The Graduate: Phoebe Love Lowe
Hello and welcome to my first blog! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Phoebe and I'm a Big Data Recruitment Consultant here at Evolution, working on the contract side of the business. My career in recruitment is considerably short in comparison to some of my colleagues, as I only joined the company in July of this year! So why am I writing this post?
Because I, like so many in the UK, am a graduate; I graduated the same month as I joined Evolution as a part of their academy. I’m writing this blog to show why I chose to go in the complete opposite direction of my degree, which lead me to recruitment!
The Student’s Nightmare
Born and raised in Wolverhampton, I moved up north to study Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool in 2014 (smart, right?). I dove into university head-first, getting involved with a wide range of societies, from aquaponics and peer support, to the Cocktail Society and even fencing! I loved the social aspect of uni, especially meeting a variety of people from different backgrounds and all over the world, which was something I wanted in career.
However, all good things must come to an end, and in 2017 I got my cap and gown and graduated with a 2:1; the three years of blood, sweat and tears (and caffeine) had paid off. But, like all students, it hit me – it was time to get a job and decide on a career. Like every sensible jobseeker, I took to LinkedIn looking for the perfect role.
The post-uni slump can be brutal, and job hunting equally so. I sympathise with graduates when it comes to searching for a role and not having work experience; you can’t get a job without experience, but without a job you can’t get experience! However, a glimmer of hope came when I got a message on LinkedIn from an internal recruiter at Evolution called Bethan, who asked if I fancied a chat about my career prospects. Something felt different about her approach; she seemed so much more down to earth and got straight to the point. I felt other recruiters were selling me inflated and false promises of six figure salaries after only a couple of years, and other baloney! By the end of the call, I’d been invited for an interview and the rest is history.
Training is something that Evolution prides itself on. In 2016, Evolution became the first company in the world to receive the Platinum status as Investors in People, and this year we won the Princess Royal Training Award. It’s as impressive as it sounds, and for someone like me who had never done sales or recruitment before in my life, it made me feel like I was in good hands and that I wasn’t going to be rushed through a few days of training and thrown in the deep end.
I started in the Evolution Academy with two other graduates, so I felt I was in good company and we’d all receive equal training, whether it was being taught how to use the unique inhouse database or how to approach clients and candidates. Learning completely new things is always daunting, but as time went on I developed a whole new set of skills. The training team at Evolution is brilliant; they’re so caring and patient, I never felt nervous about asking questions as I felt they were more than willing to take time out of their day just to see you progress and succeed. I’m no stranger to competition either, so the weekly competitions we were given only brought out my competitive side, and winning a crate of beer was surely the best way to end a long week of chasing leads and getting to grips with talking to clients.
The Big League
After three months with the academy, I was told I’d successfully completed my training with the company and was transferred into the contract team at Evolution. Working alongside my colleague Sean in the data science patch, I was given the Big Data patch to look after. I feel I’ve taken well to the data science side of recruitment, due to there being some cross over between that and my degree.
The main perk of the job is that it fulfils my need for sociability, which was something which put me off looking at a career in Pharmacology or science in general. I was worried about being cooped up in a lab and not talking to new people, whereas with Evolution I’m able to reach out to both candidates and clients to fulfil their needs. Plus, the job sometimes means going out and actually meeting the people you’re helping face-to-face, as I’ve taken part in client visits, an essential part of the recruiter-client experience. I’ve also attended the meetups organised by Evolution for IT specialists, meaning I’ve been able to talk with the candidates personally (not to mention having a few slices of pizza!)
So why Evolution?
As a sociable person, the environment in the office is brilliant. Everyone is incredibly friendly and the welcoming nature of the team really does make the first day intimidation go away quickly! I’ve been invited to so many great social events, from the whole office playing softball in the park to team nights out, I’ve really been welcomed with open arms into the company.
The training I’ve received from Evolution has also made me so much more confident with my role, and since ‘graduating’ the academy this year, the world of recruitment seems far less daunting to someone who has never been in a sales position before. I feel ready to tackle any challenges it throws at me!
So, what would be my main reason for enjoying working for Evolution? It’s that everyone who works here reflects the company values – ambitious, innovative and collaborative. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for me here!