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What Do I Say When I am Talking about Vocational Ability ?——Yes Global

What Do I Say When I am Talking about Vocational Ability ?——Yes Global

Tiffany Zhong  

Director of Career Coaching, UVIC

When I visit our UK Universities to share my job seeking experience to our student clients, many often say to me, with some anxiety in their voice, ‘Tiffany, why do so many of the top 500 companies turn down my application for internships or full-time positions ? I have a strong background of academic success at an elite University but still I can’t secure an initial interview ? Please help and advise me’. When I visit our UK Universities to share my job seeking experience to our student clients, many often say to me, with some anxiety in their voice, ‘Tiffany, why do so many of the top 500 companies turn down my application for internships or full-time positions ? I have a strong background of academic success at an elite University but still I can’t secure an initial interview ? Please help and advise me’.  

To find an answer, I have to consider vocational ability as one of the reasons. If your grades and education background has fulfilled their exacting requirements, the top 500 companies will value more, the students with strong vocational abilities. But what is this term ‘vocational ability’? Many people think that vocational ability are vocational skills but they’re not quite the same. For example, if a current student wishes to work in one of the Big 4 accounting firms, and who wouldn’t’, they can complete 3 financial statements. If students want to work in Top 3 FMGG companies, including the likes of Mars, Unilever and Procter & Gamble, they can complete an excellent Market Share Report. Or If students want to work in an investment bank, can they make a really detailed and practical financial model.

However, all of these are examples having vocational skills rather than vocational ability. In fact, most of 500 Accounting, Finance, Banking, Marketing, Media and Law companies are not always limited to the applicant’s field of study, when they recruit the graduates. Whatever the programme you studied in and whatever the programme is related to this vocation, as long as you meet certain requirements (and not always a high requirement), even if you are a sociology or from any other field of study, you can apply for these companies and industries that originally belonged to business students. Whether you have spent time and energy to understand their company before you applying for this job, is important for the firm and it is also the direct reflection of whether you have enthusiasm for the company or your chosen industry.

In other words, when one of the top companies recruit employees, they will not expect you to complete the three financial statements, or Market share ,or Financial data model on these vocational skills before you joining the company. On the contrary, all recruitment officer requires applicants to have a high vocational ability and the most important embodiment of vocational ability is the three aspects following:

Motivation of applying for the job

Whether you have spent time and effort to get to know their company before you applying job is more important for the firm, since it is the direct reflection of whether you have enthusiasm for the company or the industry. It is not enough to do some simple research online, and If you want to impress your employers, you should much more, such as trying to research through their social activities and ask them about their working experience in the companies, inspecting the firm or going to a company briefing session. All of these are good ways to show you strong motivation in getting recruited.

 

However, even after all this effort, the student may little chance to access and understand the firm in depth because of the time, limited social networks and other external factors.

Subsequently I have developed the unique UVIC programme entitled ‘Boot Camp Training ’ in order to give more opportunities for students and to strengthen their motivation of getting job in their chosen profession. Recently we took our Boot Camp recruits to the head office of many famous firms who have a base here in London. So far, students have visited the enterprises of Ernst &Young, HSBC, House of Fraser (the fourth FMCG, fashion department store in the UK) and London Stock Exchange and many more. All these students can well understand and experience first-hand, these famous firms, be trained by senior manager of the firm, and learn the knowledge and vocational ability of the firm to establish the outstanding personal contacts. Comprehensive ability means that soft skills complimented by their own academic abilities which includes leadership ability, communication ability, organisation ability, and the ability to face the problems and resolve them. Also included is the development of a culture of teamwork and ability to make clear leadership decisions.

The feedback from the ‘Boot Camp Training’ students has been really positive. The students told me that up to now, they have little chance to visit and train in the firms and now they fully understand how a company choses to fill a position and how they should to prepare for the interview. They also spoke of their new found skills in understanding what should be paid attention to and how to fully research and company. All Boot Camp trainees receive a training certificate of attendance.

The ‘Boot Camp Training’ program is proving increasingly popular. Standard Chartered Bank, DLA Piper law firm, Ritz Hotel and other well-know enterprise will join us during 2017.

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