No doubt my fellow third year students are as fed up of this question as I am at the moment. It is, of course, understandable, but it’s such a difficult one for most of us to answer.
There are lots of different opportunities for us to consider and, having talked at length with friends in the same situation, everyone has varied thoughts on what to do and how to go about doing it. Internships, graduate schemes, further study, employment, travel; there are just so many options to think about.
I chose to come to university as a mature student to open up careers opportunities and help me decide what type of job I’d like to do long-term. Although I may consider postgraduate study at some point in the future, my priority upon graduating this summer is to find full-time employment in my chosen industry.
My first port of call was hired@UCB, the university’s careers department (7th Floor, Summer Row) a few weeks ago. I emailed them and arranged an appointment with an advisor. I compiled a short list of questions to take with me and printed a copy of my CV in its current form. The advisor I met with was helpful in suggesting changes to my CV and providing me with various resources aimed specifically at the industries I’m interested in, as well as some relating to general employability skills.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have updated my CV and registered on a number of different graduate employment sites and general job sites. From these sites, I get regular email updates with suggestions for jobs to apply for. I have also updated my LinkedIn profile – a key social network for professionals – and joined some interesting and relevant groups on the site.
Now that semester 2 has started, my focus is now firmly on completing my studies. I will, however, continue to keep an eye on vacancies and apply for anything which interests me. As well as this, I am also starting to compile a list of companies and graduate schemes which I may want to apply for.
These are my final thoughts about post-uni options:
- Network – networking provides so many valuable links to other people and other opportunities. You just never know who you might meet. By letting others know what you’re looking to do, you’d be surprised where advice, support and opportunities present themselves from.
- Research – make sure you’ve done your reading and research to find out if there are deadline dates, set application processes, or anything else which you may need to know about applying for further study and employment schemes.
- Be flexible – whilst it’s great to have a plan in place and an idea of what you’d like to be doing after uni, it’s important to be flexible and accommodating to other opportunities which may come your way. It might take a few steps to get you on the path you’re dreaming of, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.