In a recent interview, Newsclip was asked to respond to the media about graduate opportunities within the company. Here is what we had to say:
• Does Newsclip currently recruite graduates? If so, what sort of numbers are we talking about annually?
Yes, Newsclip is currently in the process of recruiting interns for 2009, who will become possible full time employees in 2010. Newsclip is a relatively small organisation, and is therefore only able to accommodate a handful of graduates each year. We see it as imperative to take on students and expose them to the real working environment, with the intention of bridging the academic divide, by coaching students to shift their mindsets from ‘students’ to ‘employees’.
• Do we have any formalised graduate recruitment and development programmes?
Newsclip has specific graduate recruitment and development programmes, which are periodically updated. As a media monitoring company, the programme involves a tiered structure that exposes graduates to the media management environment, as well as communications; marketing and branding; writing; events; public relations; and additional business principles and skills. Graduates undergo the standard interview process that any other candidate would undergo, and are accepted into the organisation on this basis. A list of key performance areas are set out and mutually agreed upon, including a commitment to gaining knowledge across the organisation and ‘paying your dues’ during the induction period. Based on this performance, they are assessed through a stringent performance management system and stand the chance of being employed at the end of the period.
• What sort of qualifications do these graduates need and what are a few examples of the kind of career paths they can follow once they are in the organisation?
Newsclip is a diverse organisation that offers multiple opportunities, once accepted into the company. Firstly, graduates need to demonstrate that they are able and willing to learn the practical application of the theoretical principles they have been exposed to – even entry level candidates need to have some degree of practical knowledge. Coupled with this, they must demonstrate during the interview that they would be a ‘comfortable fit’ with the organisational culture. Once the induction period is over, opportunities exist for further development in Newsclip’s marketing ; sales; analysis; research; editorial; and consulting departments.
• With an eye towards climbing the corporate ladder, are there any particular additional qualifications you would recommend for graduates – anything that can help them fast-track their career in this sector?
IMM qualifications and short business courses are always a valuable extra to any degree. Many employers look for practical skills and candidates who demonstrate not only technical knowledge of their trade, but also broader business acumen and strategic thinking. Graduates need to be mindful in thinking out of the box and make ‘considered’ contributions, based on the facts available. From experience, graduates are likely to make overarching, sweeping statements based on a single piece of information, that is then generalised to the whole. From my perspective, technical skills are equally important to business skills.
• What types of career paths are available to graduates entering this sector - ie: are there other related areas within the sector that may also appeal to graduates entering the marketing & media arena?
Many students who study media studies and journalism seem to end up in public relations and communications, while marketing students end up in marketing or public relations. There are direct correlations between the various sectors, which are separated by specific technical skills. The variety in the industry is endless, and graduates are encouraged to choose their roles based on personal preferences and areas of business where they see themselves fitting in for the long run.
• Are there any specific ‘soft skills’ that might make a graduate more attractive to a hiring organisation?
Most definitely - social and emotional intelligence are crucial to a well-rounded individual within any organisation.
Important soft skills for Newsclip include, but are not limited to: the ability to develop a strategic plan; ability to multi-task and manage various tasks and deadlines simultaneously; conceptual/creative ability; energetic, efficient; excellent people skills; an upbeat and enthusiastic attitude; excellent stress management; written and verbal communication skills and experience; attention to detail; resourcefulness in solving problems; strong work ethic; team player; and strong organisational skills.