Sam secured a role at Deloitte during his second year of study
Second-year student Sam Whatley landed himself a job in IT whilst studying Cyber Security at USW. Our course has been designed with employability in mind, proven through excellent case studies such as Sam’s. Here, he explains the job application process and offers his best advice to help you stand out in your industry.
“I was fortunate enough to get myself an IT job whilst studying Cyber Security. I previously worked in retail at Tesco. Getting an IT job was definitely something that I had been aiming to do throughout my studies, although I was expecting that I wouldn't get into the IT industry by the time I finished my degree. However, I managed to find an opportunity to work in the IT Service Desk in February for Deloitte!
Regarding how I landed this role, I think there was a number of factors. For months I have been applying for different IT roles (albeit, not specifically in Cyber) so I can get my "foot in the door". I primarily did this by looking on both Indeed and LinkedIn. As I have made lots of connections on LinkedIn, I managed to stumble across the Deloitte recruitment scheme and applied through their own site. I would like to emphasise how much it helps with making valuable connections on LinkedIn as you will be able to find more of these opportunities as they come up.
Additionally, when I apply to jobs, I always create a cover letter. I personally believe that this shows that you're motivated to build a relationship with the employer, and they may be more interested to hear what you have to offer as you have attempted to establish a relationship early on. My cover letter to Deloitte was an entire page, I focused on many things throughout it which I also discussed in the interview. Firstly, I emphasised my skills in customer service. Due to the nature of the application being IT Service, I presumed the majority of my job would include talking to customers. By focusing on this area throughout my application, I demonstrated I was able to speak to customers and colleagues alike.
I believe communication is the most important skill of all and I was able to demonstrate it even further by my taking part in extracurricular activities such as doing a presentation for Walsall College on university life in USW. Whether these specific activities helped my application, I am not sure, but I am certain that the experiences made me a more confident individual and allowed me to portray myself as a person with many experiences that could be translated to the workforce.
I'm still amazed I got myself an IT job, especially with such a reputable company. In the end, I think my previous experience in customer service really sold me, but I would also give credit to my ability to illustrate that I had a variety of experience in different areas such as public speaking. If I was to give advice to anyone looking to get a job, seize any opportunities that come up that will build up your character! Additionally, build up a network and connections through platforms like LinkedIn, you will be able to discover more opportunities that are out there!
My IT job is definitely a role I am looking to stay in, and I aim to work my way up Deloitte's IT sector. I have already been in discussion with my managers, and I am aiming to have discussions with members of Deloitte's SOC team, possibly to help with dissertation ideas.
My final piece of advice, ignore the 'job requirements'! Apply anyway, you'd be surprised how many organisations hire because they like how you portray yourself. My first job hired me because they liked the sound of my name! Anything is possible.”