Crossing cultures and continents to work for Colt

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Zheng Zhang joined Colt in September 2016 as part of our first ever graduate intake. She took up the role of IP & Ethernet Product Marketing Associate, learning first-hand about the technologies enabling cutting edge businesses to compete in a fast-paced, digital world. But perhaps more importantly, how to explain the benefits of these high speed digital technologies to potential customers.

It’s a job as much about dealing with people as it is about technology.

Zheng grew up in rural Beijing where she primarily studied maths and science at school, going on to complete a masters in engineering before leaving China to fulfil her ambitions of entering the business world.

After travelling across four continents, she finally set her sights on Paris where she began her studies and learnt French. “People here are so serious about food and they are so proud of their own language,” Zheng remarked. “I just knew I wanted to engage as much as possible with the culture”.

As part of a school trip, Zheng visited the Colt offices in Milan. Returning home both intrigued by the company and its technology, even hopeful about a future career, she visited Colt’s website and discovered the graduate scheme. “I knew what I had to do,” she said.

Approaching the application process she was surprised that the first stage was a video interview. “There are usually so many written tests,  the form filling sometimes makes you feel like you don’t even want the job at the end. Especially, when you’re not a native speaker, it really feels like the odds are stacked against you.”

“But I found Colt’s application process much more participative and engaging. There was a great chance to show your personality and not just who you were ‘on paper’”. Because Colt values personality and cultural fit above all, applicants to the graduate scheme were not asked to submit their CVs until the final interview.

Zheng’s personality shone through and she was asked to attend an assessment centre in Paris.  “They had a surprise in store for me when I arrived; all of the case studies were in French. This was my first time speaking French for something so serious but I enjoyed the challenge even if my language sounded a bit broken,” she said.

The language barrier may have made the interview process more challenging, if Zheng wasn’t the type of the graduate Colt is looking for; determined, eager to learn and ambitious, going above and beyond to challenge herself. ‘’The opportunity to master a new language in just a year was a challenge I couldn’t refuse’’ Zheng said. Ultimately Zheng made it through the final interview and was offered a place on the graduate scheme in the role that she wanted despite some fierce competition. “From my one on one interview I was able to infer so much about Colt and it’s safe to say I fell in love with Colt during the application process,” she said.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying for the Colt Graduate scheme please visit https://www.colt.net/graduates/

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