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A Day in the Life: Graduate Intern

With initial career aspirations ranging from an architect to a lab technician or graphic designer, Hayden struggled to imagine a career that involved working with and supporting other people, but after graduating with a first-class honours degree in Psychology and focussing on a variety of work experience opportunities, Hayden uncovered his passion to help others!

His work experience and volunteering opportunities played a vital role in securing his current position as an HR Resourcing Graduate Intern at Skills Development Scotland (SDS)! Working within retail during his studies, Hayden developed key transferable skills which improved his confidence and understanding of customer service...

"When I worked seasonally over Easters and Christmases, it really developed my time management and prioritisation skills - fitting revision and meeting coursework deadlines around working and taking on overtime. Volunteering opportunities were easier to come-by and can be much more relevant for your future career. I would definitely recommend gaining voluntary experience - I found out about suitable organisations by speaking with lecturers."

Before securing his current role with SDS, Hayden took part in a Graduate Intern programme with Renfrewshire Council and initially joined the HR Admin team at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service! Working within roles that allowed him to develop skills relevant to the HR industry, Hayden also took part in our Employability Programme during his time at Renfrewshire Council and participated in our mock assessment centre which gave him great experience that he could implement during the recruitment stage for his current role...

"I don't think I would have been successful had it not been for taking part in a mock assessment centre as part of the 3i Graduate Employability Programme. Being able to experience an assessment centre in a supportive learning environment was a really unique and invaluable opportunity."

Now 10 months into his role at Skills Development Scotland, Hayden is loving the challenge! From being involved in various recruitment procedures to assisting in the development and facilitation of a work experience programme for young people from currently underrepresented groups, it's fair to say that Hayden is a busy man!

"The variety and pace are definitely favourites of mine - they keep my job interesting and it's rewarding to meet deadlines and service legal agreements. I also really enjoy building and maintaining effective relationships with internal contacts and external partners through providing support and great customer service."

Hayden enjoying a break from working hard!

As you progress in your degree and as you graduate, Hayden recommends proactivity - identifying and working to improve areas for development, attaining both voluntary work and work opportunities and seeking support from the various careers advisers from University and Skills Development Scotland to the employability initiatives available regionally (as Hayden did with the Graduate Employability Programme through Renfrewshire Council and Invest in Renfrewshire!).

"You can do it! But you'll need to persevere and keep the end goal in mind."

Some great advice, Hayden - thanks for sharing your story with us!

Are you a recent graduate looking for a new career adventure? We're currently recruiting recent graduates living within Renfrewshire for an Employability Programme that will see you undertake a paid internship of up to 3 months with a variety of local organisations! Learning how to effectively promote yourself within the competitive job market, you'll also take part in a mock assessment centre whilst gaining some valuable industry experience to add to your CV! For more information, visit our Careers page or contact us on!

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