Head of Brand & Content
Brand & Content Department Member
Being recruited when you’re in college is a particularly fascinating experience and when talking to some other students you realize that this is a bigger issue than you thought.
The first fear that many of us encounter is the possibility of being under-qualified. You look around and hear other students talk about their internships, their ambassador programs, the volunteering, the traveling, the sports… And suddenly your anxiety starts building.
Well, we’ll try to calm you down.
There are several ways to improve your chances of being recruited, one of them being your participation in the Pitch Bootcamp by Spark Agency, this specific event being for the portuguese-speaking students.
Wondering what we are talking about? Let us break it down for you.
The first day of this Bootcamp involves group dynamics, where you can share some of your skills and experiences with other students from various backgrounds. You discuss what is relevant in today’s labour market and how you can properly present and improve what you have to offer. With these students, you also practice your pitch and review important details.
One thing you learn on the first day is that you don’t need to have professional experience per say to have skills. Play team sports? Great! Teamwork is one of your skills! Volunteering? Amazing! Tutoring? Fantastic! Travelled with a backpack around Asia? Incredible, and we honestly admire you.
You don’t need to have a lot of experience to be curious and engaged. Read articles, read books, watch documentaries, anything that will fill you with knowledge and widen your horizons. One important thing to keep in mind is that your comfort zone is not your friend, always look for opportunities to push the boundaries of what is achievable.
Most of all, you’re not a checklist. You’re… you. You’re beyond any list of experiences.
On the first day you’re also given the opportunity to talk to amazing people from fantastic companies, who are there to answer any questions you may have about their personal experience or the company itself.
On the second day, you will finally present your pitch to a panel of judges (composed by the representatives of said companies) and they’ll give you constructive feedback and perhaps offer you an amazing work or learning opportunity. You also learn how to improve your CV, how to prepare and behave in an interview as well as at an assessment day / group dynamic.
The Pitch Bootcamp teaches you some key lessons that take away some of the anxiety of being recruited. Firstly, you’re young. Like, really young. One thing that the experts in the room were constantly saying was that at our age, they hadn’t done half of what we had. Of course, it’s a different generation, facing other circumstances, but they understand who we are at this age.
Although the recruiters are understanding, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to be prepared. Unless you’re quick on your feet and have an amazing capability to improvise, prepare for any type of interaction with the recruiters. If you have an interview, research some common questions, facts about the company you’re applying to, the person you’re going to talk to. In the end, Google is your best friend.
Remember, the interview isn’t the only evaluation point. How quickly did you answer their emails? How did you answer them? What did you do after the interview? Did you thank them for the opportunity?
And never do it without feeling. Care for every word, mean every thank you, on the other side there is a person that took time out of their day to get to know you. Make it count.
There are several other ways for you to get acquainted with the recruitment world, like attending Career Fairs at your university or finding mentoring programs. Whenever you have the opportunity to ask questions to people who’ve been through this process, don’t hesitate to do it.
You can also explore different opportunities through Linked In (if you don’t have a profile yet, we strongly recommend you to create one), JobTeaser, among other sources. Even if you don’t apply for anything, just check what kind of experiences they’re looking for, what kind of skills they want. Get a sense of what will be asked of you on paper before they get to know you in real life (or through a Zoom call, in this context).
Above all else, recruitment is your chance to show who you really are, what you’re capable of and how motivated you are to learn. “Learn” is the key word here. No one expects you to know it all by this age, but they do expect you to be aware of your potential. The world is waiting for you, now you just need to step into the ring and fight for your dreams!