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    Since the inception of Apsida Life Science, we knew that we wanted to provide a platform for individuals to come in and thrive – regardless of whether they had a background in recruitment or not. 

    We developed The Academy, which focuses on upskilling and equipping junior recruiters with the skills they need to become world-class. One of our first Academy success stories is Lamek Ogwal, who joined us in November 2020 with no experience in either Life Sciences or recruitment.

    Here is his story!


    What has your experience been like with Apsida so far?

    It’s been good – it’s been really fun, actually. Whenever I speak to candidates and clients now, it’s fascinating to think I was part of the first batch of entry-level consultants nearly 3 years ago – and now we’re a team of 40!

    I’ve seen the office go from a little box, to now three times the size – I’ve seen Boston happening, I’ve been to Barcelona and Mykonos with the company and it’s genuinely been an amazing journey. When I was getting into recruitment I wanted to join a company where I could be part of the growth, and Apsida has provided just that.

     

    When you were an Associate Consultant, how long was your progression to consultant? 

    It took me around three months to be promoted out of the academy, although the criteria has changed now and so I do think it’s slightly harder for new AC’s coming in. I remember my promotion presentation being hard, though. I was told that I’d missed a few things out that were crucial and a part of me thought I wasn’t going to get promoted – but instead they were given as action points for me to continue my progression as a consultant. 

    I recently did another presentation to become a Senior Consultant, and that felt like a breeze in comparison because of what I’d experienced before. Apsida is great for that, providing constructive criticism to enable you to develop and grow with each situation. That, combined with confidence means you just get better and better with each day that passes.

     

    How was the Academy structured at the time you were in it?

    We were targeted across the standard things every junior is in recruitment: being on the phone, outbound emails and messages, spec cvs, interviews and in addition our online brand, mostly through LinkedIn. In this day we understand how important your online presence is in addition to your phone activity.

     

    What skills would you say the Academy equipped you with, for your recruitment career?

    Resilience. I know it sounds cliché, but really it does. The early stages of recruitment are tough – but it also teaches you the simple things which enable you to run a successful independent desk. My first year was intense, I had a lot of counteroffers, and I remember the first time it happened thinking “what do you mean you’re not taking the job”? – I couldn’t comprehend it! 

    It’s savage but being in the academy teaches you how to deal with rejection which, in turn, builds that resilience and you become desensitised to it (and a lot better at dealing with counteroffers).

     

    What would you say was the hardest part about The Academy?

    I remember in the early stages, taking Michael to one side and saying “I’m not as good as everybody else here.” I had people around me touch typing, knowing their way around a computer like the back of their hand and they all had great writing skills.

    I sound old, but I’m not good when it comes to technology, and it did get to me a bit at the beginning. Michael got rid of those worries and said, “we’ve hired you and put you in this spot for a reason – so use what you do have the skills in, which is being on the phone and talking to people”. And so, that’s what I did.  If you look at me now compared to when I started, I’m a whiz on computers as well as on the phone!

    I do also think sometimes people miss quite how important rapport building is with clients and candidates. It was something I found really helped me in my success, I focused on making ‘friends’ with the people I was speaking to because I wanted them to come back to me in the future even if they didn’t take the role right now.

    What’s been the best thing for you since joining Apsida?

    Funnily enough, you use the skills in recruitment in everyday life all of the time. I help a lot of my friends when it comes to negotiations for their jobs, and the general listening skills and training that you receive from talking to all types of people every single day are so beneficial in your day-to-day life.

     

    What’s your advice for someone who’s in the early stages of their recruitment career?

    Sit next to the best recruiter in the team and do what they do. Don’t settle for just “hitting” your targets, either. Aim to exceed them – whether that’s your phone times, the number of interviews you have or the number of clients you have productive conversations with. The more work that you put in at the start the better you’ll be in the long-run. 

    Don’t get me wrong, the beginning – I’d say the first 12 months is a LOT of work, and at times it can probably feel like an impossible mountain to climb. However, if you can put the work in early on it absolutely pays off. None of us do that part because it’s “fun” – I like to compare it to sports training, it always feels like a lot of effort and you feel so unfit at the beginning, but once you start building your fitness (like building your recruitment desk) you’re grateful that you put yourself through the tough parts. 

    Recruitment is always going to be a long game – there’s rarely quick wins in this business which a lot of people get wrong. If you have a short-term view you’re never going to make it. There are some points where you’ll question “do I want to do this” – and you have to be really honest with yourself. 

    All the people who have had successful recruitment careers have put the hours in, care about the job they do and want to be the best in their market. It’s those fundamentals that make the difference. 

    Also, if you’re having a bad week – that’s fine, we all have them. Just come in ready to go the following week and treat it as a clean slate!

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