Graduating: When the real work begins.
12 Aug 2014
On leaving University there should be a sign thats says "The Real Work Starts Here". Not one person warned me that this would be the hardest step. Suddenly you're thrust into life without any stereotypical direction and no academic advisor to point the way (applause for you if you got the Avenue Q reference).
Am I the only one that still finds real life difficult, even after graduating two years ago? Not with the simple everyday things but when it comes to finding a direction in life I'm lost!
Going to Uni was one of the best decisions of my life; it gave me so much independence, I learnt life skills and most importantly it gave me some of my best friends in the world and Craig. However, career wise it hasn't helped me one bit. It may be a rose-tinted expectation that you'll walk out of Uni and straight into a job, beating all your peers who didn't spend thousands on a degree. But thats exactly what college's drill into you at 18 and what you therefore expect when you leave at 21. To instead be scrounging around for any old job makes a mockery of the whole system.
Unless you're going into a very vocational course, companies aren't looking for a degree they want experience and thats exactly what graduates don't have. By the time I graduated my Music degree I had two internships under my belt, an overseas summer job and a part-time job to put on my CV. I knew it wasn't a huge list of achievements but I felt I'd done a fair amount and certainly more than others I knew. But, that was nowhere near enough experience to get me anywhere in my field. Two more internships after graduating and I still wasn't getting anywhere. I realise this is now starting to sound a bit 'pity me', but if you are reading this before starting Uni or even if you're currently in your degree you can at least learn from my mistakes and start gaining as much experience as you can before you graduate.
This post is a bit of a double edged sword really, directed at recent graduates and excited freshers gearing up to make the move in a few weeks. If you've just graduated, gear up for some more hard work and grab every opportunity as it comes to you! If you're off to start your journey in a few weeks, good luck and enjoy every moment of it....but also work really hard and gain as much experience as you can.
I may feel that Uni hasn't helped me career wise, but life wise I wouldn't be the person I am today without having gone to Uni. You know how adults always say School is the best time of your life? Thats a complete lie, but Uni most definitely is.
What're your thoughts on University, do you think it helps to have a degree with job hunting?