From Application to Induction

Aileen Walsh

October 6, 2016

Like many others, I had found myself in my final term of university still without a job. Having been working at applications for over a year I was becoming disheartened. Attempting to balance writing a dissertation, revision for exams, work and job applications in your final term is not a fun place to be. Despite this, so many final year students find themselves there. I had begun to dial back my job search, feeling that if I focused on my studies and got a good degree then a job would be easier to find.

I was still keeping a half eye on my university careers page to see what popped up when one day I saw an advertisement for VMB Sales. This surprised me because I knew friends who had applied for Virgin Media grad schemes much earlier in the year. However, reading the job description I thought that it would be something that I would be good at. The application process was simple in comparison to many of the others I tried – no psychometric tests, no numerical tests, no verbal reasoning – just a cv submitted to an email address.

A few days later I had an invitation to do a video interview, a strange experience in which I recorded videos of myself answering about 7 questions. It was an odd experience looking at myself on the screen and praying that I was coming across okay. Yet by some miracle I found my phone ringing a couple of days later and it was ‘Amy from Virgin Media’. In all honesty, I thought it was someone ringing about my phone contract with VM and I nearly said no I didn’t have time to chat!! I am certainly glad I didn’t…it was about 5 minutes into the call that I realised I was actually being interviewed, Amy had been so friendly and chatty it just hadn’t dawned on me. But at the end she said she was impressed, but they were interviewing for a few more days and then they’d be in touch about the assessment centre. When the email came through inviting me I was ecstatic!

Assessment days are always nerve wrecking but somehow the one for VMB Sales was different. Without giving away any secrets I would say it was the most fun assessment centre I have been to! It was draining and exhausting but a really excellent opportunity to showcase many aspects of your personality because that’s what Virgin Media want – personality. Not stiff, corporate 20 year olds who think they’re 40. Instead people who know how to have a laugh at work, an impressive and hard-working group but people who know that sometimes, especially in Sales, it is good to be different.

Skipping forward over the summer to my induction the importance of being different was emphasised all the more. The resounding piece of advice that every single guest speaker imparted was ‘take the time to build relationships’…’people do business with people’… ‘…at virgin media we put people at the heart of our business’… and it’s so true. From the icebreakers, to learning about the values at Virgin Media it is so clear that the people who work there both genuinely love their jobs, but that also the sense of friendship amongst colleagues is genuine. Not only in the HR team was this apparent, but the Virgin Media Business Sales graduates were taken out for dinner with some of the senior leadership team, incredibly busy and important people, and the kindness and friendship that they showed us was so surprising. Before dinner I was nervous that we’d have to be on our best behaviour, but as soon as they arrived it was clear they were relaxed and informal, the evening ended with hugs and best wishes and I think I can speak on behalf of all the grads that we left on such a high.

My experience of being part of Virgin Media so far is that they will train us incredibly well, because they want us to get so much out of the graduate scheme. That they like us for who we are, not what university we went to or what we studied, but for our personalities, and what we can bring to a team. I have really enjoyed by induction week and cannot wait to dive into my two years as a VMB Sales grad!!!

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