By Ghislaine Barry, Operations Support Excecutive
Hello, I’m Ghislaine and I am the Operations Support Executive here at Siccar. I’m nearly 8 months into my first year on the Siccar Graduate Scheme and wanted to share some insight on my experience so far.
I applied for this specific role for several reasons: it was extremely varied, and I saw this as an opportunity to grow professionally whilst further building my range of skills. The role was advertised with a strong push in the direction of HR management, and I had recently enrolled to complete the Level 5 CIPD in People Management as I wanted to branch into a more HR-based role following several years of management experience.
At the time, I had been working in a corporate environment for two and a half years after finishing University and found myself feeling extremely burnt out. Corporate roles are not for everyone, and though I had some wonderful colleagues and the luck of a permanent WFH role during Covid, it was clear that I was a small cog in a huge machine that would continue to move without me. When you are one of a million employees, it is inevitable that the day will come where you feel you are merely a number and, after 2 and a half years, that day had come for me.
I began to feel dissatisfied with my role and the lack of career progression available in my location and decided to start pursuing other opportunities when a role at Siccar appeared.
My Application Process
At first when reading the job description, I felt that I could tick a few boxes in the requirements relatively well, but not all of them. In the past, I would have felt that I was not a perfect fit and discarded the role but, on this occasion, I decided to be bold and take the chance seeing as I didn’t have anything to lose (phew)!
I was very lucky to be taken through a series of interviews starting with a recruiter, then the COO and, finally, the Head of Customer Success and Head of Growth. Throughout the process, I was made to feel very comfortable and everyone I spoke with was relaxed, eager and kind. Coming from corporate, this was an unusual experience as previously, interviews had been a largely negative experience for me. I felt that the interviewers were often unpleasant, did not care about my attitude or values and merely wanted me to tick the boxes to their questions. The employees at Siccar made it clear that they had read my CV and were actually interested in my background and by the end of each interview, we had always found some sort of common ground to chat about rather than being grilled ferociously until I was left feeling like a shell.
I love my role at Siccar and hate to fit the cliché, but every day really is different as I never know what might pop up for me to work on. Some key aspects of my role include maintaining our ISO certifications, accountability for the recruitment process, responsibility for new employee onboarding, responsible for all ongoing HR procedures as well as assisting with sales support and customer success ongoing administrative support. For example, I have successfully maintained our ISO9001 accreditation and I am currently implementing ISO27001 and 22301 which I hope to have completed in the early Summer; I have assisted in compiling a Data Room; rebuilt our employee onboarding and offboarding process; filmed a demonstration of our product to be used on our website and sent to potential customers as well as assisting in redesigning our website (coming soon). This role is diverse and every day I have an opportunity to grow my skillsets and to work in an area that I may not have had much experience before.
I would highly recommend the graduate scheme at Siccar as, in my experience, my colleagues have shown that they care about my development and have provided me with great insight into all the areas of the organisation whilst allowing me to build my own pathway through the business by pursuing the opportunities that I feel will be best for my personal career development. I’m extremely grateful for the encouragement I have received in times of uncertainty at Siccar, and for the many cups of tea, I have enjoyed every morning with our COO Brian while I pester him to explain certain things for me!
My greatest piece of advice for anyone who is looking to apply for a graduate role this Summer is to be brave and be bold! Take a risk and apply for a job that you feel underqualified for. You don’t have to tick every box on a job application for you to be the best candidate for the role. Don’t forget the power that an open mind and willingness to learn can unleash for you in the right environment. At Siccar, we will help you to build your skills from scratch if you come with the right mindset and a little positivity in times of uncertainty. If you can tick that box, you’ll be number one on our candidate list.