Applications for the Vodafone Graduate Programme are still open, but the window of opportunity won't remain open forever as they close this Friday.
So far, we've interviewed two grad programme alumni in Clare Cummins and Laura Corbett, who participated in the commercial and technological streams of the programme respectively.
Now, we can take a peer behind the curtain with Vodafone's Youth Programme Manager, Aidan McCarthy, who can run us through the process of applying for the grad programme, best interview practice and ultimately, what working in Vodafone is really like.
The first step on the road to the Vodafone Graduate Programme is, of course, the application. The initial process is a doddle, all prospective applicants need to do is submit their CV and an application form.
Aidan explains that the next step of the application process are "short set of online psychometric tests."
"These tests are standard when it comes to applying for any graduate programme, and there are plenty of practice tests you can take online before you do the actual one for the application," Aidan adds.
Then, if you make it through those tests, a video interview awaits you, where you'll be asked five competency-based questions. Ace all them and you're invited to the assessment centre for an interview.
The attributes Vodafone look for, according to Aidan, are curiosity and a love for technology.
"We accept students across all disciplines on the programme, they just need to show us that they are driven, determined and have a genuine curiosity about learning new skills and exploring new areas."
For Aidan, a good CV is one which shows the applicant in the best light with relevant information and insights into who they are, but warns that it's vital to not "overthink the application and the process."
He continues on by saying that people shouldn't be put off by not having a lot of experience, as it's a graduate programme that doesn't expect a wealth of real world expertise.
A good CV, in Aidan's eyes, is multi-faceted and relevant to the application.
"Ensure everything you are putting down is relevant and there is a good mix of college work, hobbies, interests, achievements and work experience."
The next step in the process of applying for the Vodafone Graduate Programme is the interview at Vodafone's assessment centre in January/February. In the weeks leading up to the interview stage, interviewees are given information from past graduates with tips and what to expect.
The assessment centre stage encompasses three aspects; a group exercise, an individual exercise and an interview. For Aidan, all three of these stages are "designed for the graduate to show themselves off in a number of different areas, and give both us and the graduate the opportunity to get to know one another a bit better."
These stages are designed with the graduate in mind, according to Aidan, "ensuring they all have a great experience in a comfortable environment to enable them to perform to the best of their ability."
The information given to interviewees before the assessment centre stage is vital in order to ensure that they are fully prepared for both their interview and their potential workspace at Vodafone.
Aidan stresses the importance of delving into the information surrounding Vodafone and candidates doing their own research. "This information will really help them feeling comfortable coming up with ideas and suggestions on the day as part of the assessment centre," says Aidan.
Another important tip for the assessment centre stage is to practice competency-based questions and situations, such as 'Name a time where you delivered for a customer' and 'Recount a time you collaborated with a group'.
According to Aidan, "this bit of preparation will really ensure the graduates feel at ease throughout the day".
For the interview itself, Aidan is keen to note that it is imperative that candidates are themselves and that they showcase their passion "and show a real enthusiasm for learning new skills and genuinely enjoy working with others".
"Someone that articulates themselves in a really simple but impactful way. Candidates that do really well are the ones who really listen to the question being asked and break down their answer in a very understandable way".
As we've discovered through both Clare and Laura, there's a multi-faceted nature to working at Vodafone. There's a keen assurance of a healthy work and life balance, with work being done in a collaborative and supportive manner.
In Aidan's eyes, the culture at Vodafone "is second to none for young people starting off their career".
"What really stands out to me, is being in an environment where you are actively encouraged to explore different areas of the business, to really figure out what you like doing and also what you don’t.
"There is a great sense of collaboration and camaraderie here, which is great as you can really feel that you are all in this together and can have fun whilst working on really exciting projects."
Vodafone's values of customer loyalty, experimentation, collaboration and innovation are incorporated into every facet of working for the company.
For Aidan, that feeds into why it's such great place to work.
"At Vodafone, we are all about connecting for a better future, be this for our customers, our colleagues or our communities."
He also talks about the trust and support of colleagues throughout the business, which only adds to experience gained whilst on the graduate programme.
Applications for the Vodafone Graduate Programme are now open. To apply, click here.