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Graduate Options: Sorting Out Post-Uni Plans
If you’ve come to that time when you can no longer ignore your post-uni plans and have to start thinking of what you want to do out in the real world, we’ve compiled a list of ideas, advice, and different choices to help! Breaking down this daunting task into smaller options is what helps me narrow it down from the huge realm of possibilities out there. Here are a few popular choices and some tips on how to get started with your graduate options!
By Jade Cheli
Try Workaway – Workaway is a great website that puts you in touch with families and people looking for workers, in return hosting you in their home. Workaway is fantastic if you want to experience life abroad like a local, maybe learn their language, or if there’s a travel destination in mind but you’re just not sure where to start. You’ll find anything from nannying in Paris to looking after animals in Sicily to building an eco-village in the jungles of Brazil. Personally, my two main reasons for using Workaway were to get more proficient in my language and practise my skiing!
TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is one way to go abroad whilst doing something new and developing skills that can be beneficial to your career choices. The TEFL course is a quality assurance for employers, both in education and generally. It’s also an internationally-recognised qualification, so you can guarantee your CV will be understood wherever in the world you decide to work. Check out The TEFL Academy for more information and access to courses around the world.
Similarly, Celta is a teaching qualification that’s more geared towards if you want to teach adults, not children.
Travel and Volunteering
Sick of the uni slog and want to get out there and experience the world with no plans or commitments in mind? Go travelling! Maybe get a job for a few months and work remotely as you travel, or volunteer abroad. This option may be for you if you’re looking to experience the world a bit and maybe go into the development sector, or if you have absolutely no idea what to do!
Top tip: Make sure to do a lot of research if you’re volunteering with a company or organisation. It’s important to know that your help is making a difference to their community in a positive way and unfortunately that is not always the case. We recommend this article to find out more about the ins and outs of so-called ‘voluntourism’ My advice would be to reach out to friends and family who might have volunteered abroad first.
Doing a season in a ski village is another way many people decide to spend the winter months post-graduation. There is a range of seasonal jobs available through British-run companies, such as events catering, ski instructing, chalet hosting and more! Brushing up on any skills in hospitality makes you highly employable and a good people-person – combine this with practising your French, Italian, or German in the Alps and you’ill find yourself learning some very valuable skills! Check out our Ski Season blogs for more information on how to get started from people who’ve done it.
Top tip: Apply early to get the best deals and don’t expect to be making loads of money – it’s likely you will be making enough to just live off, ski villages can be super expensive!
Having spoken to recent grads, their one main tip for me is always to set aside some deliberate time for this – don’t just expect to find some free time to apply for grad jobs, the process is lengthy and not very pleasant, and if you want to get it done on top of your final year work, you need to make the time.
There are so many impressive companies out there that offer graduate schemes to help you settle into the industry. These can be appealing because of the job security you will have, the support they offer, and the friends you’ll make! Examples include the Teach First scheme and the Civil Service Fast Stream, which are both populars paths for Language and Humanities grads. Check out sites like Bright Network and Prospects for more careers info and advice. Don’t forget to try your uni careers service as well as staff within your School, Faculty or Department.
Top tips: Start looking early and always prepare well for interviews! Don’t get bummed out if you get rejected, and follow up interviews with an email or phone call to thank your interviewers.
Start looking into what Masters you are interested in early, as there might be certain credentials you need to reach. Personally, I’m not a very motivated student, so looking into Masters courses that I thought I’d love really pushed me to work harder to get the required grades. Have a look through the advice on FindAMasters.com and Prospects for more information about doing a Masters abroad.
Top tip: A lot of universities offer early application scholarships, so be sure to reach out to admissions or your tutor and let them know you’re interested!