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Industry Insights with Lara Senhen
Episode 29th June 2022 • The Future of Work • Leeds University Business School
00:00:00 00:38:35

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Welcome to episode 2 in our ‘The Future at Work’ podcast! Continuing our discussion of AI in the recruitment process, we invited Lara Sehen, graduate of the MSc International Business Programme and Global Project Lead at FDM recruitment to discuss how AI functions in her role. For more information, read our blog here!


Ellen: Hello everyone, welcome to the Future of Work podcast series. My name is Ellen Wang from Leeds University Business School and your host for the show.

Marc: Hi everyone, this is Marc Steward, Careers Consultant at the University of Leeds, and I link in here with LUBS, the Business School.

MSc International Business in:

Lara: Hello, everyone. Lovely to be here as well. Really exciting.

Ellen: So, Lara, before we start to explore the topic of the future of work. Would you like to tell us a little bit about self and how you create started with FDM please?

. So obviously I graduated in:

Ellen: That's fantastic. Thank you for the wonderful introduction, Lara. It's great to hear about your career path, but also is a great to know that UK is attractive enough for you to return here as well and start your career. So, for someone who's been working within the recruitment industry, let me start by asking you, are there any AI or technology trends that FDM follows in terms of selection and recruitment process for graduates, please?

Lara: Yes, sure. So, there's actually quite a few AI and technology trends that we are using within our recruitment and selection process. So firstly, as I mention, obviously we have a new application tracking system which allows us to use more real-life data to analyse candidates, to get a better overview for them or about them, but then also helped them to find the right career path. So, like the data that is involved is quite a high standard now, which helps obviously. But then also if you look at the system as well, it actually recommends jobs to candidates that might be interesting to them, based on certain parameters. So that obviously helps kind of like giving a good overview about the different roles, but hopes, hopefully also narrowing down what kind of roles we have and what kind of roles are actually suitable for the candidate, so that's where can like the AI aspect comes in. Obviously analysing the candidates, what they applied for before, but also what other roles are quite similar to them. But then there's like obviously quite a few. So, I'm just trying to cover all of them. So, it might be quite lengthy. We also have like the opportunity to have like a talent pool analysis. So, what that means is we can overall run an overall report on different skill sets and also see or match them automatically to certain job descriptions as well. So, that helps us finding the right talent rather than manually going through all the CVs that we get trying to identify the right talents. Obviously, that's like a really big help for us as well, in terms of that. And then the other aspect not necessarily AI related, but technology related, is the automation. So obviously we want to kind of reduce any kind of human errors that can happen. We want to reduce the admin time for recruiters as well. So that actually have more time spending that with our candidates to have that human touch. So there's quite a lot of automation happening in the background from interview sheets being populated automatically, putting them straight away into folders, email sending out automatically based on certain kind of stages they are in the recruitment process. So, there's quite a lot of automation that is going on in the background which helps. Mainly our recruiters, that they have more time to actually spend with the candidates, because I think that's quite important in a selection process, because it can be quite a scary situation to go through. So, I think that's really helpful that actually our recruiters have more time. And then one quite different aspect as well is actually our CIO, Jonathan Young is conducting research for his PhD, and he is analysing our candidates with the help of AI and their thoughts about technology. But he's also looking into the trends that he can see. So, if there's any certain groups. Add not completing the video interviews. What would that help us to do? Does that mean we can actually change our recruitment process? Do we need to be more open minded? Probably make sure that they know what kind of like additional support to have as well. So, we are really positive that those insights that we get from his research will help us, and help the candidate experience as well. So, I think overall there's quite a lot going on, but if I would have to sum it up, obviously in terms of the selection and recruitment process, it's definitely heavily changing around AI data and automation.

Ellen: Absolutely. This is definitely going on. There is so much going on there. Thank you for summing up on those points. I'm going to pass it on to Mark. I think he's made a lot of notes and I'm sure he's got a lot of follow up questions to ask.

Marc: Hello Lara, so some of that, some of the questions I got from feedback from students that I see one-to-one and in groups, so the first one is obviously about hints and tips for the application. So, what would your hints and tips be from students when they’re applying, and specially that process in terms of the AI process?

Lara: I think it's really important that their CV well written and structured and don't do too much like fancy stuff. I would say as well because, I think especially where AI is going at the moment, it might actually hinder people. Obviously, you always still check everything, but if they do make a really fancy CV and like the information is just, anywhere, so just having a real well-structured CV obviously, especially in our kind of industry. It might be different if they apply for different roles, obviously a graphic designer, probably needs to have a nice fancy CV, but like other than that just needs to be real really well-structured CV.

Marc: Excellent, and you mentioned bout so emails being sent out automated, is that every stage of the process or is that just sort of after the application stage?

Lara: It's definitely after the application stage but also throughout the recruitment process. I would say for example, those that don't need necessary to be amended, like preparation for video interview. Obviously in terms of audit we need to make sure that we do provide the same information to each candidate, so that is also equal for everyone. So, those ones are automated, but then anything else that is more personal level. So, for example, when I talk to candidates, I make sure that they get all the information for the different roles that I find quite suitable for them, so obviously those ones I still personalise, but anything that is quite equal around every candidate, they get like an automated email.

Marc: Excellent, good. And could you expand a bit more about this, sort of, human element, you were saying more time for the recruiter. So, when does the human element come into the sort of process after the initial application?

Lara: So, within FDM, obviously it's the case that they apply, we then screen the CVs, checking that everything is still good and good to go ahead. Then we do actually schedule a telephone interview just to learn a bit more about the candidate. But also, for us learn a bit more about them and they also to get a chance to ask us questions. So that's where, like the human element comes in. Equally in the next stages. So for example, the video interview we do give them an introduction on the phone as well to what they can expect from the video interview. We still view all the video interviews. I know there's some AI technology out there that does it for people, but we are a bit reluctant to do that, and so not sure if it's going to change in the future, but at the moment there's still that human touch to that as well. Then obviously further down as well with our online assessments and like the final stage interviews, to prepare them before hand to give them phone calls, keep up with them if they need any extra support, then obviously we do have a call with them. So, we still have quite a lot of calls with our candidates to make sure they're well prepared and they will feel supported throughout the recruitment process as well.

Ellen: Perfect, so, I guess the next question I have is around the topical subject of a global pandemic. I mean in the last episode to Marc and I talked about the global pandemic and it was such a global phenomenon that impacted and affected the selection and recruitment process. So, my question is, how does this global pandemic really affect the selection and recruitment process at your company please?

Lara: Yes, definitely. So, I would say every company but affected by COVID, same with FDM and we did actually had to move all of our recruitment process obviously virtually, and even though they be now almost coming out of the pandemic a bit, we still continue doing everything virtually. So beforehand it was the case that was the application was online. Video was online and then they attended an assessment centre, and the assessment centre would normally take place in Leeds, London or Glasgow in our office. We have now taken that out, an actually we've done it, I would say I think it was in a week or something since the pandemic happened, we had to obviously really quickly on that. So everything was moved online. And then the beginning it was the online assessments and the interviews in one day. But we also then obviously took feedback into account from candidate and actually move that into two separate parts because they said, obviously you do get fatigue when you just on your screen all the time and obviously you want to perform really well doing your assessment centre. And they fed back to us that doing the online test on the screen plus the interviews, but actually quite lengthy for them. So, now we actually have the online tests first, and if they pass them, they then invited to the final stage interviews. So, therefore it's a bit shorter than one day. So, the assessment centre is now actually called final stage interviews cause there's only business introduction. And three short interviews so should be done within half a day. They would say that was like the main changes to move everything virtually. And I think the feedback was actually really positive, because it means they don't have to travel. People don't have to get up early, get on a train and then already feeling exhausted. Why they get into the office and then it can be quite intimidating seeing an office as well. I think overall I think it actually been really positive and the change that COVID had brought in terms of our selection process.

Marc: Okay, can I ask a follow up to that, and this is quite interesting. What over the last couple of years when I've met with employers and sat with professional bodies in the ISC and people like that, I think the one thing that employers are quite keen to get back to in terms of face-to-face, would be the assessment centre and the final interview. Do you think that's the case with yourselves as well? I appreciate we're going hybrid in a lot of work and offices. That was always going to happen. But you think that's the one sort of area of recruitment process that a lot of employers would like to get back to face to face. I know you said that the office, the travel, and other sustainability issues there as well, but obviously if it's a future sort of colleague, to get them together. As you say, the office can be daunting, but also something that I know our students are really keen to see as well. The students always feed back and say well I’d love to be in the office, I would have loved to meet with people, and things like that. So, do you think that possibly might be something you are looking at?

Lara: So, I think for assessment centre for a graduate programme, we probably going to stay virtual, but obviously got fed back that they would like to see the office beforehand. So, what we quite often do is like meet and greet so they can come into the office, they have actually quite a lot of people coming. They meet our sales team, recruitment team, the Academy and so on, as we do work on a hybrid base so internally, we are in the office three days a week. But from the assessment centre we did see that like the results are normally better for candles as well. So, I don't know if it's the case that it's a bit more, I feel a bit more secure in their own place, but I'll see if someone wants to come in and see the office. We can also meet individually with them. They feel like it's actually really beneficial to see the office, so there's no restriction on that. But at the moment, I mean, I don't know, it might be different in a year’s time, but at the moment I feel like our assessment centres will stay virtually for graduate programme.

Marc: Okay, and can I just checked so I guess, I know obviously I was lucky enough to sit in pre-COVID and thank you for that. So, obviously they did the tests, and then they do the interviews, so the situation is they do the test first, but they may not then progress on to the interview. So, then it is almost another, sort of, sieve for most in your recruitment.

Lara: Yeah, exactly. And it was always the case that they had to pass both stages anyway. So, even on the assessment centre. So, for example, it could have passed the final at the interviews like pre-COVID and didn't pass the test. And then they're obviously wouldn't be offered a place. So, therefore we have actually like moved it obviously in two parts almost. Which again, actually see more positive results because they can actually prepare for the tests first focus really on the test, being aware of what's happening. And then hopefully if they successful then also be invited to the final stage interviews and know that they only need to prepare for the interview. So again, even though it is kind of like obviously like another part to progress, it hasn't really changed in terms of the parameters.

Marc: And could I ask one more, sorry?

Lara: OK. Yeah, of course. Yes.

Marc: I mean, this isn't necessarily happened a lot recently, but certainly when we went into lockdown because it was new to everyone. You know, I was working with a lot of students who would do the mock interview, and come back and say, ‘the Wi-Fi went down, and I just freaked out on the rest of the day was awful’. Just wondering if, you know, a that situation happens again, what your view of that is, if the Wi-Fi goes down. They just can't get back into a, you know, into an interview can they then sort of reapply for interview or if they come back half later, I know, it's very tricky. I know you're working to sort of timeline, but you know again, if you really flustered, they were really flustered by that, just wondered what sort of, the feel was about that. Our student’s feedback is that they think ‘I’ve done really badly, I know I’m going to fail, I was blocked out by my Wi-Fi or whatever’, an obviously it isn’t their fault. So, I just wondered what the situation was there.

Lara: Yeah, I think with the Wi-Fi, technology is technology, I don't think it's going to always be 100%. And I know sometimes it’s also barrier for people so. We had it before where people up see they lost the Internet connexion, or like the energy anyways went down for the whole house and like the laptop died and so on which, you can’t really make any difference about even if they were well prepared for. So, for us it's just important to let us know we don't actually book them onto like a different interview or something, depending on what they want. So, I think it's always important if they say no, I just want to get on with my interview. I want to get it done. Then obviously we can hopefully make the adjustments depending on how much you missed off the day. But if they say actually that has just thrown me off totally and I think it's better to be honest about it in our case and we then just booked him onto different interview because, we want them to perform to the best of ability as well, so there's. Yeah, I don't think it really is otherwise fair to just be like that. You missed your chance. Now, just because the Internet went down. So yeah, we definitely just say talk to the recruiter, be honest and explain the situation and then we would find the best solution for both of us.

Ellen: That's really good to know, isn't it? I think that's one of the things a lot of students perhaps missed, concept and misunderstood is that once they missed their chance, they think that, say, you know that they cannot talk to the employer and they've completely missed their chance, and which you know is really good to hear, Lara, that that's not the case. You know, certain a justification can be made to such circumstances. So I'm going to kind of refer to the last episode again because Marc brought, you know, something really interesting in terms of AI and gamification as part of the selection process within the recruitment industry. My questions you, Lara, is really I wanted to know again, Marc shared his insight in terms of the importance of, you know, adaptation of such thing. My question to you is why you think this is important to use AI and gamification as part of selection process please?

Lara: Yes sure. I think AI will definitely help to get better insights into candidates and their skill set. Because it can obviously give us a larger scale, it can like swift through quite a lot of details, more quickly than a human can, but also it will obviously help the candidates help to find a more suitable career choice with less searching for them as well. So, they actually can use that for their own kind of like advances as well. As I mentioned before, obviously will also help the recruitment team to actually focus on the candidates and build those relationships instead of using their time on heavy admin tasks, and that also then obviously hopefully helps the candidates to perform better because they feel more welcomed, and they feel like I'm actually understood here. Um, so think there's quite a lot of positives, by AI and in terms of gamification, it's definitely I think the world is going now as well. More people are more used to gamification, or games in general, so therefore they can obviously benefit from that situation that they feel again more comfortable in that situation because they are aware of how games work, and how that can be tested around that. So, I think there's so many positives around it as well that will actually help everyone involved, not only the candidates, not only the company, but also the recruitment team. So, hopefully overall it will be a better experience for everyone.

Marc: I just have one more. Yeah, this gamification is interesting, and it’s been around for a while pre-COVID. So, I’m just wondering, you know, we're talking about that AR VR now. Can you see a time where FDM might be using sort of VR and AR rather that gamification and testing your you're doing currently?

Lara: Yeah. I mean it's an interesting one. I would love it. But we would also need to see how actually feasible it is, especially like we are in my hat. Sure that's not quite right, but you just have to glasses on and then you can do all the tests. But how do you get the upstairs? Quite a lot of logistics things. How do you get those glasses out to the candidate? How will they actually do it if everyone has their own VR at some point, that might actually be a situation in 10 years down the future, maybe. Who knows? Then I think it probably is something that's quite interesting to see that you then can potentially follow them and see what they do on a daily basis, or something like that. Or they have to solve tasks that normally would do in a job, that could be something. But I think there's quite a lot of logistics and actually making it available for everyone as well, which probably, will have some difficulties in there in the near future.

Marc: Sorry, I just have one more. Again, in terms of gamification, I mean obviously as a Careers Consultant seeing people who need help, or want to develop certain skills and some of the feedback around gamification is that you know, a lot of student’s wonder why it's been introduced, so that it's a little bit sort of, I know tricky one because I know that prior to gamification, a lot of students didn’t like psychometric tests, and blocks of text, and multi-choice. But obviously an employer has to think ‘okay, what can we do? We’re looking at, you know, Gen Z, millennials, etcetera’, so, this mobile technology, we’ll maybe move to gamification. But again, some of the feedback from students is that ‘I don't actually like gamification either’. So, I know you said you we’re looking into research at the minute as well, is that something's been fed back to you as well?

Lara: Not necessarily. We know, obviously that sometimes a case that depending obviously on their kind of like reasonable adjustments, that we have to actually make something totally different, and that's what I would stress to people as well, like talk to the company about it. If there's any reason why, I mean we had it before that it couldn't have any gamification because it would just not work for them, so obviously we then went back old pressure and had like an extra spreadsheet, where it was timed instead of like having all this flashy aspect. But so far we didn't get too much negative feedback around the gamification. It might be because our gamification that we used are relatively simple. I wouldn't say there too, like crazy. Yes. So I think that might be the case. But again, I would just say if people do struggle with it, just like talk to the employers about it as well, because then they can obviously see how we can make those adjustments. But yeah, any feedback is always good as well. So I feel like we do get collected by a lot of feedback. So, I would also say to people. Try to be honest about it, because then that's where employers will then make a change if they see things around that.

Ellen: That's great, Lara. I think that's really interesting, isn't it? And then, you know, you talked about the trends within terms of AV headsets because you know, at the moment is still deemed as a gadget, isn't it? And I think it's the trend with going forward is changing from gadgets to common accessory, and in which case that you know we can almost streamline the process, maybe more adaptation can be used from that. One of the things you mention is using simplified gamification as part of the selection. So, my question is, other than that, is there anything else that FDM is different from other companies with the use of AI and technology in the selection and recruitment process, and if so, how?

Lara: Yeah, sure. So, I mean I think it's quite difficult to tell if we really different to other companies because obviously we don't necessarily know what they do on a large scale and but I think we definitely want to like bridge the gap between people and technology and that I think is also reflected doing our recruitment process. So, even though we do use some aspects of AI and technology, we still have a large recruitment team that make those phone calls, that build those relationships, that watched the pre-recorded video interviews which then adds that human touch which I think is quite, it’s different to quite a lot of companies where quite a lot of aspects is automated. You don't know who to contact, you don't have one contact person, you have like loads of different ones. And I think just having that kind of with the technology definitely makes a difference. And I think that's where be potentially do stand out to other companies.

Ellen: The next question I want to go back to is something that Marc have mentioned in terms of, you know, the human side of things. So what have been the consideration when comparing the use of AI and technology versus the human and emotional intelligence please?

Lara: Yeah, I think obviously with AI especially is still in this, kind of the infancy stages. So quite often the big questions obviously, how good is it really and will we be losing good candidates based on technology in AI, just because they didn't have the best written CV? But actually, they are really tech savvy and would perform amazingly doing the interview stages. So, I think that's obviously a big aspect. How good is it? And you can test their systems, but you never know how good they really are. You can never, in my opinion, 100% trust them. Even if you think about some platform streaming platforms that do use AI and they recommend something to you, sometimes it's quite alright. Sometimes I don't know where they get this information from. And I think that's obviously a big consideration as well in terms of how reliable is it, can we actually trust it and what do we do with people that, for example, do you need like, special or reasonable adjustments itself that probably won't be picked up necessary by technology yet because it's so like in its infancy stages, but I think that's where it kind of like… we also see for example, also see it that we watch a video interview. It might not be the best, but because they were really good on the phone, we feel like, oh, we can actually give them loads of feedback. We can coach them, we can develop them. We can help them where potentially if you just run an AI over it, it probably would not be like, nope, that's not how it should be and probably would put it away. So, I think that's the thing, like how reliable it is, how much can be trusted and how can I actually pick up like human aspects of it as well, where we can see potential. I don't think AI can actually do that yet, in my opinion at least.

Ellen: Yeah, I think that's really interesting. Isn’t it? And just going back to that, I've got a follow up question Lara, if that's OK is the fact that do you think the current technology satisfies any special needs for the applicants or do you think that still needs a bit of refining?

Lara: Yeah, I think, obviously I did a bit of research on like the video interview technologies that like. View it records it and makes kind of like based on that. And I think sometimes it's not picking up every aspect. I think some companies that develop those AI technologies, for example for video interviews, they will pick up some. But I think because there's such a range in it as well that is quite difficult to make those adjustments for every person, and it might miss out on good people, so I think therefore that's where I would struggle personally a bit with, because I do like that human touch it when I see someone is good or if I see potential, then I would like to give them a chance and I feel sometimes that might not be the case for all kind of like reasonable adjustments because, there's obviously so many different ones as well, and not everyone is the same. And I think that's where it might let like where technology might let you down a bit.

Ellen: And I feel like that's probably the trend going forward is to enable these technologies to be as fair and as so equal opportunity as possible to students or graduates or talent pool. You know, with the different special needs, or special requirements, right. And like you say. Perhaps we were not quite there yet.

Lara: Yeah, exactly. And I think it is something that in the future I can definitely see because, see, there is quite a focus on the diversity and inclusion, but also on the technology making life easier for loads of people as well. So, I feel like the technology will always develop. If I look back when I was a child. There was nothing like this before. I think even a pandemic would have been really tricky for most people because we couldn't have done anything really. So, I think we're not too far away from it, but I think there's still quite a lot of aspects that will be developed in getting better.

Ellen: Right, so here comes to the last but million-dollar question, Lara. And you know, also I'm hoping this question can be the takeaway points for all of our students from today's episode as well, is how students can or graduates best prepare for the selection recruitment process, please. You know, given everything we've discussed so far.

Lara: Yeah, I think really important is obviously that student need to do their own research, before even applying it’s not a case, and I was probably not known for it as well. I applied to loads of jobs because I needed a job. But actually, doing research before being really qualitative, more rounded, than just being like I applied for 50 jobs, being like okay, what do I really want to do? Where do I see myself? And then research the company, figure out if that's a company you want to work for, and also seeing the selection process and recruitment process not only as like, they are looking for me, but I also look for the company I want to work for because I think that's quite often forgotten. Everyone brings so many skills, there’s just so much in a person that. Just think about that as well in terms what else I can do to prepare is apart from see their own research, also obviously looking at the CV, making sure it's structured well written. Asking loads of questions, especially in our company, we really want people to ask those questions that are really interested in not just thinking about like you don't get graded or scored for asking questions within our company at least, but it’s more the questions that you really want to. If you don't have any questions, that's fine as well. But thinking about what you want to hear about the company itself and then the one other aspect I would say as well is just making sure that you do read the emails that company sends you, making sure that you know what's expected of you, of the video interview, of the online assessment, of like in final stage interviews or assessment centres. And if you unsure about anything, rather ask than just letting it to last minute and then be like. Oh, I thought it was virtual. Now it's in person, but it's actually two hours or whatever it might be. Just making sure to read all the emails. There might be quite a few that do you get from every company, but actually making sure those emails you do read them because loads of them do provide loads of information as well. And then the other one is actually making use of your career services, especially at University of Leeds. They have great career service, so make use of them like, paying for your education, you're getting the careers service. Not every uni has such a good career service either, so I will just make sure that you actually talk to them as well, and they have loads of connections to employers as well, so they actually know what's happening. And I would say quite a lot of companies as well in terms of the recruitment process, you actually can get more insights as well.

Marc: I should say, I didn't pay you to say that!

Lara: No, I think also I probably wasn't great when I was a student to use to career service, but now working with the career service. I'm like there's actually loads of opportunities. So yeah.

Marc: You’re certainly making up for it now, very helpful, fantastic input as well. Could I ask a few follow-ups, is that okay? Video interviews, so in terms of the video interview and not the final interview, you know, that's something that gets fed back to me quite a bit. And it's usually because a lot of students are prepped for that final interview. So, they know about star, and they notice all expand on answers. But of course, if you got 30 seconds or a minute, that's not going to be the case. So, do you have any sort of advice around that?

Lara: Yeah. I think first of all, just making sure that not every question is necessary best with star technique. Obviously for competency-based questions, great, for strength based question probably not the greatest. So, just making sure that people know what actually what kind of questions are asked. In terms of video interviews, you normally have a practise question in the beginning. So definitely make use of it, because not everyone is used to like speaking just against the camera. Seeing yourself, it can be quite daunting sometimes. You can also have the option of making a blurry screen so you don't actually see yourself, which is actually sometimes also helpful. But other than that, just having like it look at the time maybe recording yourself beforehand. On a random question and seeing how long you talk, because I think quite often be like; oh yeah, I don't talk for long and then like a minute later, you're like, oh, now like the minute is over and I was just at the end or in the middle of my sentence, just actually doing some practise before recording yourself in front of a mirror, seeing how it works. Obviously with any kind of like device and timing yourself, probably won't be the same questions, but some questions I would say they are quite generic and, in most companies, will be asked, like why you want this role, or why you passionate about like the industry that you're working for. They probably come up I would say in most companies. So, maybe record those and see actually how long someone is talking for because that quite often helps to philtre out how much you can actually say in that short amount of time.

Marc: Brilliant, thank you. Especially about the star, because a lot of students think the star is the answer to everything and it's not so yeah. Another one I thought is obviously, pre-COVID, you know, we had a lot of events on campus including yourself coming in. It was a great opportunity to come down face to face, you know, stand out, I certainly, hosted events where students were offered something there and then, because they really showed themselves to be great research, great personal, good personalising their questions. Obviously, the issue at the minute been the fact that we’re online, is the webinars, it’s almost three times as many people you know, and I think a lot of students are worried because they can’t stand out, how they stand out in a webinar? So, I mean again, we do give advice on that, but what would yours be?

Lara: Yeah, I think it's obviously more difficult to stand out, but asking good questions. Making sure you listen for the full webinar. I think those two are quite important. I know it can be quite difficult sometimes to listen the whole time to webinar like then like an email comes in or WhatsApp message or, and you like on Instagram or whatever it might be, as it's quite difficult to just focus on the webinar but, if you booked in for webinar, try to listen to the whole webinar because that actually helps you to understand the topic properly, but also then afterwards asking those questions and then follow up with the person as well. So, quite often, obviously they share their contact details, it’s always nice to hear back from people. Just be like Oh yeah, I attended your session was really great. Loved the insights about this. If you're brave, you can also be like okay. We have actually catch up. I have some great ideas about it, or I have a few more questions. I'm sure a lot of people would actually really like that getting that feedback from people, and that's actually how you could stand out as well.

Marc: Good, I’ve got just one other, which might be a takeaway as well, to be honest. At the minute I’m doing some work on tech roles around STEM students. Is there any advice you would give to those students who are interested in tech roles but haven’t taken any steps up yet?

Lara: Yeah, obviously with FDM we do recruit from all different degree backgrounds. So, you don't need to have a stem background to be successful. The other aspect obviously like up skilling yourself in your free time. If you do have free time. I know you need to be quite busy as well, but doing different aspects from like basic coding, going to webinars about technology, trying it yourself because sometimes also you might want to think about the career in tech, but until you actually done some coding or programming or things like that, web design or whatever it is that you have an interest in, it’s quite difficult to understand if it's really for you. So, I would say attending webinars, doing a bit of coding and programming yourself, attending boot camps, quite often there are some boot camps as well. And also seeing what all like what kind of roads are out there in technology as well because I think. Everyone probably thinks about, if I go into IT, I'm going to be a software developer role, but there's actually loads of roles in it, there’s not just that one specific software development, we probably have around 10 different roles in our graduate programme all around it. Some more business focussed, some are more tech focused, and this just so many more. And there's more coming up as well, because technology is obviously evolving as well. I'll say, I think those are like the important bits finding out what career choices there are in IT and tech and then also doing a bit of that role yourself in your free time to understand, if it’s really for you. But also, then obviously if you apply for a role in that, it shows that you have an interest in that even though he doesn't or you don't come from a stem background.

Marc: Great, thank you.

Ellen: Well, what can I say? Time flies when you're having fun and we are coming to the end of today's episode. Sadly, so we have heard so much insight from you today, Lara. And once again, we really appreciate you taking the time out to join us and share this useful information with our students.

Lara: Thank you very much. It was lovely.

Ellen: Great. So for our listeners who are interested to connect with Lara, please feel free to contact her on LinkedIn. That's Lara Sehen. Our next episode will be discussing the future of work from academic perspective with someone who's from the Digital Future at Work Research Centre here at Leeds University Business School. It aims to increase the understanding of how digital technologies are changing work on the implications for employers, workers, job seekers on governments. So stay tuned for the next episode if you're interested in finding out more about this topic, please subscribe to our episode series. You're also welcome to get in touch with us by sending an email or book an appointment by the MyCareer website with Marc. Our contact details are available in episode description. Lastly, I shall leave you with this quote. The future of work consists of learning, unlearning, and relearning. Thank you for listening and see you next time.