Student story: Eve’s QConsult experience

eveApplications are now open for QConsult Spring 2018 – click here for further information and the application form. The deadline to apply is 10am on 27th November. Please see below to read about Eve’s experience on the programme earlier this year.

My name is Eve Frayling and I have just completed the penultimate year of my English undergraduate degree at QMUL. I have recently participated in the summer round of QConsult, and decided to do so in order to hone my teamwork skills in a corporate environment.

The QConsult programme entails a week’s worth of work for a business or charity based in East London, usually in a team of 5, although my team had 4 members. Your team is given a project to complete within this week, after which you are responsible for presenting your findings and recommendations to your client. The skill set you will gain is invaluable, and the pay is an added bonus!

My assigned project centred on marketing and communications work; a field which I am keen to pursue after graduation. Our task was to propose an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or, in simpler terms, a website landing page to boost interest for our client’s prospective event. My team and I were responsible for tasks such as competitor analysis, as well as creating engaging website content and surveys for our client’s target audience. This differed slightly from the other teams also participating in the programme; another team’s work which we became familiar with dealt mainly with data analysis and customer satisfaction.  

What was particularly unique and different about our experience was the fact we were based at the client’s office for the duration of the placement. This made communication with the client much easier, since any problems we encountered could be tackled immediately. This also prompted me to rethink my career options following university – previously I had only considered applying for large corporations, such as KPMG, however after working with a scale-up business based in a very creative and communal workspace, I will definitely consider applying for small or medium-sized businesses after graduation.

QConsult was really worthwhile for me, not only for the reason above, but also for discovering more about what I would like from my future career. I learnt that I really appreciate working in a diverse team especially within a fast-paced environment. Working to a strict timeframe and with tasks that were sometimes new and challenging resulted in a greater sense of achievement for both my team and our client, and this felt very rewarding.

What was also worthwhile was the skills debrief which comes after you complete your 20 hours of project work. This was a session held at Queen Mary in which QConsult coordinators and careers advisors outline how to sell your experience in the project on your CV and in interviews, as well as identifying your individual strengths and development points. The latter was particularly useful; in your teams you are asked to write a strength and development point (something to improve on) for both yourself, and each of your team members. This was a great chance for each of us to learn more about how we work, and what we can improve on for next time; also a great opportunity to promote self-growth on your future job applications.  

QConsult provides you with the opportunity to take on a lot more responsibility than a typical work experience placement might. This is a factor you can use to promote yourself when applying for future roles, in addition to displaying your motivation for a project which may be completely new to you. You will also be able to discover more about what you want to achieve after university and how you work in a corporate setting or with corporate-focused responsibilities. Your ultimate skill-set could include more experience with teamwork, communication, writing, and problem-solving, skills which are all beneficial for graduate opportunities.

From just over a month between August and September, I managed to secure an internship with Peregrine communications, a marketing agency that oversees financial companies’ media outreach. I feel that without the experience I gained from QConsult, I would not have had a solid grounding in my application for the internship since the work between the two was really comparable; problem-solving, researching, working with others and writing extensively.

If you’ve been inspired by Eve’s story, apply to the next round of QConsult here.

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