Thursday, 12 February 2015

Thrown in at the deep end

I joined TDX Group in September 2013 on the graduate scheme, having applied for the job in early 2013.

At the time I was nearing the end of my studies at Swansea University studying business management. I wasn’t 100 per cent sure what I wanted to do – but I have always had an entrepreneurial streak, with my ambition being to either own my own business or to work in a young company where I can help it progress.

This was what appealed to me about the TDX Group Graduate scheme. TDX Group offered a more flexible scheme in comparison to others, and I would be given the creativity to grow according to what I wanted to do and where my strengths and interests lay.

The process lasted a few months with different stages. I initially completed an online application, then a literacy and numeracy test and after being successful in these, completed a phone interview and finally an assessment day. It was a tough day – which is what I expected and the other people were really good – so I left it feeling a little down heartened that I wouldn’t make it through.

However, I found out that I’d been successful in July 2013. I wasn’t due to start until the September – but it was really nice to know that I had a job waiting for me and it was a perfect way to finish university.

I had various discussions with the HR team at TDX Group before I joined and it was decided that I’d start in the Advisory team for an initial eight-month placement.

It was a bit daunting at first adapting to working in an office and doing longer hours than I had been used to, especially because I was thrown into the deep end – but in a good way as it meant that I was able to develop quickly. I started by looking at an internal strategy review and was allowed to take the lead on it, with the security that it was an internal project and support being there whenever I needed it.

I then worked on various external projects after this and my eight months were over before I knew it. During this time I also attended specific courses based on my development needs, like project management and presentation skills.

The Advisory team were brilliant and the time flew by, so much so that I thought to myself that this was the area that I wanted to work in – but now coming to the end of my second placement with the Commercial team, I really don’t know!

I’ve spent eight months in the Commercial team but am hanging around for another couple to help with capacity in the team. I’ll soon be joining the Debt Collection Agency (DCA) management team for a few months, after which I’ll have ‘officially’ completed my two year graduate programme.
When I reflect on my time here so far it makes me realise how much I have learned in such a short space of time – 16 months ago I never would have thought that I’d be fluently using acronyms such as IVAs, IPs and DCAs, but I am now. I remember when I first joined, I had a four-page document that I kept adding to whenever I heard an acronym used in meetings, I wouldn’t say that I don’t refer to it from time to time, but definitely less than I used to!

It’s really open as to what I can do once I have officially finished the scheme – it obviously depends on what kind of roles are available, but I’m able to keep my options open and control my career here. It is a genuinely exciting time to work for TDX Group and I’m very fortunate for the opportunity.

By Ben Dalton, Commercial Coordinator (Graduate Scheme)

The graduate scheme is open until Monday 16 February. What could your future at TDX Group look like?