I found my groove as a Digital Graduate

How did I get here?

Coming from a broad degree background of Business Studies with Finance, a rotational graduate programme came to mind as a great way for me to gain experience in different business areas to find out what I liked. This sparked my research into various graduate programmes as opposed to a direct entry-level role after my studies.

The key thing I’d hoped to gain was a broad range of practical experience to apply the theories that I’d learned at university. Plus, find a business area where I felt my skills and interests aligned so I could begin to build a career in that field. Honestly, I looked far and wide in terms of industry, sector, location and even programme type.

After about 30 applications, many rejections and two assessment centre days, I was offered a role on Compare the Market’s Digital Graduate Programme!

What did I get up to?

Thanks to the pandemic, my start date was delayed, and I spent the first six months from home having not stepped into an office! This was a weird concept for me as it didn’t feel very dissimilar to uni, but it forced me to be adaptable to different ways of working – such as engaging with colleagues and building my confidence to speak up and ask questions on a video call when I could’ve easily just stayed on mute.

Rotating around the business across departments, as well as across various teams within one department, gave me an insight into how Compare the Market functions from these different perspectives alongside the differing challenges and priorities the teams face. Being in a junior position in your area means that you’re given the responsibility and workload equivalent to that, allowing you to contribute to making a tangible impact to the success of the team and, ultimately, the business. For me, as a young career professional, that’s quite rewarding. I love a challenge and, as a fast learner, thrive on being thrown in at the deep end so I asked for the responsibility, was granted it and earned my team’s, peers’, and manager’s trust and respect in return.

In any business, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that ensures everything runs smoothly, but it’s particularly important in tech, where a variety of engineering disciplines are fundamental to success. Gaining an understanding of this area has been one of my greatest challenges. Admitting it was the hardest part, as I wanted to prove my competence but being proactive in asking questions and showing a genuine willingness to learn, not only helped me bridge that gap but allowed me to develop a great relationship with my colleagues – where it’s encouraged to not know everything and respectfully challenge other people’s thinking.

There’s plenty to get involved in inside and outside of the day-to-day role, regardless of the rotation. I’ve worked on both operational business-as-usual projects as well as key strategic projects – this variety helped me realise what excites me the most. Taking part in company events, fundraisers and socials, that are either graduate, team or company-specific is the best way to get to know colleagues you don’t interact with every day (expanding your network). It also acts as an icebreaker if you’re in a new team (building your resilience) or just generally having a bit of fun with people you spend a lot of your day chatting to (making you feel comfortable).

What advice would I give?

– When looking for a graduate programme: do your research but try not to limit your options – you never know where you might end up.

– Once you’ve landed the role: get stuck in but be open-minded and comfortable when trying new things – if you give it a go, you’ll know your opinion either way.

A great graduate programme can be extremely beneficial, not only in allowing you to absorb a variety of company or industry-specific knowledge but in giving you the tools to succeed in the world of work. A key step towards realising that is by looking back and reflecting on what you’ve accomplished compared to where you started – and that’s really satisfying.

My graduate programme has helped me realise my area of interest, highlighted what I do and don’t like, and it’s given me a community of people I can use as a sounding board for problems, ideas or advice.

I’ve finally found my groove and I’m grateful for the graduate programme for helping me find my career path.


Suggested articles

Employee Story

From Grad to Product Executive

Employee Story

It isn’t just about linear career progression

Be alert to possibilities

Whatever your specialist area, wherever you are in your journey, we’d love to hear from you.

CTA Image