“You have to define your own path, and make it happen.”
It might sound like a cliché, but when it comes to defining your path as a graduate, there is no one better to give advice then Harvey Tayman.
Harvey is a busy man these days. After joining RM Results as a graduate Project Manager in February 2016, Harvey now runs the Helpdesk – an integral hub in RM Results. In the run up to the summer exam-marking season, Harvey has to make sure that his team is ready to answer calls from examiners and awarding bodies to ensure their exam marking runs smoothly.
What interested you about joining RM Results?
I was looking at graduate schemes all over the country, focusing mainly on London. I had heard of RM as I had an RM computer in primary school. I read the position (Project Manager) and it looked a good match for my skills. I liked the fact that RM are an Ed-tech company, I thought it a wholesome yet exciting industry. RM seemed to fit the profile of the sort of company I wanted to work for; the culture appeared to be really friendly and positive, as well as professional.
I applied for a Project Manager graduate position and there were two roles available. One in RM Education, one in RM Results. At the interview stage, Daryl Brown, Head of Project Management at RM Results, interviewed me and here I am now.
What has surprised you the most about working for RM Results?
I came as a bit of an open canvas as a graduate recruit. This being my first professional job, I have been impressed with the culture at RM. I have been able to seize and make my own opportunities. The level of support here has been phenomenal.
For example, when I first joined, I certainty was not expecting to be sent to Alabama to oversee our scanning supplier in the USA within my first three months. That was a very humbling nod from those above me, showing that they trusted me to do my job well so early on.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience in the graduate recruitment process?
After I applied, I was invited to do some online tests and then had a telephone interview. After that, I had two face-to-face interviews. Coming into the building, I felt confident. I had attended other job interviews and assessments previously, none of which felt quite right. As soon as I walked into the RM building I felt like this was where I was meant to be!
In my first interview, Daryl started by asking me a number of competency-based questions. I felt I was able to answer these well, drawing on examples from my experience and skills. As the interview drew to a close, Daryl picked up on the fact that I am a referee for a children’s football club. We ended up sharing stories, as Daryl also referees in his spare time, such as dealing with the high emotions of both parents and children in competitive sport. This provides some interesting parallels with the nature of high stakes exams, the results of which impact the life outcomes of young people.
For the second interview, Daryl interviewed me alongside our HR manager. In this interview, I had to do a presentation, followed by more competency-based questions.
What aspects of the graduate Project Manager role appealed to you the most?
My dad had some experience in project management, so when I read the description I knew what the role entailed. I am quite bossy, well-motivated and I like working in a team, so I thought I had the right skills for the job, if not the experience.
Project management is an industry standard role that will give you a good leg up in your career. It is also a skill that is useful to have no matter what role you are in.
You are now a Support Manager, where you manage the Helpdesk. Do you have any career advice for new graduates?
My one piece of advice to all new recruits, and not just to graduates, is to retain ownership of your development; your manager is not going to do it for you. You need to impress as many people as you can and ideally say yes to as much as you can (provided you can deliver on that!). Try to define your own career path, and communicate that to, not just your manager, but to the wider group. Colleagues will then often support you in getting there where they can.
Find out more about what opportunities there are for you at RM Results by visiting our careers page.