Written by Bernadette Lyons, Careers Consultant at The Careers Service
In many of my careers guidance appointments with recent graduates, a common thread of conversation has come about ‘how have they adapted to working during the COVID pandemic?.
Their stories were reassuring for students approaching graduation, placement, or trying to find some experiences in the virtual space. A recent graduate in History (2020), Bariz, who now works as an International Talent Assistant at the University of Manchester has shared how he has made career decisions and created a flexible plan. Here are his top tips.
Tip 1 – Follow your interest
I chose a History degree because I was interested in it at A-level. The course allowed to choose a variety of modules and I liked being able to make my own degree.
When I searched for graduate schemes online, I kept an open mind and applied for the things I found interesting and thought I would enjoy. I read about the roles in detail and found many that I didn’t even know existed! I like to try things out before I commit to a particular path, so I was motivated by that rather than a longer term career plan.
Tip 2 – Get extracurricular experiences
I worked at Nando’s alongside my degree and it allowed me to improve time management, learning customer skills and developing my communication.
My top tip would definitely be to get a part time job or do something extracurricular to get more experience. I had lots to talk about at interviews to show I have developed transferrable skills both in academic and extracurricular activities. These experiences helped me recognise what I was interested in and so helped me in my job search and applications.
As the founder of Apple Steve Jobs once said, “I’d get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about.”
The lesson? Try to be flexible, adapt to new situations and gain experience from a variety of activities. What seems to be important is to take positive, small action steps to find a workable solution – for the moment, for the now.