Words of wisdom from a 19-year-old on how to attract young talent

I got the results I wanted, both at GCSE and A-Level. I was awarded A*-Bs at GCSE and A-Cs at A-Level. For most people my age, with my grades, university follows. It’s a natural progression, pushed by the majority of teachers and lots of parents. However, for me, it just wasn’t the right option.

I decided that, knowing the way in which I used to work myself up around exam time, a university career – with tuition fees adding to pressure – wasn’t going to be for me. Instead, I wanted to find a job that I was enthusiastic about, something I could really get stuck in to.

I’ve always been passionate about animals, dogs in particular, so I took some work experience at a veterinary practice. It was a fascinating experience, but one in which you’re, most often than not, encountering animals in various states of distress. And I found that hard to watch, to be around. I knew that I wanted to work with animals, but in a different setting. After doing some research, I found Guru.

Guru is a pet food company established and owned by Andrew and Lisa Clarke. They’re the loveliest people, and their passion for animals and animal welfare is unmatched. The company creates cold-pressed dog food – a unique, but traditional, method that requires gently mixing ingredients together before they’re pressed at a low temperature of 44 degrees. The method ensures that the food, and its ingredients, retain much of their nutritional value.

I applied for a role helping to look after Guru’s brand and marketing, and after being offered the job, I was excited to start. Not only do I get to work with a devoted team passionate about animal welfare, but my responsibilities are varied and challenging.

And it’s that mixture of collaboration and opportunities to enhance my skill-set with the company that really appeals, so ensuring you have a strong internal communication and the chance to learn within your business is key to attract young and hungry workers.

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When I’m not working alongside Lisa, I attend events and shows – such as The Game Fair and Dog Fest – as part of the Guru team, draft sector-specific blogs on events and shows, prepare the monthly newsletter, monitor our social media presence and activity, and respond to any and all customer queries.

I’m also required to liaise with external stakeholders from time-to-time, especially designers and illustrators. I enjoy being a member of a team, and one of the best things about working for a company like this is the emphasis on teamwork.

After seven months I can honestly say that I love my job. I look forward to going into work in the morning, and unlike most people, I don’t hate Mondays. I think that comes from doing something that you’re passionate about and working for a company and people that you admire.

University is the right choice for so many people, but it isn’t for everyone. There are young people out there who are unsure about it, as I was, so be aware your company can be the one to attract them with a job that excites them instead, helping them to achieve satisfaction just as I did. 

My motto is: Do what you love and love what you do!

I’m so glad I found Guru, and I don’t regret my decision to not pursue higher education. Not at all!

Sam Hulme, 19, is the brand and marketing ambassador at Guru Pet Food

Insights from an IBM trainee: Apprenticeships are no longer university’s poor cousin.

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