Natalia graduated with a BA English Language and Literature in
2009 and now works in marketing.
What did you do after leaving Essex?
I joined some temping agencies in London in order to earn money whilst
gaining valuable work experience. One of the companies I was temping for
then me offered a permanent job. From my experience, employers admired the
fact that I was working whilst seeking permanent employment, instead of
sitting at home doing nothing and waiting for something to come up.
How relevant is your course to your current role?
As Marketing and Submissions Officer, I am required to be thorough and
assist the bid and project teams in preparing bid tender responses for
private and public sector construction contracts. I assist in writing,
editing and proofreading the bid content to ensure that our responses meet
the client's requirements and best demonstrate the company's experience and
company ethos. I maintain and implement the company brand guidelines in
marketing materials and bid responses, and design and format the bid
What was good about your course at Essex?
My lecturers were helpful and at your disposal if you needed advice and
support. This is something I would advise students to take advantage of. I
also enjoyed the University campus life, with everything on one campus.
What other skills and experience did you gain at Essex that have helped
I gained analytical skills, experience of working to deadlines and a
confident approach to working on my own initiative. The University of Essex
encourages independence, debate and research.
What do you find most interesting about your job?
I enjoy being part of a large, expanding international organisation.
Bouygues UK is of French heritage and it is great to experience working with
different cultures. I find the construction industry interesting because, as
a company, we are working to deliver something tangible that will make a
difference to the communities in which we build, whether it is providing a
new school, hospital, housing or new student accommodation!
What tips would you give to students who are starting their course in
terms of what they might gain from the University experience?
Join the societies and clubs on offer, it is a great way to make friends
when you first start and is also something extra you can add to your CV that
demonstrates your personal interests and can benefit future employment. I
joined the University newspaper in my first year as a contributor and, in my
second year, became the editor of the music section. This gave me experience
of working with the editorial team and managing a team of contributors.
What advice would you give to graduates starting their job hunt?
Remember, although you have studied you do not have work experience and
it is for you to prove to an employer why they should invest their time and
money in you. This is why extracurricular activities or summer work
placements will impress them, as they demonstrate commitment and a good work
Join a recruitment agency - it is better to see them in person to
register. Specify what type of roles you are interested in and if you are
offered temporary work take it; it is all valuable experience that can be
added to your CV. It is also an opportunity to network, and you may be
remembered and contacted in future should a permanent role become available.
Don't give up. It can be exhausting when you are trying to sell yourself
via a job application but you must remember your achievements and believe in