- Student Support & Wellbeing
- Careers & Employability
- Language, Culture & Communication / Applied Linguistics
Thinking of the future
Many of you are now halfway through the first term of your final year and it’s starting to get a bit stressful isn’t it! Being constantly surrounded by careers fairs, talk of grad jobs and summer internships, and even family members asking what you’re going to do once you’ve finished your degree is one of the most difficult things in the world; but I promise you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed by all of this. This post is dedicated to helping you get through the stress of job applications, by looking at them realistically and (for once) through the eyes of someone who hasn’t been successful and has really struggled with the whole process, not through the eyes of someone who has been handed every opportunity!
Doing a degree like Language, Culture and Communication has been such an amazing experience for me and I feel like I’ve learnt so much and now have a wealth of life knowledge. But in reality, it’s really not the best degree title when applying for different jobs and grad schemes. It’s no surprise that the opportunities for those studying social sciences and humanities are so limited in comparison to STEM and other subjects. So where do you begin when your degree limits you from the get-go?
Figure out what sector you would enjoy…
The first thing to do is attend some careers fairs and get a very general idea of what sector you’d like to try and get into. For me I was most interested in PR and communications, but others doing my course are looking at careers in HR, marketing, and even recruitment. Careers fairs and the careers advice service will help you make this decision.
Grad schemes are the absolute best way to get into the industry, especially if you’re studying a ‘soft‘ subject like I am. It’s difficult to get into PR, marketing and communications if you have no direct way of getting a job, so grad schemes really offer this opportunity. However, the downside is that they are near impossible to get!
This isn’t a post to show you all how successful I’ve been after doing a summer internship and instantly getting interviewed for my dream job, this is a post to show you that it’s actually really bloomin’ hard to get into grad jobs and it’s totally normal to be rejected! I’ve applied to about 30 grad schemes so far, all across different sectors and sadly I’ve been rejected from the majority. The online testing systems are brutal and in all honesty I still don’t know what they’re looking for, but the companies are allowed to be picky because they just have so many applicants so please don’t take it to heart if you get rejected!
So my advice would be to apply to more than you think you’ll need to give you the best chance of success, practice the online tests before attempting the real thing, and don’t get too disheartened!
Although now isn’t the time to apply for jobs that don’t come under graduate schemes or training contracts, it is a good time to have a look round and see what else is on offer. Grad schemes aren’t the be-all and end-all so remember that there’s so many more opportunities out there.
Don’t get overwhelmed…
I know it’s so much easier said than done but try not to get overwhelmed by the whole process of applying for grad jobs, and remember to focus on your actual studying. I spent a heap of time applying for and getting rejected by grad schemes while neglecting my actual uni work so please don’t make the same mistake I did! Some of you might be finding the whole process a breeze and that’s totally great, but for those who aren’t don’t be discouraged.
Feel free to comment any of your own experiences/advice or get in touch if you want to talk more!