Hey, I'm Dan Mian, Founder of Gradvance.
Here's my story.
In my final year of university (2015), with graduation fast approaching, like most students, I decided that I should probably start looking for a job. My degree was Geography and Economics, which I loved, but I couldn’t decide the direction I wanted to take in terms of my career.
This became what I now call the scattergun approach to graduate job applications. I fired off applications left, right and centre with no real plan. I sent over 30 applications and faced over 30 rejections, it was really tough to take. Honestly, I thought it would be much easier than this. I moved back home with my parents and kept applying for jobs. I eventually secured a role in sales. At the time, I felt lucky and relieved and excited to crack on with the rest of my life.
However, after just a few months, I soon realised this job and this role and this life were not what I envisioned. I felt unfulfilled, disappointed and generally lost. The whole application process felt a long way behind me but even so having to go through it all again filled me with dread, especially as I felt that by managing to get a job, I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones and maybe I should just stick it out.
I carried on with the job for a few months more but the feelings hadn’t gone away, so I decided to start applying again the following year. This time with the strict intention of finding a job that wasn’t just a job but one that could help me develop a great career.
I completely changed my approach to applications, focusing on quality over quantity. I researched industries, roles and companies in depth and spent hours improving my CV, cover letter and interviewing techniques. I also did a lot of networking and got active on LinkedIn. I sent a handful of applications and (to my delight and shock) was invited to assessment centres to all of them including BT, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone. BT was my top choice and I secured a place on the BT Business Management Graduate Scheme in September 2017.
I’m still at BT and I’ve had a brilliant and varied experience over the last 3 years, from managing complex warehouse operations to running a call centre with 30 customer service agents. Today, I’m responsible for the marketing, strategy, and campaign execution for 4 specialist businesses (a cool one is drones!). I’m also a trained Assessor on the graduate assessment centers and Comms Lead for the BT’s Ethnic Diversity Network – our vision is to empower and amplify the voices of our racially diverse communities.
Gradvance was born organically out of my second application process. The changes I made and the skills I developed began to bear positive results. I started sharing this knowledge with friends, family and colleagues and quickly people started getting great jobs. So, I decided to set up Gradvance to help in a different way. Coming to the end of your degree and thinking about what comes next can be a difficult process and a strange time in life.
My goal is to help students, graduates and young professionals achieve their career goals and excel in the right career for them – putting happiness and career fulfilment as number one priority.