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Just over a year ago, I was one of many other recent graduates hopefully seeking work, ideally in web development. I found myself mired in a pile of job advertisements that all seemed to require 2 or more years of experience. I didn’t even have 1 year of experience in my field. Sure, I’d worked while I was in university, but primarily in part-time jobs or placements over summer holidays that were hardly related to my chosen career path. Feelings of desperation grew, but one day I saw a friend’s post on Facebook telling of a software development job at Attacat advertised through Talent Scotland (now ScotGrad). I was unfamiliar with Talent Scotland and, perhaps because I’m an American, with graduate schemes in general, but I welcomed the idea of a recruitment service tailored to my needs as a recent graduate.

ScotGrad

 

With a sigh, I completed a fairly lengthy and somewhat unusual application – it asked all sorts of questions that went beyond the usual ‘list your previous experience’. Though at the time I was a bit grumpy about how long it took me to fill everything out, I actually found this application process helpful for solidifying my thoughts about my achievements and experiences. In this way, what I originally thought of as a tedious application also prepared me for my subsequent interview at Attacat HQ.

Well, needless to say, I was hired by Attacat and began my role as a software and web developer at the start of January (along with 4 other lovely graduates). I’m not qualified to assess how Attacat has changed from before the graduates were hired – I have no point of reference – but I can report on things that have happened since our arrival:

  • Our brand has been refreshed,
  • We have built and launched a free training course all about internet marketing,
  • We have devised tools and clarified ideas to help get a grasp on the bigger picture of who we are and what we do and,
  • We’ve striven to add more and more value to our clients.

Attacat's old and new logos

 

To a greater or lesser degree, I’ve played a part in almost all the above aspects of Attacat activity. My involvement in these important projects says something about both Attacat as a company and the ScotGrad programme that helped get me here. On Attacat’s side, it reveals a friendly and welcoming culture, one that was happy to hear my voice (though I’m but a lowly graduate), give me leadership opportunities and provide me with education and mentorship. ScotGrad on the other hand is shown to be a company intent not only on making connections between people like me and companies like Attacat, but also getting graduates involved in the very core of the businesses they join.

But I’m only one of five who joined the Attacat team; here’s what our other grads had to say about the experience:

As a trained print designer I never thought i would be working for a digital agency let alone an internet marketing one. However, the new skills I have learnt in my first year have been immense. Read more: The Challenges of Digital Design:5 Things A Print Designer Learnt On Her First Web ProjectDanielle

Finding a graduate position can be a difficult proposition, particularly when graduating with a fine arts degree! Over the past year, I’ve really learned how to hone my technical skills, which is something I’ve always been keen to do. PPC is a delicious mix of creativity and cold excel logic; it’s been awesome to get to do both!Michelle

Persuading a company to give you that first step on the career ladder can feel nigh on impossible, especially when “entry level” positions requires “1-2 years experience in a similar position.” To me that doesn’t make any sense, what does make sense though is giving graduates a realistic and mutually beneficial starting point – which is exactly what ScotGrad and Attacat have achieved.Lara

If somebody told me a few years back that I’d actually start a career in the field in which I studied, I’d probably have laughed in their face. The truth is, you’re just not expected to these days, it’s just so competitive. So when I found a position that combined the use of my degree, a passion for content and creativity and the ability to develop and grow with the company that valued me, that was it for me – I was hooked! I’ve learnt more in the last year than I did during four years of university!Charlie

By encouraging jobs like mine and those of my fellow new Attacats, ScotGrad enables creativity, knowledge and innovation to flow between graduates and SME’s which helps combat so-called ‘dinosaur thinking’ in companies. Attacat saw the value of opening its doors to fresh talent and ScotGrad helped them carry out that ambition. It is my hope that the 5 graduates who joined last January have indeed fulfilled this objective for Attacat. I know in no uncertain terms that I’ve benefitted hugely from my time here!