Hi and welcome !
I'm Holly Ashford, and I'm thrilled you've arrived at Beyond Campus, the place where you'll find all the support, expertise and inspiration to help you get the best from your career.
Many years ago I was where you are now. I clearly remember turning up to an assessment centre, terrified, having no idea what lay ahead of me. Somehow I got the job – my dream job – a place on a global graduate training scheme for one of the largest companies in the world. To this day I don’t know how I did it. Luck must have played a huge part. But the world is very different today - way more graduates and fewer jobs - relying on luck is no longer enough.
I went from strength to strength – within my first 2 years I had worked across the UK, France, Sweden and Norway, spent a year as a project manager in Japan and taken on my first people-leadership role. It was challenging, exhilarating and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I want the same sort of amazing start for you.
Through a 20 year corporate career, interviewing hundreds of people for roles, designing and running assessment centres and progressing to more and more senior roles, I have a unique insight into what secures a job offer, the common mistakes almost everyone makes at interview, how people stand out and what makes them enjoy their jobs.
In 2015 I left my fabulous career to do My Thing - the launch of Beyond Campus, to share all the knowledge I had gained to benefit graduates like you.
"Inspired by real-life events". A quote you often see in movies that very much applies to how we coach. Everything you will hear and learn is inspired by my own career path, including numerous case studies of real-life people and events - the successful and the not-so successful - they're all here to inform and inspire you on your own journey.
Here’s how it works – 10 training modules encompassing everything I have learnt:
- Identifying the right role for you
- Creating an awesome CV and LinkedIn profile
- How to shine at interviews and assessment centres
- Confidence building tips and tricks
- Preparation roadmap
plus a whole host of additional tools, resources and weekly blogs.
Here’s who I am.
I am an expert in building capability in a short space of time through 1:1 coaching - it's my favourite thing to do!
I am all the people you will meet at interview or assessment centre rolled into one.
I am driven by impact and excited by seeing you succeed in a career that fits with the authentic you.
I’m not afraid to (gently!) let you know where you’re going wrong, to say what needs to be said and steer you in the right direction.
I work best with people who resonate with what I and my company are about, are prepared to work hard and have fun along the way!
I am a firm believer in creating your own career reality. We work together, to make YOU a great success.
I do hope you'll join me soon - can't wait to meet you!
Ready for action?
10 things we know to be true:
- Your final year can be an anxious time. Knowing what you need to do next, and balancing securing the grades you need, with the focus on finding that first job after university can be confusing and overwhelming.
- 70% of students graduate with a 2:1 or a 1st. There are 75 applications for every graduate role. Competition is fierce.
- The average amount of student debt on graduation is at an all-time high of £40-£45k. The median graduate salary is £30k. That first role and salary is important – future pay rises will be heavily influenced by where you first started. Of course you want a well-paid job that supports your desired lifestyle and gives you security and independence, but don’t forget to factor in what work-life balance looks like for you - and don’t sacrifice it.
- Not every company or role suits every individual – no matter how good or well-paid it appears. Big companies aren't for everyone. Don’t be pushed into something that doesn’t “feel right”. Explore all options. Finding a job in your chosen industry, that you love, that “fits” with your personality and offers development opportunities? That takes work – not only industry research, but also understanding what makes you tick.
- On paper many graduates look the same - standing out from your peers who have the same qualifications and experience is tough. Dare to be different.
- Interviews are scary. From forgetting everything you’ve learnt and looking stupid, to how to dress, to how to handle tricky questions and tough interviewers. Feeling in control and confident can sometimes feel like a distant dream. Learning the ropes is essential.
- Assessment centres can terrify the most confident of candidates. Knowing what recruiters are looking for and preparing well will boost confidence.
- Nerves are normal. They affect almost everyone. Appearing confident is the key. The more practice you put in, the more at ease you will feel.
- Getting the job is just the start. Ensuring you are taken seriously and fit in well with colleagues is another thing. Building a successful career with a new company brings a whole new set of experiences and challenges.
- Imagine going into an exam feeling confident, then you turn over the paper and discover you're woefully under-prepared. Then as you look around you realise that everyone else is scribbling away confidently. The stuff of nightmares, right? Yet, every year, hundreds of people show up for interviews for their dream jobs only to experience that same nightmare. Don't let that be you.
Crossing your fingers and hoping your dream job shows up, is rarely, if ever enough.
To find any old job is easy. To truly find your place requires something more.
If you want to stand out from your peers and get the career you really want, now is the time to take action.
This is one of the most positive steps you can take towards your new life.
Join Beyond Campus today and here's what you will get.
- A head-start on your peers through expert coaching.
- The secrets to finding a job you will love, that fits with your unique values and skills.
- Techniques and practice in how to tailor your experience to any interview question.
- Detailed analysis of your CV - what works and what doesn't, and how to make yours stand out.
- Feedback on how you come across at interview - the good and the bad - with practical advice and coaching to improve.
- Assessment centres demystified - know how to shine no matter what is thrown at you.
- An understanding of your uniqueness - how you can display that at every interview to make you memorable.
- Someone in your corner to guide and inspire you - with us you'll get your dream role faster than you would alone.
- The opportunity to connect with other graduates on the same journey as you - learn from their experiences.
- 1:1 coaching to feel fully prepared, in control and confident for whatever the recruiter has in store!
- Improved self confidence, self belief & self esteem.
- All the inside tips and tricks on how to succeed and grow once the job is yours.
- Tailored content via distance learning, 1:1 coaching or a combination of both.
- Everything I’ve learnt over 20 years in corporate roles - unique documents, training, tools, tips and tricks to support your journey.
- Focus, clarity and confidence within 1-3 months!