Many people start university with a plan that sounds a bit like this: do the bare minimum, scrape through and then somehow land the job of your dreams straight after graduation. If only life was that simple!
University’s a balancing act. On the one hand you’re miles away from home with all the freedom in the world, on the other, there’s no-one to cook your dinner, wash your clothes or wake you up for that all-important 9am lecture on a Monday morning. And as if fitting in lectures, seminars, revision and – most important – your busy social life wasn’t enough, you’ll probably be aware of a small, insistent voice in your head asking: ‘What am I going to do after university?’
It’s an important question and one that you should be asking yourself more often. You need to think about this early on, because before you know it, you’ll be starting year three and your parents will be asking ‘what are you going to do after university?’ over and over again!
So how do you start planning for your working life? Are all these excellent companies just going to send you an email offering you a dream job? It’s not very likely. Instead, it’s up to you to do some research and work out ways of putting yourself in front of the right employers.
So where do you start? Where do you want to work and who do you apply to? Do you just fill in hundreds of applications for jobs you don’t understand, at companies you’ve never heard of in the hope that one of them will offer you a job? No, you need to be selective and concentrate on a few that really interest you and that can offer you all the benefits you expect from a long and satisfying career.
Get involved from day one. Employers want to hire excellent graduates and they’re prepared to invest a lot of time, energy and money into meeting likely candidates. In other words, this part’s easy because employers come to the university specifically to meet people like you, and all you have to do is turn up and make a great first impression.
Where will you find them? Employers are on campus almost every day, whether they’re attending a careers fair or conducting mock interviews for an employability award; maybe their Campus Brand Managers are doing a university shout-out or they’re simply interviewing someone for an internship. Just put yourself in front of them and let them know you’re interested in finding out more.
Most employers want to meet a variety of different students, studying for different degrees – which is great for you. So they’re ready and willing, are you?
The best way to find out where employers will be and when is through your Employability and Careers Service – every university has one and they’ll be able to tell you when the next careers fair is, when a particular company is holding a mock assessment centre or interviews on campus – or when they’re next on-site handing out free pizza!
Finally, track down would-be employers on Facebook and Twitter. Most companies are active on social media and will share information about where they are and what they are doing, which makes this a great way to keep up-to-date with that all-important employer is up to. You can find out when Enterprise will next be on campus, and in the meantime take a look at our graduate job opportunities.