Graduate Testimonies

Jamie Hamilton - Policy, Information and Communications Stream

What have I enjoyed the most about working here so far?

The energy and enthusiasm of my CRUK colleagues.

Whether it’s 9.00am on a Monday or 5.00pm on a Friday, there’s a constant buzz around the office which is hugely motivating and massively refreshing. Whether you’re working in finance or fundraising, HR or tech, the collaborative culture at CRUK makes it so easy for team members to inform and inspire each other. Most importantly -whether it’s through boxing or baking, karaoke or quizzes- my CRUK colleagues are constantly finding new ways to keep the ‘fun’ in fundraising whilst promoting a great cause all the while.

I applied for a career with CRUK because I wanted to make a difference. From what I’ve seen in my first four weeks, so did everybody else! If anything’s worth a daily battle with the Northern Line, it’s the knowledge that you’ll soon be in a space where everyone is working towards the same goal. It’s this unity and purpose which makes CRUK such a great organisation, and it’s this unity and purpose which I’ve enjoyed the most about working here so far.

Tell me about something that was really overwhelming/daunting to begin with and how you have overcome that?

I thought that I’d use my first Grad Scheme placement to really challenge myself. Having spent the past four years happily immersed in a world without computers (I’m a history graduate, not a method actor and/or timelord), I decided to opt for a role in digital strategy.

While this seemed like a good idea at the time, my first day on the project left me feeling slightly differently. After eight hours of endless acronyms and terrifying tech-talk, I found myself yearning for simpler times; for a return to eighteenth-century Ireland.

Fortunately, my team were really understanding. My manager did a great job reassuring me that nobody expected me to be an expert, and over the next few days I received dozens of emails from colleagues who wanted to hear about my project, offer their advice, and answer any of my questions.

Four weeks on, and I’m feeling much more confident. Having done some research, undergone some training, and sat in on some really useful meetings, I dare say that I’m actually becoming a little bit of a techspert. Not to brag, but I was in a meeting about widgets and APIs the other day, and I actually understood what everyone was talking about…

Starting a new job can be daunting, especially in a role where you don’t have much experience. I think that the best way to overcome this is by staying proactive. Through a ton of questions and some hefty Googling, I’ve managed to get to grips with my project far quicker than I’d expected. Paired with the constant advice and support which my colleagues have given me, I’ve started to learn that a challenge needn’t always be a bad thing.

Lauren Griffiths- Fundraising & Marketing Graduate Scheme

Tell me about the social aspects about working at CRUK?

It has been brilliant being part of a group of graduates that all joined CRUK at the same time. After just one month, I already feel like we’re great friends. We have lunch together most days in the week, go for drinks after work at least once a fortnight, and next week, we will be going to Ultra White Collar Boxing as a group, in aid of SU2C! We also really enjoy spending time with the graduates in the year above and are currently planning a Christmas party together. Not only are they a great social group, but a real support network too; we meet every week to discuss our projects and general wellbeing, which has already proven invaluable.

Tell me about something that you have really enjoyed about working here so far?

I really enjoyed attending the Philanthropy & Partnerships (P&P) Away Day. The day was packed with interesting and inspiring activities, including a P&P strategy workshop, a talk on the changing landscape of cancer research, presentations from each P&P team on their highlights and priorities this year, and even a CRUK science quiz! Additionally, we heard from an inspirational patient about their story. As a new starter, I thought the away day was a brilliant opportunity to learn more about P&P, as well as CRUK as a whole. It really celebrated P&P’s successes and energised and motivated everyone for the year ahead!

I also really enjoyed working at the British Masters 2018 in support of Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens. This involved encouraging and collecting donations from the public, as well as running fundraising games such as the Mega Putt Challenge, for which the golf spectators donated £5, giving them 3 attempts at a monster foot putt. It was brilliant to get hands-on fundraising experience, but also to be out in the countryside for a day! There are plenty of opportunities for CRUK employees to volunteer at our events and I really recommend it.

Beckie Thorne – Scientific Strategy & Funding Graduate Scheme

Tell me about something that was really overwhelming/daunting to begin with and how you have overcome that?

When I first started in my team I was slightly overwhelmed by the amount of information I needed to take in to understand the project I was going to be doing, as it was quite technical. My team, however, were extremely supportive and gave me the first couple of weeks to familiarize myself with my project topic and team. During this time, I met with everyone in the team to find out about their roles, this has been really helpful as I now know who is best to go to with certain questions. It also gave me the chance to focus on reading around the topic for my project to get a better understanding and become familiar with the area more quickly rather than trying to do it while been given lots of tasks. I’m beginning to get started on my project now and thanks to those first couple of weeks feel a lot more comfortable and knowledge on my project.

Tell me about the social aspects about working at CRUK?

I have really enjoyed the social aspect of CRUK so far, there is always something going on afterwork. The graduate network hasn’t only been a great support network during work but also a great group to socialise with. They are always happy to meet for coffee/lunch at work and now and again we go for a drink or food after work. We have all arranged to go to the ultra-white-collar boxing for SU2C and a few of us have been and tried out the Yoga classes in the CRUK building after work. Starting a new job in an unfamiliar area can be quite daunting but it’s been great to know that you have this group who are up for getting involved in things and exploring the local area.


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