Career inspiration from the student who bagged a dream job at Google while still at uni
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Taking a risk can pay off when it comes to your career prospects. Trying new things without fear of failure can open unexpected doors, just ask University of South Wales student Aled Nelmes.
By putting himself out there and taking new opportunities he has progressed from internships to working in a dream job at Google’s Digital Garage… all while still at university!
He leads a team of consultants that have experience in digital marketing to offer free training to businesses, students and even ‘just someone’s grandmother who doesn’t know how to forward an email.’
Speaking to Aled he is inspired, realistic and optimistic about what this means and about what it took to get to this point.
Here are his thoughts (and pearls of wisdom) on:
His journey to his position at Google
“I was lucky enough to do be Head of Digital Marketing for a health care company, based in west Wales called New Dawn. They were happy for me to use them as essentially a kind of guinea pig business to really find my roots and to test digital marketing tactics and theories that I had picked up on the way. I also did a six month internship with a music PR company based in Cardiff. Again there was nothing special involved, no special contacts, I just had a really good guest lecture at uni and asked if I could do some free work. That was great because it was about brand building for various artists and pitching to radio stations and stuff. All this led to my current job.”
The attitude you need to succeed
“None of this was borne out of being in the right place at the right time, it was just about looking and to keep trying.”
“Absolutely, the biggest thing is to never think you are not good enough for something. One of the biggest things for me was not thinking either I wasn’t good enough or that opportunity wouldn’t suit me, I think there has to be a degree of openmindedness. Let’s try it. It’s the only way to find out. If don’t get out there and try new things and new pathways you’ll never really know.”
Taking opportunities while at university
“Grasping those opportunities while you are still at university is the best thing. I find my course really compliments the work I do, but also in my degree I also use a lot what I do at work to support my modules at uni. So it works hand in hand. It’s not this ‘interruption’ thing that a lot of people think it could turn out to be.”
How to juggle university and work
“It’s a lot about self-discipline, it’s not easy. But again, I always say, anything that is easy isn’t worth doing. It is a challenge but you’ve got to be good with your time-planning and make sure you are dedicating enough time to something. The biggest thing is not spreading yourself to thin as well. I found myself trying to take on too many things at once, because a lot of opportunities were coming up and I was thinking ‘yes, I can do everything’.”
Entering the real world
“A lot of people say ‘what are you going to do when you enter the real world?’ I say ‘I am in the real world right now’ why does this have to be a post-uni thing? It’s important not to separate yourself as post-uni and pre-uni as I think that can be quite scary, you have to ease yourself into it whilst at uni.”
His biggest piece of careers advice
“Biggest thing is just TRY. The biggest thing with our ‘youth today’ is that we are all very connected and we can see everyone’s lives all the time through a shade of pink, as they want to present it and we are all very affected by that thinking ‘I will never be as good as that person’, but you’ve got to keep trying things and never limit yourself.”