Case study

Education partnerships representative — Hannah Adams

Having a first class honours degree and relevant work experience, helped Hannah land her dream job. Find out more about her role and how she hopes to develop her career to improve the lives of students across the UK

What degree did you study?

I graduated with a BA Business Management from the University of Greenwich in 2020.

How did you get your job?

I navigated the tough early steps in choosing a career and impressing a potential employer through Venatrix, a graduate recruitment agency that works with fast-growth SaaS tech companies. I attended a virtual assessment day after completing a phone interview, which was challenging, and I was put through my paces.

I had to really think ahead about how to cope with my nerves on the day, such as breathing techniques as well as staying hydrated. I then ended up landing my job at Handshake, an early-career network and recruitment platform for students that allows them to connect with employers, apply for internships or graduate jobs, and leverage the collective knowledge of their peer group.

How relevant is your degree?

After graduating, I quickly realised that my degree didn’t define my skill set, but my first class degree classification elevated my job opportunities.

With over two years’ work experience under my belt from my degree placement year and working in my former university career service, I feel that I can empathise in the conversations I am a part of.

What's a typical working day like?

One of my biggest daily tasks is reaching out to universities and assessing progress on various projects. I like to start each day by going over my calendar to make sure any meetings I have are top of mind. I also check my emails and LinkedIn messages and reply to connections that yielded responses to my sales outreach. I listen in on lots of sales calls two to three times a week to get a sense of how my manager is building relationships.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy working with such a passionate team that's focused on making an impact and creating an inclusive culture for all students. Having learnt first-hand the importance of higher education (HE) careers services, I'm excited to now be supporting the same kind of work on a national level.

Sales and partnership roles are often about making sure the prospect/partner is equipped with the best tools to serve their customers, whoever they are. Seeing my work and ideas have a direct impact on their success has been hugely satisfying.

What are the challenges?

 I found the ownership and learning that came with being one of six team members trying to launch in a new market a challenge for me. From new technologies to people and workflows, it was intense - especially against the backdrop of a global pandemic.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

I'm really excited by the opportunities I have ahead of me at Handshake in five years. I'd like to use my expertise in the EdTech sector to impact the lives of students across the UK. I'm also hoping to take on more responsibilities in the next few years and lead on further projects.

What advice can you give to others?

  • Use your university's career services. Mine provided me with work experience, mentoring and a wealth of information, from writing a CV to interviewing tips.
  • Actively seek relevant work experience opportunities. These make you more employable in a competitive workforce. In my case, my placement and part-time job combined led me directly to my dream job.
  • Don't put the pressure on yourself to be able to stay on top of everything. Learn to accept that you can't pay attention to everything that you 'should'.

Find out more

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