Both Saul and myself were lucky enough to spend three fantastic years at Birmingham University albeit at different times. I studied Money, Banking and Finance before graduating in 2011 and was originally looking to prepare myself for a future career in Investment Banking before finding myself following a very different pathway. Saul graduated in 2008 with a degree in Physics with Business Management, before pursuing a career based on his interest and expertise in website development and design.
During my time at Birmingham I developed an interest in the banking and finance industry, and found myself using an array of different resources to help me find the places to apply to for graduate jobs. As I am sure many of you know, and many more will find out soon enough, the job market is a competitive arena in which you need to utilise all the resources available to you in order to give yourself the best chance of succeeding, and somehow find an edge. The careers service provided fantastic support and advice that helped me see my options, however since leaving university I have had a unique opportunity to run a company that aims to tackle the difficulties faced in application processes that students and graduates face, by first and foremost ensuring that the important and relevant information is easily available.
Starting in 2010, Saul and his friend, Freddy Brick, saw a gap in the market for a site that provided help to students and graduates and provided them with the tools to give them the best chance of getting the right job for them and created Grad Diary. Having grown disillusioned with the standard “job board” websites, that had no real insight behind the basic information and weekly emails (I am sure many of you receive these!), they decided to try and make something more forward thinking, more open, more informative and hopefully something that would result in more informed students, hunting for the right graduate jobs. At a time when the financial markets had hit rock bottom, it seemed like a great opportunity for Saul and Freddy to make something for themselves and do as much as possible to help their fellow students and graduates in an ever more competitive job market.
When I graduated I looked at my future career and found the entrepreneurial side of me was less interested in going down the traditional path of a graduate scheme. When I met the team at Grad Diary as an intern I found I could implement my entrepreneurial and creative ideas, whilst being able to put my business and financial knowledge to good use.
I then joined the team at Grad Diary full time, to manage the day-to-day running of the company and offer my first hand experiences of the job market and tailor the platform to help further enhance the site as a resource to students. Along with Saul and Freddy, we all had first hand experience of the graduate job hunt. It has been a unique opportunity for me to work with the responsibility of building and managing relationships with some of the biggest graduate recruiters and businesses in the world. The site now offers features which, we felt as a team, were missing from other relevant graduate job sites. Due to the business model that we adopt it means that we are able to offer information about graduate jobs and internships for 300+ graduate employers.
What makes us very different is that our team have all been in your shoes, we know what challenges you face, this allows us to help you in ways that other websites might not be able to. We try and produce tools and opportunities to help compliment the resources available at careers services. A big part of this is proving real, genuine insight in our articles and interviews. Not the standard statistics and marketing blurb you see repeated on numerous sites and booklets. This is something we still work hard to offer, as we know that this provides the most useful resource. At the end of the day, the site still sticks to its original core beliefs, which are to better inform students and graduates in order to assist them in choosing the right career and getting the job they want.
As proud Birmingham alumni, Saul and I have been encouraged and inspired to create a website that differs from your traditional job board and helps students to feel more confident when applying to graduate jobs, in what can be a daunting and challenging process.
Saul Posel and Joe Morris