Ask most students and they will tell you that the reason they are doing their course is because they want to work in that industry. You have the odd few that took their course because they didn’t know what they wanted to do, so they wanted to piss about for a few years though; I won’t be focusing on them! I want to talk about the students that have taken the direction in which they want to work and are focusing on university, with no end goal in sight.

Although I want to talk about what happens after graduating and what you need to be prepared for, I also want to talk about a few options that might come up while you’re studying. The main one being placements, no matter how long. So take a read and find out why I’m so passionate about them, even if I hated the prospect of mine!

Start Thinking! Placement? 

Now I won’t lie, university is bloody touch. I have loads that I have to do every year and with every year the work load gets heavier. The time off you get decreases and the amount of exams increases, the morning exams are the worst! That doesn’t mean, as a student you shouldn’t be looking towards the future. Which is one reason why I love courses that offer a placement scheme.

If you’re thinking about university or you’re on your chosen course at the moment, take a few minutes to think about what you want to do when you graduate. Is it plausible? If you have the chance to sit a placement, go for it. Take a placement in the type of job you’re going to want once you leave uni. You might find that you hate it and totally change your mind, or it might just solidify your goals.

Either way a placement is worth your time, until you experience what you’re going to be doing for a good chunk of your life you’re not going to know if you love it. Some courses offer placements for a month whereas others can allow you to go on placement for a whole year, it totally depends on your situation but I’d totally do it and go for which ever is best for you!

Money, money, money!!

If I had emojis on my blog I would totally use the screaming face! Money makes the world go round there’s no question about it. I’m sure if we didn’t need as much money as we do to live the world might be a better place. You’re going to need a job that is going to pay for your lifestyle, wherever you are living and your expenses. Money doesn’t grow on trees, it’s just a byproduct of destroying them!

You’re going to need to make sure you know how much you need every month. In your final year at university you’re going to want to get rid of any debt, credit cards, clothing accounts etc. If you’re a student you will know what I’m talking about! Use some of that student finance to clear these accounts so that you don’t have 50 direct debits coming out every month when you eventually graduate!

Of course if you’re moving back in with your parents then the money you have to spend each month is going to be less. Although if you stay in the area where you studied you’re going to need a lot more and most times you’re going to have to find a job pretty fast after graduating, which brings me to my next point!

Finding a job….

The end goal of university and graduating is to find a job right? Sure you and a couple hundred thousand students are all doing the exact same thing that month, finding a job. Trust me it isn’t easy. Unless the industry is crying out for new workers and you’re not being replaced by robots; you might find it difficult to land a job! What’s worse is that the industry you want to go into might not even want graduates because lets face it, although you just sat a three year uni course you don’t have any proper experience! Which is why a year long placement under your belt can be pretty handy!

Apart from having a hefty placement and good recommendations under your belt you might want to start doing a few other things just to make yourself look more desirable. I’m sure you’ve heard it before but ever thought of volunteer work? I’m talking about term time or even the summer holidays if you can. At the same time working down your local charity shop a few hours a week might be all well and good but ever thought about working at a dogs shelter? Picture this, you’re sat in an interview and they ask the boring question “any hobbies?”. What a conversation if you can turn round and say that you work at a dogs shelter! Trust me they’ll remember you for all the right reasons.

At a job interview you need to be remembered, for the good reasons. Sure they’re not supposed to discriminate but employers do, it’s the way it works I’m afraid! Which means when you’re drunk in year one thinking about that rocking tattoo you want on your face or hand…. give it a second thought! I’ve got tattoos so I’m not against them, however they are covered up easily!

Lastly when it comes to finding a job you need to make sure you know what you want to do. It’s fine if you want to get a part time job to cover the bills but I’m talking end game. If you want to work in a specific area and you know only 8 companies employ in that field start to tailor yourself to what they want. If they are looking for someone who know Microsoft like the back of their hand, most universities do courses for free; take one!

I started planning my future in year one, I knew what I wanted to be doing with my life and that was this blog. So I’ve stuck at it even when I’ve felt like I’m getting nowhere and that no one was there to help. It’s all about knowing what you want, having a goal in your head and working towards it. The earlier that you start in your university journey, the more you are going to have done by the time you graduate.

I will say this though, make sure you enjoy what you’re doing. University can be bloody stressful and I know first hand how tempting it is to stand up in a lecture hall and shout WTF! I’ve been there, which means I’m in the best position to tell you that it takes time and not to overwhelm yourself with everything going on. Take it easy, one exam at a time.

Students, plan your future in year one!

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