Lets talk: What to do when your career path isn’t mapped out and a pandemic hits

The benefit to being an OMBS graduate, is the vast network that our students have access to from day one. Whether that be access to the UK’s top recruiters, business contacts for work experience (check out our virtual Speaker’s Day line up if you don’t believe us!) or other OMBS graduates for guidance and advice. However, this past year has thrown many graduates a curveball, employment is down and companies are tightening their belts.  

We thought we would share with you a testimonial from Holly Nichols, who graduated from OMBS in 2018 and she shares with us, the path she has taken since leaving OMBS. Her testimonial is demonstration of how varied a career path can be before you settle on one that is right for you. In this tough climate having a quality, job focused qualification on your CV really is invaluable! One of our partner agencies expressed their love of OMBS graduates recently:

“All of the candidates have been highly impressive; from the presentation of their CV’s, through to their interview and ongoing as employees of Caroline Baker.

I am now finding myself only looking at OMBS’s graduates – they never fail to impress.  So thank you. You are running an outstanding Business School, and I am overwhelmingly impressed!”

Caroline Baker, 2020

Holly recounts her time at OMBS and how it has helped her develop her skills, understand her personality type and how the pandemic has posed very real struggles for young adults, whether that is from traditional university courses, or alternative ones like ours!

When I graduated from OMBS I didn’t know which career path I would take but my CV looked amazing! After School, I knew I didn’t want to go to university but as a creative person, I wanted to find a path that would include my love of Art & Design and also pull from the more organised side of my personality. The Professional Business Diploma did this perfectly – I was able to study Web design, Graphic design and Digital Marketing but also diary management, fast note taking and the like, which  has become so useful in my current role. The PDP part of the course really allowed me to explore different areas of my personality, which was useful when I needed to focus.” 

Holly spent 7 months working for Chesterton’s in Camden, as an Office Coordinator. Although enjoying the role greatly, Holly quickly realised that both working within the Property industry and commuting from Surrey to Central London was not for her but using the experience to learn and grow her confidence and Office Skills. 

“Growing up in the beautiful city of Winchester, I felt that I would like to try to find a job there. I found a temporary role at a health insurance company working as a Customer Services Coordinator, this was for 2 months while I settled back into the area and whilst I looked for a more permanent role.”

Holly says:

“Temping is the best way to gain first-hand on-the-job experience whilst also getting to know which role and which business sector suits you.” 

Within no time, Holly found a permanent job with Recruitment agency Reed, in Education as an Administrator, recruiting supply teachers and booking them into schools  a role she excelled at and thoroughly loved. 

“I absolutely loved working for Reed; the office was full of great people, it was close to home and the work was challenging and fun! However, it came as no surprise that the pandemic forced many companies to adjust and sadly, with the schools moving to remote teaching, my role was dissolved. 

As the globe shifted to a new world of working, Holly found competition for positions was incredibly fierce, she speaks of her experience: 

Lockdown was in full force, yet I was determined to find something new and challenging. I don’t want to sugar coat it, it was very stressful but there were opportunities out there and I did (after some virtual interviews) secure a role working for the NHS as a Medical Secretary. I was very hesitant at the start as Medicine was never a path I had considered, but I soon realised that this is very much where I would like to develop my career. My main duties are processing referrals, audio typing, accessing medical records and most of all helping the patients with all types of things! The skills I gained from OMBS has really helped me with this job, especially audio typing. I even am using my shorthand when on the phone to patients to make notes!” 

We teach throughout the course that life goals are important and this is reinforced by our consistent assessment of our students.

On her future, Holly details her ambitions and parts some words of wisdom: 

I am planning to work myself up in the Medical sector and my goal is to be a PA to a Hospital Director. 

The advice I would give any student or recent graduate, would be to really take your time when finding a job, unless you know for sure what it is you would like to do. Get the most experience you can, try out different sectors until you find the right one that fits. Use the OMBS online resources to help you, network and talk to graduates about their experiences too. 

Find out more about OMBS here.

OMBS is the perfect choice for students who want to gain the skills that are needed to fast track their way to a successful career within one-year!

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