Valuable lessons in disguise: KCL alumnus Mark’s reflections about his early work experiences

Today we’re excited to have Mark Owusu, a King’s alumnus, blogging for us about some important reflections from his career journey. How do early career experiences, like odd jobs or entry-level roles, help us learn important lessons and build success down the line in our careers? Find out by reading on!

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Mark Owusu is a BSc Business Management graduate of King’s College London in 2017. He is the Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Finstreet, an online media company that seeks to educate current and aspiring finance professionals about the diversity of history, activity and personality that exists within finance.


Looking back on where I started

I remember throwing up my graduation hat at the Barbican Centre like it was yesterday. It was a moment of celebration amid uncertainty about what my future held.

A few days before, I had been approaching pedestrians in London’s outskirts as an employee of a direct sales company that worked on behalf of charities to raise funds. As a reserved individual, it was an incredibly daunting experience which didn’t last more than ten days; however, it set the foundation for my time as a recruitment consultant.

In making several phone calls a day to people I had never met, I was on the receiving end of dozens of rejections that belittled my experience of searching for graduate jobs. With time, I paid less and less attention to how many times someone said no to me. Why? Because I had KPIs that I needed to hit.


Valuable career lessons in disguise

With that mentality now a part of who I am, I decided during my master’s to reach out to people that I had absolutely no prior relationship with for an online media company I was building called Finstreet.

In recognising that rejection is part of the process, I can still recall on the time when I would be yelled at over the phone or ignored by pedestrians in previous jobs. With these early career experiences firmly in mind, I’ve been able to persist, and build early success: we got to feature senior figures in asset management, fintech and wealth management in just two updates of the website.


Maximising your early experiences in careers

By applying what I learnt in previous roles, I managed and continue to attract people I have never met to be a part of something that I know I needed when I was in university. My point, in conclusion, is that you really want to maximise every experience you have. The reason is that each one presents you with the ability to harness a talent that may well come in handy when you least expect it.

King’s Careers’ Take: Odd jobs, entry-level roles and other ‘unrelated work experiences’ at the start of your careers are actually really important chances to develop your employability. It is important to see the real value of your work – and how every little bit of experience can help you build success down the line.


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