Vansh Arora: Business Intelligence Analyst at GuestReady
Featured Success Stories
May 24, 2019
We spoke to Vansh Arora who is working as a Business Intelligence Analyst at GuestReady. He did his masters in management from LSE while embarking on his journey for GuestReady. He also talked about his experience of Assessment centre at mazars.
Hi Vansh, could you please tell us more about yourself?
I am alumni of LSE, did my undergrad in Economics from the University of Delhi, and completed my Masters in Management from London School of Economics. Upon graduation, I had work experience in various social roles in NGOs as well as professional experience in various industries in India. I started applying for jobs mainly in consulting or financial sector jobs which Student Circus provided me access to. So I ended up getting an Assessment centre for Mazars which is a major accounting firm, and even though I didn't convert that role, I ended up working for another startup in London in a more interesting role as a business analyst, where I am currently working
Why did you choose UK and this University as your place of study?
UK is one of the top destinations in terms of the academic system and independence of choice of study and the practical relevance of the studies. And LSE because of course, it is one of the most reputed institutions, and the kind of opportunities and platforms it provides are unparalleled.
What field were you looking for work experience in? How did you go about looking for and applying to opportunities here? Did you feel that the sector/field that you were interested in, had ample opportunities for an international student?
I think there are plenty of opportunities especially in the financial sector, London being one of the financial hubs of the world. Even for international students looking for jobs across financial services, or financial consulting or similar business and finance roles, there are a lot of opportunities, and companies do sponsor Visas- the only catch is you have to be aware and make timely applications.That is the one advice I'd like to give: start early because I didn't know about the timelines and started applying pretty late, so I did not have access to as many opportunities as I could have had. It's difficult, but not unachievable.
Most of the graduate schemes were already ending or had already ended. So for me the process was to shortlist what companies sponsor, trying to find out what opportunities are still available, I found Student Circus, which already had those companies that sponsor, so it made that process easier. Then it was search about the roles, research about the process of application. Shortlisting the companies, applying, preparing for the tests wherever needed, updating CV and cover letter. The idea is to keep applying till you get it.
How different are the job-hunting and application processes in the UK from your home country?
There was major difference: in India you will see the reputed universities welcoming employers who select candidates for campus placements, whereas in the UK the candidates themselves have to be on the hunt, and be proactive in this hunt for opportunities, network with people, and try to find your way on your own.
The approach is also different: to access opportunities, you have to network, attend events, find them online/offline- it is necessary to be proactive as a student.
The current job I have started out as an internship and then got converted into a job. I think getting the opportunity is the first step, and once you show your work ethics and making complete use of that opportunity is the next step leading up to a job.
What was the application process exactly like (what were the steps: interview, Assessment centre, etc?)
For Mazars and most of the big firms I applied to and got an interview with, the process was similar, although there might be slight variations in the steps. There was an elaborate application form with personal, academic and professional details to begin with. Then they get back to you quite quickly with some tests, ranging from personality tests, skills tests etc. Then the company gets back to you whether you cleared the test or not. If former is the case, this is followed by a telephonic interview, which encompasses standard HR questions, some tricky ones, some job-related to assess if you're a good fit for the job. After that it was the final interview/assessment centre, however you call it - when you go down to the office, talk to the partners and managers. For Mazars they also assigned me a mentor, so you can talk to your mentor for half an hour or so, ask about the whole process and preparation. So it is a really well-rounded process. The provision of mentors is a good thing because at the assessment day too, they ask you technical questions, HR questions, some tests as well.
How did you prepare for the tests and Interview/AC?
For me the tests were not really a problem because I have been practising the tests since long, after that it was really about preparing for the interview.The interview is mainly about knowing what the role is and how you fit in. You have to prepare for some standard HR questions in advance. I grew more comfortable with every interview, because you learn so much with every interview.
One suggestion: keep some personal experiences and anecdotes handy to supplement your responses.
Did you avail the facilities provided by the Careers Service in your University for preparation?
Yes, I went to them quite late in the academic timeline but they helped me prepare a professional CV, cover letter, standard template of online tests and the acquainted me with the format of the assessment centres.
Was there any particular interview question or aspect of AC that you found especially crucial?
For me it was the video interviews. For some of the companies I had a stage of video interviews, that I wasn't completely comfortable with. I prefer live interviews, but this was a new way of going about it. When we have limited time to record the response, it just made me a bit conscious and I couldn't allocate the time to record myself and prepare for it, during the actual video interviews. So, that was a setback in the beginning - that is the only thing I can point out.
Any advice you have for students in the same boat as you were?
Like I said earlier, my only advice for international students would be that in their job hunt, they have to proactive and they have to start early, to apply and to prepare. Second advice is that they shouldn't hesitate in asking for help, whenever they need from career centre, from friends, from alumni, from anyone with experience in the field. The third piece of advice would be to not stop trying because I know it can be intimidating and the rejections can set you back, but you have to push through these setbacks and eventually hope for the best.