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From a graduate to finalists – mid exams career advice

22 January 2018

3 mins

Hi, I’m Sarah, I graduated in 2017 with a BA in Fine Art. Since graduating, I have found that life after university planned out differently from what I imagined, and you know what, the real world is hard.

I am currently working as an intern at Loughborough University’s Careers Network. I’m assisting with a new project to help my fellow 2017 graduates find full-time graduate level employment.

From my current role and my own personal experience I would like to help you guys prepare for life after university, which is why between now and Easter, I’ll be writing three blogs full of things I wish I’d known about employment after university when I was a finalist.

You can start preparing anytime, even during exams!

There’s no denying that exams and deadlines are stressful; those late nights, the tears and constant self-questioning of why I’ve done this to myself. Don’t worry it will be worth it!

Whilst you’re stressing you might not have thought about what your plans are after university. And why should you?

This time last year I would have had my nose buried deep in books. My main focus was completing my degree, and despite the advice I received, I didn’t want to start thinking about my life after university; mostly as I didn’t want it to end.

Sound familiar? Read on for some advice I wish I could have given myself.

University doesn’t last forever, at some point that bubble is going to expand out into the big wide world. For me, it was daunting, and I must admit, terrifying! I felt so overwhelmed at the prospect, I just stuck my head in the sand and hoped I would be able to work out my life after my deadlines. Before I knew it, I was at my graduation ceremony with no set plan. I had an idea of what I wanted to do but no idea of how to achieve it.

Don’t put it off; it’s time to start to thinking about your career!

Yes you may be busy, however, instead of procrastinating, by cleaning the whole kitchen or watching the next high fiving cat on YouTube (no matter how cute); use the time you have to have a positive effect on your life and make your future self grateful that you took the time to think about your career options.

Research is key

My advice is to start by researching. What kind of roles are you interested in, do you know where your degree could take you? What skills do you possess and how do they influence what type of job you want? Take a look at the university Careers Network page for helpful advice on researching your career.

You don’t have to spend hours; you do have exams after all. Just thinking about what you want to do for a career is one significant step in the right direction.

Just don’t leave it too late, or you will have your parents nagging.

Keep an eye out for the next two blogs!

And finally, here are some other links you might find useful:

Careers Network Finalist Page – great place to start

Prospects – lots of really useful information

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