Graduate Blog

Next step for Third Years by Michael Ham

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After leaving 6th form or college friends and family often say “into the big wide world now” but time at university is only the half way point!

Once you jump to your final year and the Easter period approaches, that can only mean one thing. University is almost over, and it’s almost time to leap the final herdl into the real world.

It’s important that you take some time to consider your next step. Here are some tips on how to get yourself onto the career ladder:

1) Research and contact – one approach is to research your sector in the location you are thinking of working. There’s no harm in researching around and getting your foot in the door. You can email or phone them up and ask if there are any opportunities or a chance to gain some work experience.

2) Graduate and job fairs – Just like preparing answers and questions for exams, dissertations or projects you should do the same at fairs. Find out when your next graduate or job fair is and attend. Have plenty of questions prepared and your CV or card ready as well. Fairs are great to speak to companies and their employees, get helpful advice and find out if they have any opportunities or courses to progress.

3) Job agencies and websites – Although you might not be applying for a job right away, businesses and organisations still advertise work experience, part time jobs or internships online. So there’s no harm in having a look to see how you could enhance your CV.

4) Social media – When you do start job hunting your first priority will probably be your CV and a cover letter. However, this often means you don’t have time to sort other parts out or maybe even forget! One example is your social media. Businesses look at that. Start preparing your social media early. Have a clean out or make your profile private. Update your Linkedin and begin building your contacts. You might want to make a few work related posts as well to get yourself out there.

5) Contacts and uni help – One way to get ready is to use your contacts you already have to your advantage. For example ask your tutor for advice on where to look or if they know any opportunities. You can also seek help from career services at uni or help with your CV and cover letters.

6) Experience – If you haven’t taken a placement year then you’ll definitely need some more work experience. Have a look at some internship schemes before applying for a job. Paid or unpaid, both develop your skills and show your dedication. Your internship might even offer a job at the end of it.

So when you feel like you need a break from doing some revision or more research, why not try something a bit more productive and get ahead.

About the Author

Mike Ham Mike Ham

Having just graduated from De Montfort University, Leicester, with a 2:1 in Media Production BSc (Hons) I hope to begin a career within the media industry, or use my blogging and copy writing skills to help with a marketing position. Before I came to University, I had no skills or knowledge of media production. However once the basics were covered I soon found myself accelerating within different parts of media production. By producing creative videos for clients within and outside University, I was able to grasp my key skills in script work, story boarding, filming, editing, DVD authoring and publishing through new media online.

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