Job fair

A recent mathematics graduate, Jonathon Nicholls, is the author of the newly published book “A Game of Grad Jobs” where he explores the graduate application process and how to be successful in pursuing them for post-university employment. Redbrick's News Editor and third year mathematics student Beriwan Ceren finds out more.

Jonathon Nicholls - Game of Grad Jobs

The first thing to highlight about the book is the personal element he adds throughout. Drawing on his own experience as a student hunting for graduate jobs whilst trying to maintain his studies, he explains the challenges one may face as an inexperienced student and the vital skills and knowledge required to overcome them.

Having read A Game of Grad Jobs from the perspective of a final year student, I can definitely say that it has personally helped me with my applications.

What inspired you to write this book?

I spent many years helping people make applications and doing them myself. As a result of this, I learned the hard way how to make an application successful. I wanted other people to take advantage of this experience.

What activities did you pursue outside of your studies whilst at university to develop your employability?

Everything I did outside of my studies developed different transferable skills, including the things I enjoyed the most. Playing pool demonstrates perseverance and dedication, being a member of the Officer Training Corps improved mental strength and teamwork, and working as an ambassador for my department developed presentation skills and communication to different audiences. I am currently in my first year as a trading graduate in London.

Why did you decide to name your book ‘A Game of Grad Jobs’?

The game (graduate applications) has two sets of players; the applicants and the potential employers. As an applicant, it is important that you understand that the game isn’t a competition, the employers are keen to give you a job, if you just tick the correct boxes and play the game the way they want you to.

What do you think are the main difficulties graduates face in the application process?

A lot of people are inexperienced doing interviews and assessment centres. So when they are offered one, it might be a job they really want, but because they haven’t done one before they are unprepared and nervous. So, by informing them of what style of questions will be asked and how they should approach each task, and thereby knowing to a certain extent what will be expected of them, they can prepare more thoroughly and hopefully will be less nervous when the situation arises.

What do you hope to achieve with this book?

I would like to get a lot of undergraduates to get a thorough understanding of the graduate process. It’s a book they can dip into for advice and information as they progress through the whole recruitment process. For instance, if they have an assessment centre coming up, they can flick to the relevant section and have a read. Ultimately, I want to make it easier for graduates to get a job and have more people successfully getting on these schemes.

If like Jonathon you would like to share your story and inspire current or future students, please email Grace Surman who will be more than happy to help.