Get A Graduate Job at Heathrow Airport
Lana Gilbert, Emerging Talent Specialist
Preparing for applications
My name is Lana Gilbert, and I am the Emerging Talent Specialist at Heathrow Airport Limited. After graduating from Bournemouth University with a BSc in Psychology in July 2017, I began my journey with Heathrow in an HR Internship.
I learnt so much in my year as an Intern before landing myself a permanent role within a great team. I have been given lots of opportunities to showcase myself, including delivering a business case to the CEO and our Chief People Officer amongst an audience of 60 people. I would not have had these amazing opportunities without first nailing my application to the internship programme.
Applying for Graduate Programmes and roles is an overwhelming process, believe me I understand the difficult struggle between focusing on your studies and looking toward the future. When I was in my final year, I knew that I wanted to have an opportunity ready and waiting for me when I graduated, however had no idea what I really wanted to do. I think it’s a great idea to use the contacts that you have made whilst studying and to really pick their knowledge about options for the future, especially your tutors and careers advisors. Obviously if you have a career in sight, then fantastic! However, if you’re anything like I was, you will have little idea of what you want to do with your future, and that is a scary feeling. I think it’s important to take a step back and look at your options – consider where your curiosities, strengths and goals lie and look at where different paths can take you.
Research the company
Having applied for several graduate programmes, a recommendation I would make is to really research the company. Whether you are applying for Heathrow or any other company, tailoring your application to align with the job description will show that you have really taken an interest and are motivated to put all your effort into the organisation. Doing this research before you apply will also give you an idea if you are what the company is looking for.
However, make sure the company is right for you too – you don’t want to be someone you are not, you want to be yourself and work in the way you need to! A great way to do this is reading testimonies of previous cohorts. For Heathrow, you can find our Future Leaders, Engineers, Finance Graduates and Intern testimonies on our website. They really express a feeling of our culture, ways of working and the success that people have found with the support of our emerging talent programmes.
When applying for my Internship at Heathrow, I took a lot of time to sit and research the company and put a lot of effort into making my application the best it could be, using little bits of research to back up my application. Doing this also proved to me how much I really wanted to get a place on the programme, and I made sure I focused solely on this application when it required my attention.
Tell your story!
Your application is the first insight a company will get of you – whether it is a CV and Covering Letter or an application form, make sure you showcase your strengths, knowledge and goals. I appreciate that not everyone likes to ‘blow their own trumpet’ but in cases like this, you do need to sell yourself and show yourself in your best light. I took some time to speak to my family and friends to ask how they would describe me, and where they thought my strengths lie to gauge how I may be viewed by others in my application form.
Take your time
Consider the questions that you are being asked and what the employer is looking for. At Heathrow, we use situational based questions in our online applications. My top tip for this is really take your time to think about the questions; create a mind-map, think about what behaviours you will display, actions you will take and the impact of these on others around you. It’s important that you think carefully about your answers your thought process is important in these situations and that you explain a rationale for the steps you would take.
Make an impact
One final tip, is to think about how you can really make an impact in the company that you are applying for. For our Future Leaders Programmes, we look for people who have genuine motivation and ambition to be leaders and inspire others to reach their own potential. We look for this throughout our recruitment process and help you to develop appropriate skills through your time on the programme. Companies look for people who have the desire to make a difference and want to continuously develop themselves. Heathrow offers an incredible learning and development programme which really drew me in and encouraged me to apply. It reassured me that companies are not looking for the finished article, they are looking for potential.
If you can show that you have potential to achieve, and you are focused on your career journey, you can go anywhere.