Sibhat Kesete, Accountant

In my country of origin

I grew up in a country where chances to join university are few. I was one of the outstanding students who made it to study in the only one university in the whole country (around 1000 per year). After finishing studies, graduates have to be assigned by the authorities to fill the gap of professionals in all sectors which is totally different from the UK.

In the UK

Here graduates have to compete to find jobs with hundreds of thousands if not millions and this was the main challenge for me to overcome. I had a good result (UK degree 1st class in Accounting) but that was only a prerequisite to make an application.

After one and half years of finishing my studies I registered with Transitions and that was the time i was able to understand how hard is to find a job with limited experience.

Different market expectations

Actually it was not only experience but the cultural differences, communication methods and how much effort you have to put into jobsearch. I went to many seminars where I found it very helpful to understand the so called soft skills during application process from filling forms to job interview techniques. Coming from a very conservative culture it is a big challenge to communicate soft skills to employers convincingly so they know what style of work you are going to bring to their organisation on top of the technical skills.

UK work experience

As we all know it entry point that is the hardest thing and it took Transitions and I a while. We decided to look for an internship (work experience - only travel and Lunch were covered). Honestly it was hard work and it took a lot of energy as I was working in a night shift cleaning job to pay my bills but the good thing is I was free from the Job Centre in all the time of my job search.

Successful jobsearch

Finally after so many disappointing results from interviews, after so many persistent quests from Transitions to guide me to fill out competitive application forms, after pushing me to have a second three months’ work experience with the same organisation, I think I possessed the required ability to talk about my soft skills as well as my finance skills in an interview and I got a job in my field of Accountancy. Now it is up to me to build my networks and look for future career advancement. I'd like to thank Transitions.

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