Lauren Southers took part in Welocalize’s Intern Program as part of her post-graduate studies at the University of Chester. We published a blog interview with Lauren last year, just after she had successfully completed her Business Masters in September 2013 and joined Welocalize as a full-time employee on the global marketing team. Lauren completed two 20-week placements at Welocalize as part of her Business Masters.
Lauren is now involved in raising awareness of internship and placement opportunities at Welocalize to business and language students at the University of Chester. She recently presented at a workshop held by the University and attended by language post-graduates, to talk about her career and internship at Welocalize.
Interview by Louise Law
Since finishing your studies at University and internship at Welocalize, you have been a FTE at Welocalize for over six months now. How’s it going?
My role has evolved into much more than I ever imagined. I have taken on more responsibility with our systems and my role challenges me on a daily basis, giving me the opportunity to build on my skills and develop new ones. Welocalize is a perfect fit and blend of culture and challenge.
You recently attended a career workshop at your old University. Why was that?
I was asked to give a presentation on my experience of going from a BA Degree student to a Masters student with internship, to gaining full time employment at Welocalize.
What did you talk about to the students?
I discussed the benefits of carrying out a work-based placement. I spoke in detail about my placement company, Welocalize, who Welocalize are and what we do, and the two projects I carried out whilst at Welocalize. On my placement, I was given the opportunity to complete two “consultancy” projects. I was treated like a member of the team and given a high level of trust and visibility.
What sort of questions were you asked by the language students? How to make CV’s stand out, why I thought this Master’s Degree was the best option and do you need a business degree to carry out projects in a company such as Welocalize. It varied; however, a common theme was how best to make the transition from academia to employment that you want.
Are graduates optimistic about their careers?
There is an understandable amount of uncertainty among the graduates. It can be overwhelming handing in that final piece of work and graduating after 3-4 years of blood sweat and tears. Then you’re facing the real world with a vast amount of options and competing with thousands of equally educated peers. There is no shortage of passion and ambition; however, in the current climate, finding a job fresh out of school is difficult. Finding that wow factor to make yourself stand out is becoming increasingly difficult.
What message did you send out to the students?
How important it is to make yourself stand out. Not to undersell yourself. Students work hard to gain a degree and should promote their strengths and achievements.
You have come round full circle, from intern to inspiration. What tips would you give students who have completed their studies and are looking to get their first foot on the career ladder?
Don’t apply for anything and everything. Apply for jobs that you will enjoy or are passionate about. It will come through in your interview. Put yourself out there, you’ve got nothing to lose. Be persistent. Think about the skills you have learnt in university and apply them to the specific roles you are applying for.
Do you miss being a student?
Some aspects of being a student, I do miss. I enjoyed learning, and was concerned after university that I would be stuck carrying out the same daily tasks with no development opportunities. In my job, I am constantly learning whether that be from a colleague or researching new processes, taking on new projects, there is a constant stream of mental stimulation. The best part is I am being paid for doing something I love in an amazing company. I love my role and the team I work with, not only in the UK office, but also globally.