The dust has settled on your dissertation. You’ve finished your finals and worn your graduation gown with distinction. Now you’re back at home and faced with the uncertainty of the grad jobs market.
Where do you start? What job is your degree relevant to? How are you going to pay off that student debt? Was any of this even worth it?!
At this point, it’s easy to let doubts creep in. And when you start looking at the requirements listed on adverts for grad jobs it can be hard to see how the student experience has conditioned you for the world of work.
That’s where we come in. At NST Graduate we have tonnes of experience in helping graduates transition from uni to employment. And the good news is we’re here to share our knowledge with you.
As we tell our candidates, it’s important to frame your education experience in a positive light and remember the ways it’s made you more employable (beyond your degree certificate).
Here are 5 of them…
1. University was a valuable networking opportunity
How many people did you meet at university? When you think about it, the number’s probably into the hundreds. There’s your housemates, your friends who lived down the road, all the people on your course. Oh yeah, then there’s the folk you met in that society you belonged to, the guys and girls you shared a floor with in student halls… even those slightly weird people you hung with during your first freshers week (and then spent three years trying to ignore).
Don’t underestimate how valuable that network can be, especially in the grad jobs market. You’d be surprised how powerful recommendations are when companies are looking to hire; often, recruitment drives start internally – in other words, people with a vacancy in their department ask colleagues if they know anyone suitable for a role before it’s advertised. Knowing someone who can put in a good word is a great way of getting your foot in the door at a company.
So if you needed a reason to stay in contact with the people you met at university (even those odd freshers week friends) this is it.
2. You can cope with pressure
You graduated, so it’s almost certain that you handed in an essay on time… at least once. What that shows is that you’re able to work under the pressure of a deadline. And that’s something that many employers look for.
On the off chance that you failed to hand in an essay on time but still (somehow) made it out with a degree, don’t worry. The negotiation skills you demonstrated in repeatedly persuading your lecturers to extend deadlines will make you an asset to any company.
3. You can manage yourself
We can probably all agree that school was very different to university.
At school there was structure. You were obliged to turn up – if you didn’t, there was trouble. You were closely guided through all of your study material; teachers even offered clues as to what was going to be in the exams.
But at university there was none of that. Turning up was all on you. You had tonnes of reading to do outside classes and you couldn’t rely on lecturers to spoon feed you answers to exam questions. You had to manage your own time.
In short, graduating required motivation and self-discipline. These are important attributes that employers value.
4. You’re well-rounded
There’s more to university than academic studies.
If you joined a society, played sport, volunteered, worked on university radio or wrote for the student newspaper it shows you’re a team player with interests beyond your course material. In other words, you’re a well-rounded person. Employers rate that highly.
5. You stepped outside your comfort zone
When you went to university, it’s more than likely you moved away from home and found yourself surrounded by people you didn’t know. And yet you survived!
The chances are you’ve gained confidence from the experience and that will stand you in good stead in the grad jobs market. You got this!