The world outside of university can seem like a daunting place to undergrads and prospective university students. In addition, there can be pressure from family, friends and social media to have your life plan figured out by the time you graduate. However, in most cases, no one really knows what they want to do straight after university, and some don’t even figure it out until years later!
I’ve interviewed recent graduate, Steph, to help get an idea of what the first few years after uni life and in the ‘real world’ is like. Read on to see what she had to say…
When did you graduate and what course did you do?
I did Marketing with Advertising Management and graduated last summer.
Sum up your university experience in 3 words… go!
Hilarious, challenging, unforgettable.
What attracted you to your course?
I’ve always had a keen interest in business studies and marketing, so I felt that pursuing a marketing and advertising course would help me to keep my options open after uni.
Do you think your course has given you the right skills to prepare you for the working world?
It’s definitely given me the right analytical skills and helped me get into good habits i.e. turning up to lectures on time and adhering to deadlines. However, I do think it’s important to get some professional experience too, for example, through an internship or placement - as it can help you see what full-time work is really like.
Where do you work?
I work in IT sales.
How soon after uni did you find a job?
I had a bit of a break to just relax, have fun and travel before jumping into any grad roles. So, it was 2-3 months before I found my current job.
How easy was it for you to find a job?
It was definitely a challenge looking for the right role, however, it just takes a little bit of perseverance. It can be a little disheartening if others around you are getting jobs and starting to work and you're still searching, but it’s important to remember that your time will come! If you're not taking a break to travel like I did, I'd recommend starting to look for grad jobs while you're still in third year. Some of the more competitive graduate schemes start recruiting as early as the September of your final year.
What job-searching advice do you have for current grads or those who are due to graduate soon?
Firstly, widen your search and be flexible as this will help you find more jobs and increase your chances of success. Also, don’t just settle for the first company or employer that you get an interview with (unless, of course, this is your ideal job!). There’s plenty of time to find a suitable role, so take your time so that you don’t regret your decision.
What advice do you have for graduates who are worrying about finding a job?
Relax! You’ve worked incredibly hard for the last 3-5 years, so now’s the time to bask in your hard work and find the right opportunity. When that time comes, make sure to use all the resources available to you to help you nail the job application, for example, family, friends, university careers advisers etc.