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When you are growing up, everyone always emphasises the importance of working hard and getting good grades at school, so that you can get a degree, which will get you a job. However, with the growing number of graduates finishing University and struggling to find a job, this obviously isn’t the case. You need something more to get you the job you want, or more likely any well paid job whether it’s what you want to do or not. Those of you who follow my progress you will know that I did the rare thing of getting myself a job doing something I enjoy straight out of university and I got that job thanks to this blog! So I thought I would share my story to encourage others to follow their hobbies and advertise your skills as much as possible as it might just be what an employer is looking for!
I did a degree in Equine Science, Breeding and Stud Management (BSc hons) because I like horses and have always had a science and maths way of thinking. My thought when deciding what to study at Uni was that it sounded like something I would enjoy doing and I would get a Science degree out of it. Once I was at Uni, I still didn’t have an idea about what I wanted to do after University. One of our assignments in second year was to create a business profile based on what you wanted to do after finishing. Since I had recently bought Scottie and was really enjoying retraining him and just having a horse, I decided to do my portfolio on retraining racehorses as a job. And that is how EquiPepper was created.
The idea was to have a professional looking website to display all my success with Scottie and also share my knowledge of the industry in informative posts. This website slowly became less of a business assignment and more of a hobby. I enjoyed writing about Scottie and writing up interesting lectures I had been to that week. I also started to find that people were actually reading these things I was writing! This drove me to write more and I started using social media to help advertise EquiPepper so that my posts would reach a wider audience.
Over the past year I have toyed with different programs to design different logos for my blog, I have experimented with different layout templates to make the content on my blog easy to find and eye catching and I think I have really developed my writing style. All these things display a creativity that a science degree often doesn’t allow you to show. Since starting EquiPepper I have also been approached by several businesses to write a review of a new product, or talk about a new concept and I was even given my own discount codes for my readers to use.
When I first started looking at jobs, I was adamant that I didn’t want to work outside. So I started browsing Equine Job databases for office based jobs what were still involved in the equine industry. I stumbled across a job for Digital Marketing. On reading the job description, the list of duties were very similar to things I was already doing for EquiPepper. It was mainly updating the website and managing social media. I decided this was something I would be interested in doing. However, the job description stated that they wanted at least a years’ experience in a similar role. This stumped me a little bit. This job really sounded like something I could do! But after a quick phone call to my dad, I applied anyway.
When I applied I made it very clear that I didn’t have the experience they were looking for. I didn’t want them to think I was trying to get anything past them. However, I made sure to really talk about EquiPepper and the things I had done since starting the blog, which included many of the duties they were looking for in the job.
I got a response a few days later and I couldn’t believe I had been invited for an interview. In the response they said they were really impressed with EquiPepper. I was over the moon and the interview went just as well. I talked about the blog and what I had done with it, the companies I had worked with. I was very lucky in that GluShu approached me a few weeks before to write about them as it turned out the company I was going for an interview at had recently started stocking GluShu. So that went down very well! Needless to say, after a second interview, meeting another member of staff and the company owner, I was offered the job! I have now been here nearly 3 weeks and I am really enjoying it.
When I started EquiPepper, part of me thought it would turn out like most of my projects, half-hearted and never really get anywhere. But how wrong I was! I have had numerous freebies from companies and landed myself a job I enjoy which pays well. So my message to anyone unsure about what they want to do with their lives and but has a hobby, think about creating a website or blog about you doing this hobby. Even a Facebook page dedicated to this can be useful. If you compete, this online resource could help you get a sponsor. And if you are starting to think about applying for jobs, these things act as an online portfolio for potential employers to witness your skills in action!