Life after University – #SU Edition
You have graduated from university. After graduation, you ask yourself what is next. There are many choices you can make. You could travel around the world. You could do a masters. You might or might not know what you want to do next. Do not worry, there is plenty of time to think about your next move. The following is a guide and things to think about as you embark on the next phase. In this blog, we talk about that next chapter, that life after university.
This is dedicated to people trying to figure it out and have no idea where to beginDedication
Focus on you and not your peers
You may discover that your peers achieved a first or a 2.1 & that they landed a dream job through a graduate scheme while you have achieved a 2.2 & still searching for a job. You may feel disappointed that you did not get the grade you wanted & that your peers got the opportunity you felt you should have. Don’t compare yourself to your peers. It will create a negative mindset & you could focus on something you do not need to worry about. Just because your peers could have their plans settled doesn’t mean you should follow what they do. You may have similar degrees but the decisions you make & the paths you create are very different. The best thing to do is to be patient. Your time will come. Be inspired by your peers. Develop a similar mind-set. Approach them, ask them for advice. Ask them to help you. They will be happy to comply. Instead of viewing your peers as competition look at them as an example of what you could achieve.
The learning doesn’t stop
Just because you completed your education does not mean you should stop learning. By continuing to learn, you will be gaining knowledge & skills you thought you would not achieve and may even surprise yourself with the amount you learn. One way to continue learning is to take online courses (look through Udemy, Prince’s trust & YouTube). Even if you received a 2.1 or a first the learning shouldn’t stop. By learning you can become a better person than you were yesterday or 12 months ago. It shows your level of enthusiasm & your work ethic.
Do not lose contact with your University network
Facilities still available
Your university will let you use some of their facilities for a few years after you graduate. For example, they could let you use their libraries. Take advantage of it. In my case, I can use the facilities such as the library & employability centre at my University for the next 3 – 5 years.
Think clearly whether you want to do a masters. There is no rush to start your masters. Ask yourself some of the 4 W’s:
- When do you want to do your master degree? It can be any time you want. The most important thing is whether you are ready to do your masters.
- What topic do you want to do your masters in? E.g. marketing, finance, or economics? Make sure that it is a topic that you enjoy doing & that it could benefit you in the future.
- Where do you want to do your masters in? Do you want to do it in a big city like London or do it at the same university you attained your bachelors? Do your research on where you want to go. Some Universities are popular due to their master’s courses.
- Why do you want to do a masters? Is there a career you want to pursue or is there another motive? Do you need a masters to pursue your dream career?
If you can answer all of these questions, then start looking at the course you want to do.
From my own experience, the best way to secure a graduate scheme is to begin searching at the beginning of the final year. The most popular & pleasing graduate schemes will have applications open from August up to Christmas of the same year. Therefore, there is no time to hesitate. If you feel that a graduate scheme is the best option for you, go for it. However, you must prepare for the application process because thousands of grad students apply for the same role and they will provide fierce competition.
If you are in University here is a tip: Do not miss out on any employability events. This could include career fairs as well as mock assessment days. There could be companies. Some you might not have heard coming to your university & hosting an event. So take advantage of any situation. Although graduate scheme applications open early, there will still be opportunities available by the time you graduate. The majority of the graduate schemes that open at the start of the year and I suggest you spend at least 1-2 hours each day looking at potential graduate roles. Be very cautious about the job role. Read the description properly & ensure that it is a legit role. Beware of the following job role “Graduate Management Trainee”. Some of these roles might not be as it seems. It will be more of a sales role than a management role. Look out for any keywords such as “IMMEDIATE START” when you are searching for a job and research the company first before looking deep into the job description.
Practice job assessments
Check whether you would be able to complete an aptitude test for your graduate scheme application. They are common in application processes & the employer uses this to see whether you would be a good fit. Your university should have online resources where you can practice job assessments & aptitude tests. If you practice you will be able to evaluate yourself and will be in a strong position when you take on the real thing.
It is important to take things slow. It’s okay not to get a job straight after graduating. It is okay not to have everything figured out straight after graduation. It may look like things are not going as planned, just remember that you are destined for greatness. Taking things slow means that you will be able to comfortably make decisions. You will be able to plan for the long term. If you do not know what to do after graduation that is fine. You will have the time to think about what you want to do next. But do not assume that you can do this by yourself. If being apart of the SkillStruct University Network has taught me something is that there are people around you who will be happy to offer their insight & help.