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Ruxandra Fratescu

Ruxandra FratescuRecruitment Consultant, Oil & Gas Staffing Solutions

BA Law and Business

What made you choose Middlesex University?

Firstly I chose Middlesex University because it was the only university in London offering the degree BA Law and Business. The second reason why I chose Middlesex University is because from the very beginning it felt like the place that would offer me traditional English higher education in a modern setting which is in line with today's real working environment.

What courses did you study?

My course was called BA Law and Business. The course was a mix of Business (Economics, Marketing, Human Resource Management, etc.) and Law –related (Employment Law, Discrimination Law, Consumer Law, etc.) subjects.

What attracted you to the two courses you studied and made you apply?

At the time I applied for my degree, I had a keen interest in both the business world and law. Consequently I wasn't sure which one of them I wanted to pursue from a career perspective. BA Law and Business seemed to be the best way to get an insight into both of them which is why I chose the course.

What aspects of both courses did you enjoy most?

I really liked the fact that the majority of my teachers were people who had enjoyed a successful career in the field in which they are teaching. For example, one of my Law professors used to be a successful barrister and one of my Business professors was also a successful businessman. This meant they could provide us with practical examples that were applicable to real life while teaching us. For me their passion for the subject they taught was also truly inspirational and motivational.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

It is hard to choose only one because there are way too many but if I had no choice but to choose one, I would go for the times I spent in the library. Long, yet productive and unforgettable hours spent in a lovely environment and in the company of the people who were to become some of my best friends.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

Middlesex has a lot to offer to any student. From your first day there (or even before that) do a lot of research and make sure you take advantage of everything the university can offer to you.

How did your time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?

I studied pretty much everything that was relevant to my interests and this played a major role in helping me to understand what career path I wanted to follow. Additionally, each year my course was very well structured but very flexible. I had a choice of times to attend most of my lectures and seminars. This allowed me to also have a slightly demanding job where I gained the experience that made me employable at the end of my course.

Having successfully completed your BA, would you consider a masters degree and if so, what are the advantages and would you recommend them to others?

I would definitely recommend pursuing a masters degree although I have not done it yet. I think the advantages of a masters degree depends on the individual's needs. For some it is a way to specialise and get better insight into a subject of interest. For others it is a way to progress in their career. For me a masters degree will be a way to take my business further, to develop it. My aim is to do an MBA.

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

I chose to work in Recruitment because it a sales job where both the buyer and the product are people. This allows me to use my communication and negotiation skills on a daily basis, practice the foreign languages I can speak and travel around the world. The financial rewards are also good but the most important thing is the satisfaction I get when my candidates and clients are happy with the service they receive. The negatives of this industry are the high level of stress and relatively low level of stability.

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?

During my third year of university I liaised with our Employability Officer (a recruiter herself – lucky me!) who advised me to network with experienced recruiters and to attend recruitment events.

At the first event I went to I met a lot of inspirational people, one of whom offered to mentor me. He used his vast recruitment experience to help me decide which area of recruitment I wanted to work in. After this he guided my steps while I put in place a social media campaign for myself. He taught me how to 'advertise' myself on social networking sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook in order to make myself noticed by potential employers. I did not physically apply for any job by myself.

Approximately 6 weeks after starting my 'campaign', I was contacted by several employers. I interviewed with most of them and in the end I chose the company that suited my career goals best. Needless to say, my mentor supported me with interview advice and market information all the way through.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

It was the moment when I decided that the best company I could work for would be my own. This is why a few months ago I set up my own recruitment company.

What does the future hold for you?

We never know what the future holds, however I have some medium to long-term plans. In the medium-term, I aim to build the reputation of my business in the Oil & Energy recruitment market, build a portfolio of several clients and bring my business to a level of financial stability so that I feel comfortable about starting to expand it. Before taking my business to the next level, I would like to study for an MBA in order to gain more insight into how to do this.

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?

Find out what you REALLY want to do career wise. Research the path / paths to get there. Network your way there.

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

Might sound funny, but…don't move out of halls at the end of your first year of university. If you can, live there your entire degree. It will save you loads of money and worries, and you will have great fun!

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