That’s it then. You’ve reached the end of your university career. Gone are the days of student life and the preparation for the working world begins.
So now what?
As you take your first step into the world of work, for most graduates, this will take the form of either a temporary internship or work placement or a permanent job.
To help you get a better idea of what to expect, we’re going to take a quick look at each of those opportunities in turn and see what they typically involve.
An internship is an opportunity to experience what it would be like to do a given role within an organisation. Internships can last anything from a couple of weeks to several months – and, may provide a route into a permanent role. Even if you don’t get a job at the end of it, it can be a great way to build up your experience and make useful industry contacts.
Here are some quick tips for getting the most out of an internship:
Seek out responsibility
Network whenever you can
Get feedback from people
The term “work placement” can cover a wide range of different opportunities, including compulsory work experience undertaken as part of a degree course. For people who have already graduated, it is most commonly used to describe a more elaborate form of internship, which is likely to offer you deeper immersion in projects and may last as long as 12 months.
Many large organisations run popular graduate schemes. If ours here at Enterprise Rent-A-Car is anything to go by, then this can offer you a fast-track route into leadership, as you rotate through a variety of roles, teams and business areas. Schemes are by no means your only option, though. A graduate job could be anything from trainee weather forecaster to junior advertising account exec.
After all those years of formal education, the fast pace and relentlessness of a full-time role, whatever you end up doing, is likely to come as bit of a shock. The expectations and office etiquette can also take some getting used to. But hang in there – everyone adjusts to professional life sooner or later and most relish the challenges it brings.
If you do manage to secure yourself a permanent position, there are a few extra things you may want to think about before you get stuck into the role. These include:
Unless your parents live near to your chosen place of work, it’s time to start finding yourself somewhere to live. Demand for housing is at an all-time high, so the more time you allow yourself to find the right place, the better.
Now that you are set to earn an annual salary, you might find you’re able to get a better deal on your bank account. This could end up substantially reducing the cost of your student debt.
Are you going to be commuting into work by train? You could potentially save a lot of money by buying an annual or monthly season ticket. Many employers offer interest-free loans to help you meet the upfront cost.