Summer is officially over and the adulthood clock started ticking louder than ever. Congratulations! You have made it to your final year at university. You will soon start dreading it, if you haven’t already – but let me tell you a secret: it will definitely be different. You have gone through the first two years trying to figure out how to properly reference essays, which pub has the best offers at happy hour, what are the best times to go to the library.
But ultimately, this is the year you need to focus a little bit more so that at the end, you gain a little bit more. As a recent graduate myself, here are eight tips how to make it count:
Plan ahead and get stuff done
You won’t believe how quick this year will go. Make a list of milestones you want to achieve until graduation and start working on that. Also, do a little bit of extra-research on your modules. It will keep you engaged in the learning process and it will make it easier to write your dissertation or prepare for your final exam.
Attend different social events
Although this year is all about focusing on what you want to do after graduation, meeting new people and socialising is just another tool that’ll help you network better. You’d be surprised how a networking event can improve your communication skills or increase your contacts’ agenda. You will also get a chance to understand market opportunities, get new ideas and make new friends.
Take part in extracurricular activities
I cannot emphasise this enough. It is never too late to join a university society or be part of an event on campus. Not only you will gain a new skills-set, but you will be put in situations that apply at your work place. Besides, an employer will be more interested in someone whose CV shows availability and involvement.
Focus on your final project and experiences rather than just wasting time around. Companies tend to hire someone with a 2.1 or higher, especially when it comes to graduate schemes.
For most students, graduate schemes are the 'IT' thing of their year. For those deciding to go straight into employment, these are the tickets for a career in your chosen industry. The companies usually offer an entire package of training and creating a dynamic employee out of you, for a common benefit. They are extremely competitive but once you get it, it’s worth it. Have look online and see which of them fits you best. Remember, the deadlines are usually close to the end of the calendar year.
Work experiences and internships
Your last year at university is a great chance to prove yourself how great you can be, mainly because you still have accessible resources at your feet. Speak with the employability service at your university and check out what internships they offer. They usually partner up with different companies for the benefit of the students. Also, contact the companies YOU are interested in and discuss about work experience opportunities they might have available.
Know the market you’re going into
Research is key. Spend a few hours a week and put down some thoughts about the market you want to go into. Nothing looks more unprofessional than a person that shows up at an interview knowing little about the company or the position. See what positions are opening and how you can transfer your personal skills into employability skills. Hiring managers are always looking at that: so make sure you stand out of the crowd.
At some point during your year, you’ll probably have an emotional breakdown and you’ll be scared about what happens next. But that’s okay, and you know why? Because we’ve all been there and it’s perfectly normal to feel scared about what the future holds. Everybody will ask you what are your plans after graduation or how’s your dissertation going, but you just have to take a step back and breathe. Spend time in the park with your friends, treat yourself to a fancy dinner and just stay positive. Everything falls into place at some point and all your hard work will pay off.
Remember to keep to dreams alive and believe in yourself, because there’s nothing stronger than a person willing to cross borders and go the extra-mile for what they’re passionate about.
You can do this!
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