Bournemouth University graduate Rich Cobbold is now working as a recruitment specialist for technology giant Google. Last week he returned to campus to share his personal and professional insights on building a successful career.
Rich graduated from BU with a BA (Hons) in Scriptwriting for Film and Television in 2007. He went on to work in sales and recruitment before taking up the position of Marketing Recruitment Specialist for Google Cloud in Europe, the Middle East and Africa earlier this year.
Reflecting on his journey from scriptwriting to recruitment, Rich said: “I chose the degree in scriptwriting because I was passionate about it and wanted to explore whether this passion could translate into a career. I quickly realised that it wasn’t what I would do in the long term but I still wouldn’t change it. I spent three years doing something I loved and had an absolute blast. What other degree gives you the opportunity to meet writers from the BBC and to put on a show at the Edinburgh Festival? In terms of transferable skills, it taught me to write well and to consider how to write for different audiences. I am now in a job where email is the predominant form of communication, so being able to write succinctly and effectively is incredibly valuable.”
After graduating, Rich spent four years with Enterprise Rent-A-Car before making his first move into recruitment with Michael Page. When he felt the time had come to move on, he took a systematic approach to landing his next role.
Rich said: “I am a big advocate of taking opportunities when they arise, but sometimes you have to create those opportunities in the first place. Before joining Google I did my research by using resources such as The Sunday Times Best Companies list, Glassdoor and the FTSE top 100. I devised my own ranking system and plotted my top employers on a spread sheet. I then began to use my LinkedIn connections and other contacts to approach people I knew who already worked for these companies. Even if you don’t know someone directly, there is no harm in making contact and asking for 10 minutes of their time to find out how they got to where they are now.”
Rich’s diligence paid off when he was invited to apply for a role with Google Cloud - the company’s platform for cloud computing services. He said: “Google is a great company to work for. Everything I had heard and read about in terms of their values and work ethic is true and I feel incredibly lucky to be working amongst such a talented and creative bunch of people.”
When it comes to advising today’s graduates, Rich says that the right attitude goes a long way. He said: “Technical skills can be learnt on the job, but being bright, positive and focused on finding solutions really makes the difference. In some scenarios, you may not be the smartest or most experienced person in the room. But if you come with a desire to learn and a willingness to collaborate, you will quickly become someone who people want to involve.”