Anyone who’s been to university remembers the mixture of excitement and panic that surrounded the application process. The mountainous pile of prospectuses, the diary full of open days, personal statements, UCAS forms… It was a whirlwind!
However, during the time between selecting your course and graduation, your mind may change about what you want to do (let’s face it, 17-year-old you didn’t always make the best decisions). It’s only human to have a change of heart; spending time studying a particular subject in such depth may make you realise you aren’t as passionate about it as you thought, or you may simply realise that you want to take a different career path.
That being said, there are plenty of people who are happy with their degree subjects, but may feel a little daunted at the prospect of entering the work arena.
Do you ever wonder if all the essays, projects and dissertations were worth it? We want to tell you a secret: one of the reasons university is so testing is to prepare you for professional life and to give you transferable skills that you can use in the workplace. Sneaky, right?
Think about it, if your boss asks you to do a presentation – you’ve got this. Need to complete research? You’re a pro. Teamwork? A doddle. In fact, a lot of things will feel like a breeze in comparison to a 32,000-word dissertation on ‘The Representation of Traditional and Non-Traditional Gender Roles in 18th Century Indigenous Peruvian Literature’.
You may not have really thought about how your further education has helped you to develop skills and attributes that are indispensable to prospective employers.
Below are some examples to think about. These are all skills that you can work into your CV (backed up with key examples, of course), talk about during interviews and apply once you’re working:
Writing a Dissertation
These can show that you are:
The bane of most students’ lives! However completing so many of them means that you can:
Surviving until Graduation Day
Yay, you did it!
The fact that you got into university, completed a degree and lived to tell the tale says more about you than you may think. An employer can automatically assume that you are an intelligent, independent, determined and organised individual. If your desired career path lies within your degree specialism, then you’re already well-equipped with industry-specific knowledge and experience.
Not graduated yet? Keep going – as you can see, it will all be worth it in the end (and your 30-minute presentation may not be as pointless as you think!). Just be sure to work hard and make the most of your remaining semesters.
Remember, you get more out of university than a lovely framed piece of paper and a three-year hangover. Yes, starting a career after graduation is a scary prospect but, thanks to your uni years, you’re more prepared than you could have ever imagined. You have so much to offer an employer and this is something that should stick in your mind during every job application and interview.
But don’t be mistaken, the hard work isn’t over. It has only just started with getting your first professional job. So don’t rest on your laurels, roll up your sleeves and give it your all!