New Year – New Beginnings…………

………………. well, perhaps not quite ‘new’ as I’ve ‘refurbished’ this post from last year!

However, based on the maxim that ‘you cant have too much of a good thing’ (debatable if it’s chocolate, alcohol etc I guess!), I’m republishing a previous post, slightly ‘refurb’d’ for 2014. Read on……

Rebecca, a recent PPLS grad now working in renewables, wrote a post for the PPLS blog which picks up on the theme of using the New Year as a New Beginning to ensure you do all you can to ensure your move to life after your degree is as smooth as possible.

She advises kickstarting your career by getting out there and getting involved in something – you never know where it may lead. Read on to find out where her New Beginnings led her.

‘With all the fun and festivities behind us, thoughts may start to turn to the rest of the year. What does 2014 hold? Graduation? Exams? Summer placement interviews, the search for internships or work experience……? The ‘to do’ list can seem endless… And, with these thoughts come the guilt and the panic:

“I should have made those December graduate job/internship deadlines”, “should I have revised harder for my exams?”, “how will I stand out from the other candidates at interviews/assessment centres?”

Speaking as a recent graduate of PPLS I can safely say I’ve been there done that! These are questions that you should be asking, but the key is what are you going to do about it?

I found one of the most important things that employers looked for was experience. This may seem daunting, but it’s not necessarily what you think.

They are not looking for the next contestant on The Apprentice, but for someone who showed the capability of having a balanced university life: having a weekend job, getting involved in societies, volunteering for local organisations.

Not only do these experiences help you to develop a multitude of skills, but they get you networking. You meet people who you probably wouldn’t meet otherwise, and this is the key. From networking you learn a lot. This is how I found out about the Environmental Placement Program.

I applied for a placement with EPP as I felt that this would be a great stepping stone between leaving University and the working world. This transition in today’s economy is tough and I wanted to complete a placement that would help build my skill set and increase my knowledge about the renewables industry, a field I was keen to get some experience in. The placement required me to hit the ground running, in a fast-pace environment, with a lot of responsibility. It was a steep learning curve, but one that has allowed me to succeed in my career goals to date. As a result of my placement, I secured a permanent position.

My one piece of advice would be to go out there and GET INVOLVED! Today obtaining a degree just isn’t good enough. Employers are looking for more…join that society, sign up to volunteer, try to find a weekend job – there’s so much out there! By doing just one of these things you never know what may be just around the corner.’

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