Coming from a finance background into the recruitment world seemed like a far stretch for me as I haven’t had great insight into what executive search is like. Before receiving a call from a friend who had referred me to Peergrowth as a potential intern, I was heavily invested in a linear career vision of accounting and auditing as my core professional career path, and I always questioned whether that is the best career choice to make for myself to fully utilize my skillset and achieve my goals. I wondered if there was a way I could get insight into what the real industry looks like, a review of the multiple aspects in different markets/industries by those who have spent years within the profession. This is where Peergrowth came into the equation, working in an executive search firm seemed like the perfect opportunity to obtain the insights I always desired.
Prior to my interview, I spent considerable time doing research on what recruitment is and what is expected from a recruiter. Many articles displayed value creation within recruitment to be a simple process, where at the end of the day all one is doing is connecting clients who need competent professionals to suitable candidates who are capable and willing to explore opportunities. However, once I set my feet into the reality of things, one realizes that the aforementioned is only a portion of what it entails!
This is a relationship-based function to its core, yet what differentiates it from other such functions is that it’s an art, where you are required to have well-informed opinions and judgments over multiple aspects and different industries. I realized through my experience and through discussions with my colleagues, that clients aren’t always going to be proactive and fully engaging, which is quite understandable since one is there to provide solutions. Candidates can also have their share of complications, where in most cases they will be considering multiple opportunities which could potentially be life-changing. At the end of the day, people are people!
Due to these factors, many view this field to be quite a demanding task for someone looking for a starting point in their career, and sometimes it is. However, it is quite rewarding on multiple levels, after around two months into my internship, I understood that regardless of your background, executive search gives you great professional exposure where on multiple occasions you are required to indulge in detailed conversations with individuals who are of high seniority, and who are viewed to be of great value creators due to their expertise, skillsets, and relationships. These conversations can be rich grounds to understand the practical
applications of the academic knowledge the recruiter has accumulated within their academic career and can facilitate the development of other critical soft skills like emotional intelligence, communication, and networking.
From my perspective, I have had to apply my academic knowledge and skills during my time at Peergrowth in many instances. My educational background has assisted me largely in understanding the required skills and expertise required for the underlying roles and the functions my candidates are delivering within their organizations. Additionally, conversations with candidates and colleagues have significantly developed my understanding of the banking and financial services industry and have helped me learn more about the different departments, their functions, and how they are integrated with other industries to shape the work as we see it. The internship has given me an opportunity to further apply the academic research skills that I acquired during my Bachelor’s and MA degrees, which has been highly advantageous for me in adapting to the challenges I faced during this journey.
Finally, I would like to say that I consider myself lucky to work in a balanced environment that sets learning and development as a priority without taking results out of the equation. I have learned to love executive search as a profession for what it is, and I can confidently state that I look forward to continuing in such a profession and within such an environment to keep the momentum I have experienced. I can only hope that the learning never stops!