, two 17-year-old students at the academy and asked them all about their experience with us at Impact HQ.
I have a strong interest in fashion marketing, and I was able to explore this area through my work experience. There were things such as watching fashion shows, drawing and participating in art competitions that I never really thought of as anything more than a casual interest.
However, doing work experience at impact and reading CVs relating to art direction and photography has given me an insight into the industry and has made me realise that it is something I want to be a part of.
My school signed us up for a mock interview with different companies and I got assigned to Impact, not knowing how lucky I was to get this interview! When I did the interview, I was very intrigued and looked further into recruitment agencies after the interview.
Before my interview, I remember thinking this is just for practice for future jobs and that I need to say what I’d already practised. Instead, I found myself asking questions and wanting to find out more!
The time came around when we had to decide where we were going for work experience week, and I instantly knew where I wanted to do mine. When I found out I got work experience at Impact I was so excited to do it and instantly went on the website to find out more.
On the first day, Nick spoke about what Impact does, the function of the company and each sector. We were then introduced to the team, and I was surprised by everyone’s bubbly attitude and high spirits.
The first task was to analyse the CVs of people who had applied for jobs. I picked up important CV skills, like how to know what a recruiter likes and how you need to make an instant good first impression just from the look of your CV and the very first sentence that you write.
The next day I got to apply my skills by updating my own CV with the skills I had learned and sending it to a recruiter. I listened in on interviews to see what questions were asked and how they were conducted and found that in interviews you must ask logical and well-formulated questions to find out specifically what the applicant is looking for, while also making a role sound interesting for the people who are applying.
I learnt how you must be able to articulate yourself but also come across as calm which seems like a difficult skill to obtain. As well as learning about how interviews are conducted, I noted how you come across in terms of first impressions and how confidence, communication and articulation are key skills. It was also helpful knowing what kind of questions a recruitment agency specifically asks to find out about their candidate.
One thing that fascinated me was the organisation of data through a database system. It’s very important to be able to keep track of all your candidates and clients in a recruitment agency. As I listened in on calls, I saw the interviewer typing notes and I was amazed how they simultaneously listen to the candidates, ask questions and write notes. It made me realise how fast-paced this job is!
In a document, you write key information as well as the notes from the interview such as salary expectations, what job they want whether its permanent or temp and whether you want to work in an office, remote, or hybrid. I learned many keywords that I didn’t know before.
The most enjoyable part of my experience was getting to write up company profiles. I got to do this on my third day, and I was introduced to LinkedIn. LinkedIn helped me write my profiles for different media companies. This was an interesting task as I got to learn about other companies as well as do a working task. I also got to work on ads for jobs. I learnt how important it is to make a job interesting and really sell it by making it sound exciting, giving people an incentive to apply for the job.
Something important I took away from the job is that people who work in recruitment agencies deserve so much respect. It’s a difficult job to make both candidates and your clients happy. I thought it would make everyone stressed, so I was surprised when I entered such a calm stress-free environment where everyone was having fun and really enjoying their job. I was happy to see such an amazing working environment that I hope I get to experience again in the future.
On my second day, it was my birthday, and everyone sang me happy birthday and got me a card and cake, it instantly made my day. I was very fortunate to get work experience here and look forward to hopefully working here again.
I am excited to engage in work experience before the upcoming year fills with exams and stress. Talking with our career advisor at Pimlico she suggested due to my outgoing nature that I spend our work experience week with Impact.
From there I searched the website which was very simple to access and navigate and understood that Impact stood for building positive relations by respect for the diverse community and that progression was their passion.
On arriving at Impact, I had been warmly welcomed by Nick who gave us a tour of the elaborate building which consisted of several spacious offices as well as booths spotted around the floor which allowed colleagues to engage in private calls and we spoke about what the week would have in store for us.
We delved into analysing candidate CVs which allowed me to gain the knowledge on how to improve my own CV, which would be to include the best aspects of myself as a top-tier person with important attributes that I could bring to the table. As well as the importance of email etiquettes and how they could form an initial judgment of an individual. Keeping a short but snappy email is the way to go!
Having experienced how colleagues work in their day-to-day was eye-opening seeing colleagues take calls and zoom meetings being friendly as the call initiates and how quick and efficient they were able to grasp and attain knowledge of candidates. This varied from what role the candidates want to pursue, a reason they want a change as well as salary hopes and more all in the time span of 40 mins.
What I gained most significantly from those calls is the overall persona that the candidate portrays themselves as. In addition to learning new terms such as eCommerce, temps and hybrid workers.
I also had the opportunity to write a research profile for a company – learning about a company, what roles it offered, what its ethics were and what makes them stand out as a company through its website and LinkedIn to fully understand a candidate and company. I grasped the intensive work that Impact does and how each colleague must understand each role within the company to the smallest of details.
Overall, my time at Impact has been enlightening in understanding how the working world functions as well as how colleagues interact with each other in office-based environments even if recruitment isn’t necessarily the path I strive to take in the future.