Starting this September, a new intake of talented graduates and aspiring professionals have joined SEFE Marketing & Trading through our graduate scheme. For these ambitious newcomers, it’s an exciting opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge and make a real difference throughout our business.
As they begin their journeys with the SEFE Marketing & Trading team, it’s time to introduce them to you. From Finance to Risk Management, Customer Insight to Fundamentals & Analytics, our new grads will be getting hands-on across plenty of different departments. We chatted to them below to find out why they picked SEFE Marketing & Trading over other schemes, how they found the selection process, and what tips and advice they have for future applicants looking to fast-track their careers with us.
Software Engineering Graduate
Software Engineering Graduate
Fundamentals & Analytics Graduate
Customer Insight Graduate
How did you find the selection process?
“It differed significantly from any other scheme that I had applied for,” says Declan Fisher, who is part of our Software Engineering scheme. “It was clear that there was an obvious focus on finding compatible candidates that could be developed and invested in.”
Our selection process involved five stages from the initial application to the offer stage, which Declan has handily broken down: “After the application, the second stage was a gamified behaviour-based psychometric evaluation, which was a completely new experience for me that I really enjoyed.
Luke Tidley, from our Risk scheme, notes: “I found the selection process extremely thorough and insightful, particularly the psychometric test. The feedback I received was brilliant and told me new things about myself which I didn’t know before.”
Declan continues: “After this stage came a group assessment where we were asked to partake in a virtual escape room. This was a great opportunity to show leadership, teamwork, and the ability to solve problems in ways that were in line with SEFE Marketing & Trading’s core values.
“During the virtual escape room group assessment,” says Michael Ubah also of our Software Engineering scheme, “I was able to show how I approached working within a team of strangers with different, crucial roles to overcome various challenges. It showed that SEFE Marketing & Trading were really taking the time to seriously evaluate their candidates.”
The final stage of our selection process involves a panel interview with senior members of relevant departments, to answer a series of competency and situational questions. And it seems like one thing stood out above all for many of our trainees.
“Everyone was very respectful and provided extremely useful feedback,” says Declan, “it’s natural to feel nervous during the selection process, but the assessment strategies that SEFE Marketing & Trading use definitely allowed me to show my true character and ability.”
Kyle Heslin-Rees of our Fundamentals & Analytics scheme also notes how relaxed things were: “The two follow-up interviewers with the lead analysts were pretty laid back. I’ve had a handful of interviews before, but this was the first time it felt like a back and forth between people. It seemed like they genuinely wanted to know about you instead of just ticking a bunch of boxes. It’s actually why I chose SEFE Marketing & Trading over other offers I received.”
Michael agrees: “The technical interview was far more casual and conversational than I expected. Plus, I was given clear instructions about its format beforehand by the recruiter. I even had the flexibility to decide when to take the interview itself! Because of this, I felt far more at ease on the day.”
We make sure to design the selection process in a way that lets our candidates highlight their strengths. On this, Matthew Haslam of our Customer Insight scheme says: “Being able to send a video with my CV made it feel like I could add more personality to my application. There were plenty of opportunities to stand out within the early stages which is important when competing in a grad scheme.”
He’s not alone either. Michael says: “The selection process for SEFE Marketing & Trading was refreshingly different from the recruitment processes of other companies. I was given ample opportunities to showcase my strengths in ways that were relevant to the role itself.”
Welcoming new trainees into the fold here is something we’re passionate about too. Michael continues: “Throughout the process and beyond, the communication has been excellent. I’ve remained in touch with my designated recruiter who did a terrific job of guiding me through each stage of the process, provided crucial feedback, and helped to organise meetings between myself and future co-workers. I already feel like I’m part of the company before I’ve even started.”
What is it that excites you about your side of the graduate scheme?
“I’m very much looking forward to the rotational aspect that allows me to have hands-on IT experience and build new skills across various departments,” says Carly Wooding, “plus, I’m excited to work for the IT side of a company that’s at the forefront of the everchanging UK energy industry.”
After graduating with a Computer Science degree, Declan was looking for “a technology-related graduate scheme that would allow me to continue developing my ability and knowledge in this area”. We reckon he’s in the right place with us.
“In my final year of studying Finance,” states Kyle, “I completed a module called Risk Management. Not only was it my favourite module from across my whole degree, but I also feel like it’s given me a solid foundation that I can put into practice during the grad scheme itself.
“Communication is also one of my strongest attributes, so I’m very much looking forward to putting it to the test when I start in September.”
For Matthew, he’s looking to build on the skills he earned during his year in the industry: “After doing my placement within insights, I knew that’s where I wanted to be. It suited my skillset a lot more and still allowed me to be creative, which is why I find marketing so interesting.”
Part of our Finance scheme, Nils Facey points to SEFE Marketing & Trading’s approach to empowering new starters early on: “I was excited by the prospect of working as part of various smaller teams, where others would rely on me. That kind of responsibility at such an early stage certainly stood out from the start.”
Meanwhile, for Michael, it was the impact of the work itself was a key factor that attracted him to the software engineering side of the graduate scheme: “I get a lot of satisfaction from knowing that the work I do adds lasting, crucial value to others. Being actively involved in the development of projects which directly influence departments like trading, for instance, and then positively impacting SEFE Marketing & Trading itself definitely speaks to me.
How would you like your career to progress during your time here?
“Fulfilling and meaningful work is what matters most to me,” says Declan, “so I would like to have a long and successful career at SEFE Marketing & Trading where I can benefit from continuous development and learning, especially in such a fast-moving industry.”
Matthew, meanwhile, is looking forward to getting to grips with working among different departments. He said: “I’d love to work for SEFE Marketing & Trading after the scheme, so a career I can excel in that can make the company and world at large better would be ideal.”
“With SEFE Marketing & Trading being part of a large international company,” Nils notes, “I’m looking forward to the opportunities this brings, and hope to get the chance to someday work abroad.”
What tips and advice would you give to others looking to apply?
Carly offers: “If you’re interested in a role, I’d say apply even if your degree may not be directly related to that discipline.” Despite her biology background, Carly is fully aware that the transferable skills gained in her degree have equipped her for success in our IT graduate scheme.
She continues: “I’d recommend using the SEFE Marketing & Trading website to help with your application too. In the blog section of the careers website, there’s a lot of useful guides for graduates on things like how to write your CV and how to prepare for interviews. Having questions to ask at both the group stage and the final interview is important too; it proves you’re interested in the role, but it’s also great for finding out more about the company as well.”
“Don’t second guess your ability and simply be yourself throughout the selection process,” says Declan. Luke agrees, adding: “Just be yourself. Whenever you aren’t being yourself, it’s sure to shine through, especially during the psychometric testing, where there was no clear-cut right or wrong answer.
“And if you’re feeling anxious at any point of the application process, reach out to a member of SEFE Marketing & Trading – they’re so friendly and accommodating. I had a few queries regarding my application process and everybody I spoke to was helpful and made sure I didn’t ever feel lost.”
Elsewhere, Matthew recommends taking your time with applications: “It’s tempting to put out as many applications as possible, but sending out fewer applications with a greater emphasis on quality is a more effective approach.”
As for Nils, he suggests thinking about experiences you have that may differ to others: “Steer clear of the generic answers that the interviewers will have heard so many other times before and go for topics and anecdotes that really help to spark conversation.”
Lastly, Kyle offers something we’d all do well to remember, no matter what step of our career we’re at: “At each step try and enjoy the experience because, regardless of the outcome, the application process is a great learning experience in general.”
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