‘I don’t know what career I want’

I was the classic Humanities student who lived by the mantra “Humanities students can go on and do anything with their degree”. As true as this is, it can be frustrating to have so many options.

Over the last three years I looked at every career under the sun, but in September I joined the Careers Service on an internship in marketing and communications. And… I still don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life!

I’m enjoying this role (I have to say that – my boss reads these posts), and marketing is where I see my career in the foreseeable future, but I’ve not pinned myself down just yet.

This isn’t my way of telling you that I’m a bad employee with no loyalty (although I did have a drink after work in Man Met Union the other day), it’s me saying there’s absolutely nothing wrong with not knowing what you want to do – because you’ll probably have a go at loads of careers in the future anyway.

But that’s not helpful is it? I’ve got a few tips as to how you can help yourself.

Go do some stuff!

They say you come to university to try new things but people sometimes misunderstand this as ‘drink purple things, eat weird food, and go on a binge boxsets’. But that’s not just it – there are loads of different societies at the University that you can get involved in.

Whether it’s the dance society, or the History society, you could benefit. Some societies have social media or treasury positions, and even post about work experience opportunities in Facebook groups. I personally got involved with the Manchester Media Group at university, which is the student radio, student YouTube, and a weekly newspaper.

Take every opportunity – snowball effect

Whilst I was at the Manchester Media Group I wrote a few articles. Then I took the opportunity to be the Sports Editor, through this I created some videos and podcasts. I literally just grabbed everything I could, as I thought it was the only way I’d find out what I like and don’t like.

Because of this I was able to become a Video Production Intern in the summer and work as a match reporter at Manchester City. From joining the Manchester Media Group, the snowball effect meant that I could then get all these other opportunities. I ended up working with BBC Sport, produced a show for BBC Radio, and now work with the Careers Service in marketing.

The Careers Service

I used the Careers Service for all they were worth when I was a student – in fact I still am, as they’re paying me to write this now. Here’s some of what they have to offer that will be helpful to you.

Guidance appointments: Pop down to the Careers Service on the first floor of University Place, in the Atrium – there you can see one of our staff members and they can get the ball rolling for you. Alternatively, ring 0161 275 2829.

Global Graduates: I went to New York for a week to network with some large organisations like the UN, NBC, and US Bank. It gave me a great insight into loads of different organisations that I’d never thought of before… plus I got to see the Yankees. Applications open for this open around February.

Student Experience Internships: In the summer of your penultimate year, why not do an eight week internship to check out a sector of work you may want to go into? I personally worked for the University creating videos. Applications for this open around February.

Events: Whether it be a ‘Meet the Professionals’ event where you can go hear from professionals in different fields, or the ‘Insight into Broadcast and Journalism’ event, there’s plenty put on at Careers for you to check out. These will be promoted on Careers Link.

Clubs: The Third Sector Club and the Media Club are run by the University and often hold talks from professionals or workshops. You can check these out on Facebook too.

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