It's always a hard time for many students after graduation. You're not only clueless as to what you want to do with your degree, but you've reluctantly had to move back home with your parents with two grands worth of debt. It almost feels like the last three years spent at university (despite slogging your guts off in third year), have been completely pointless. The situation not helped by the constant questioning from friends and relatives regarding your work status. Yet throughout this period, you still remain hopeful that everything will simply sort itself out.
Well to tell you the truth, it might not!
I was in this predicament several months ago now. The light at the end of my tunnel was slowly but surely getting dimmer and dimmer, as I began to lose faith in the whole job hunting scene. How was I going to get out of my financial situation, never mind find myself a graduate job? However, something did in fact come up. A standard administration job. This was the kind of work my mates had settled for and the moment where I joined the 9-5 zombie club. Leaving the house early morning and returning from work in complete darkness. ‘Weekend Offender’ may as well have been my new job title.
Despite getting along with everyone at Manchester Airport Group, I knew the job wasn't something I wanted for the rest of my life. So when I saw The Juice Academy's advertisement for a Graduate Social Media Intern, I knew this was my opportunity to finally strive towards a career I would enjoy. It was a week later, when I was invited to the Boot Camp. At the time, I had mixed emotions about the procedure. I presumed, as always, that competition would be fierce and the chances of being successful would be slim. Although I knew I would learn a great deal through the experience alone, whatever the outcome.
The day itself was stressful to say the least, involving a range of tasks from group exercises to individual assessment. Yet it wasn't until lunch time I realised how competitive the process was, when one of my fellow candidates who I just had lunch with, was taken away and told he wouldn’t be staying for the afternoon session. It was the mental challenge more than anything else which created tension especially towards the end of the day, where we had to wait in a room for at least an hour to await our fate, while the employers decided which of the graduates they were going to offer jobs to. At that stage, unfortunately, it wasn't to be so back to the airport I went…
Luck, I believe plays a massive role on assessment days, such as this one. I find it bizarre how a company is able to choose a candidate, based on a two minute speed dating exercise and a couple of exercises. I now understand first impressions are everything and being confident and genuine is vital.
However, a couple of weeks later, I found myself singing along on the Karaoke with my new work mates at the CTI Digital Christmas party (I hadn't even started working there at this point). A position I wouldn't have imagined after Boot Camp.
I was one of the lucky ones, after being successful in a subsequent interview which I was shortlisted for by The Juice Academy. I've been working at CTI for a month now and thoroughly enjoying my time here. The team are extremely friendly and I am constantly learning new things on a day to day basis. Working at a digital agency has worked out well for me, as I have the opportunity to use the skills I gained from my english degree. I can delve into certain copywriting tasks as well as learn all aspects within social media. Whether I am able to continue after the sixth months or not, it is safe to say, I am gaining invaluable experience that can be took on to the next stage of my career. The Juice Academy has given me a great platform to progress and I'd like to thank them for this.
Nevertheless, the lack of graduate apprenticeship and job creation schemes is evident and unless you keep motivated and focused on the task of job hunting, opportunities will not simply fall into your lap after finishing university. The past two months has taught me a lot. It is extremely easy to give up the search for work after receiving numerous rejections or even settling for a job you detest, just because it's 'easy,' Whether or not you believe you can get a graduate job, if you don't put yourself into the recruitment process, you will not get anywhere...