Graduate Blog

“It’s who you know, not what you know”


The seemingly eternal job search – it disheartens even the most optimistic Graduate. During and after University, we students often assume the hard work is over and finding a job is the easy part – after all we do have a Degree. Ultimately though, I am competing with not only 200 course mates but thousands of others graduating with Geography BA from a top Russell group University. With constant psychometric test practice, trawling through IT and finance placements, I often question whether more than a humble Geography degree is required. Mum says, “don’t worry darling we can spruce up your CV with some flamboyancy”, but I wonder if it is indeed enough.

Yes I have International experience, yes I have a good degree and yes I have some IT skills, but the average graduate scheme/ research job in the civil service and development agencies – my ultimate goal – requests a plethora of skills with limited places. It seems the true key to success is rather who you know not what you know. With Mum and Dad both working in International capacities, dropping an email to that long-lost friend or colleague seems to be presenting more opportunities both here and abroad –  they commented, “both our careers got kick-started by connections and we will do the same”. Ultimately then, it seems I should be spending more time on LinkedIn and less time ‘sprucing’,

About the Author

Emily P Emily P

I am currently a 2nd year Undergraduate at the University of Birmingham studying Geography. As a so-called ‘third – culture kid’ or International student, I have spent much of my education abroad; spending my final two years of school in South Africa studying the International Baccalaureate system. With regular travel and access to the developing World, my intentions are to study a Masters in International development or International Relations. The ultimate goal is to work for a large Multi-national philanthropic organisation or the United Nations. As both an International student and studying Geography, I am passionate about the World and all it can offer. Having travelled to over 21 Countries across all Continents, I spend my free time discovering the weird and wonderful and translating that into a blog and various journals. Wherever the World takes me I will never stop exploring.

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