Case study

Community manager — Holly Maunders

Using the skills she gained during her American studies degree, Holly now works at e-learning company AVADO

How did you get your job?

I went through graduate recruiters, Inspiring Interns. It's scary filming a one-minute video CV (something they request) but it's well worth stepping outside your comfort zone.

What's a typical day like for you?

My working days are never the same, something I never thought I'd be able to say about office life.

Any day can involve meetings about product development, analysing student feedback to produce reports, line managing a team of five people, working with external stakeholders, setting up training sessions, attending client feedback sessions, troubleshooting as issues arise, project managing new products and lots of random tasks that crop up too.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Aside from the variety and the exposure I get to other parts of the business, I'd have to say the people I work with, as they're fantastic. I've been so lucky to make great friends while working with AVADO.

We all work hard and play hard, making the transition from university to everyday life that bit easier.

What are the challenges?

The challenges are probably what you'd expect - I can work long hours and commuting around London can be a pain, but it's all worth it for a job that I love with wonderful colleagues.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

The skills I learned from my degree have helped me to get to where I am today. I count writing, networking, presenting, being able to handle myself in a debate, the use of different online platforms for coursework and overall confidence as the key things I've taken with me from my university experience.

You'll hear 'transferable skills' bandied around a lot at university, but if you take it seriously, and really make use of all that's on offer, it can take you a long way.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

In five years, I aim to be in a more senior managerial position, but still working with people. Eventually, I'd like to set up my own consultancy in learning and development.

What advice can you give to others?

Say 'yes' to as many things as you can at university. Try out different clubs; meet as many people from as many places as possible.

Start thinking about what you do and don't like early on. It doesn't have to be 'I want to go into banking', just try to understand what drives you. For example, I've always loved working with people.

Chat with your careers team. You may not get a solid answer through one conversation about what you're going to do next, but they definitely help get the ball rolling.

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