Attending an insight day
Going along to company open days (or insight days as they are often referred to) is an unrivalled opportunity for you to truly find out what it’s like to work within a particular company and, indeed, a particular industry. Although, it must be said, one or two days insight is not by any stretch of the imagination enough time to fully appreciate and understand what day-to-day life is like within an organisation, it is an excellent starting point.
So what actually happens at insight days? It’s no great secret. Essentially, employers want to expose you to their organisational culture and working-life to varying degrees. This is so you have a good idea of what to expect if you were to be successful in your application but also to demonstrate to all in attendance that perhaps the reality of the company’s day-to-day routines, workload and general way of doing things does not fit in with everyone’s working preferences. At the end of the day not all personalities are compatible with all working cultures – and vica versa!
Most company insight days have come a long way from the dry and sullen affairs they once were, in which one or two stood at the front of the room and talked at you. Generally speaking they have improved significantly since then. Though parts of the days do tend to consist of a few presentations, these presentations are from a number of different people at varying stages of their careers. It’s no longer the case that a dull middle-aged man in suit talks in your general direction for 2 or 3 hours and then you go home.
In most insight days firms invite graduates and interns currently working there to share their experiences of early working life, and answer any questions about the application and interview process. More experienced employees from a range of different levels tend to also conduct Q&A sessions on a range of topics. This Q&A sessions and employer presentations are an excellent way to gain a true insight into how the company works and how your potential career would look.
Insight days offer the opportunity for you to see past any of the gimmicky or cheesy corporate slogans and literature. These opportunities don’t come around too often, so take them!