March 16, 2020, by stykjsk
Responding to that dreaded question…
By Katy Skillen, MNutr Nutrition and Dietetics student blogger
We all have experienced this, talking to friends, family or even strangers about university and being faced with one of the most stressful questions. “So, what about after graduation?”
This question always freaks me out. I’m in my second year of a four-year course and have absolutely no clue what I’ll be interested in, where I’ll be living or what I’ll be spending my 9-5 doing in over two years’ time. Regardless, this is the time of year where everyone, especially final year students, are expected to have the next few years of their life all sorted and have a perfectly planned answer to that infamous question. Here are some ideas and opportunities that I think are worth making the most of while still at university:
With my dietetics degree I have hospital placements provided, and as there is a nationwide shortage of dietitians, I’ve heard that the majority of final year students have job offers before they graduate, so I’m really fortunate to be in this position. If you are someone who worries about finding a job after uni, then getting a placement, even just for the summer can be a good way to relieve a bit of anxiety. This way, at least you have some connections and an idea of how the workplace functions.
I also really like to invest in the part-time and summer jobs I do. I worked as an activity leader at a summer camp and this year I am hoping to progress to working as a teacher with them, as they offer a scheme where they give you a Teaching in a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification. This in itself opens up loads more doors to work around the world as a teacher. Also, people I worked with last summer at camp are now applying for other full-time roles in the offices of these companies, proving that your long-term job does not have to be linked to your degree, but you can move up the career ladder in part-time work as well.
I always keep an eye out for random opportunities. Some jobs don’t require a specific degree, so if you don’t have a specific career plan, look at other general roles and opportunities, where you can build some skills in the meantime. This could mean you find that you’re really good or interested in something you never thought of before!
The job you get when you graduate does not have to be your job for life! You could get a short term graduate scheme and that doesn’t define the rest of your career prospects. It might take you years before you work out what you want to do and it’s okay not to know everything at the age of 20!
So please, try not to stress when you get bombarded with questions about your future careers. I’m a firm believer that if you’re grabbing opportunities, making the most of every experience, and ultimately doing what you love, then everything is going to fall into place in the end.
Unsure on what you want to do when you graduate? Get some guidance on choosing your career.