.. you missed a great informative event, and chance to network (ie talk!) with recent PPLS grads about their journey since graduation, and gain inspiration for your own.
With a great range of speakers from across the PPLS subjects, students who made it to the event last night were treated to informative and interesting insights into some very diverse paths since graduation.
There was Jamie, currently studying for his Masters in Information and Library studies at RGU, Aberdeen. His advice for finding out more about what jobs are really like? Be proactive – talk to people doing the job – it’s not ‘bothering’ them, most people enjoy talking about their work (ed note – we in the Careers Service call this networking and informational interviewing ). Oh, and Jamie added it’s important to think about your values – do those of your employer/career area, chime with your own? If not you’ll never be happy in that role.
Then there was Hannah working for Skyscanner in Talent Acquisition who encouraged people not to be afraid to take risks, and take opportunities as they arise, as you’ll gain valuable experience from whatever role you take, and can build on this to work towards your ultimate goal, which for Hannah is working in performance management.
Ryan encouraged us to keep working on skill development, even if we don’t know exactly what we want to do. As long as we’re ‘doing something’ to aid personal development. He used a period of unemployment to volunteer with several organisations, and is now working as a Technician/modeller (not related to his linguistics degree, but demonstrating the flexibility and confidence which degree-study should inspire) with Caley Water. Eventually he hopes to take a vocational course in something people-related e.g. teaching, careers guidance….
Then Kea talked of her path from psychology degree to UX (User Experience) freelancer, via a Masters in UX design at UCL, project work and volunteering, agency work, working for a start-up, and now freelancing whilst she decides her next career move. Her advice? – as with Jamie – speak to people in the industry, go along to tech meet-ups – find out what the job/industry’s really like
Lee spoke passionately about his career path to date from philosophy degree to consultancy with EY via suit-sales, BBC and Barclays. He again emphasised that you’ll learn from everything you do, so dont be afraid to make mistakes (eg suit-sales!). He also stressed the need to think about what motivates you. This reflection took him from Belfast to Barclays for a new challenge (challenge being one of his motivators), and now onto EY as a consultant. He also spoke very eloquently about how key his philosophy skills have been to his success in his professional life.
Thea, linguistics grad turned engineer in telecoms, working on contracts for under-sea cables with Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, is another shining example of just how far from your subject knowledge your degree can take you, whilst still using the transferable skills, confidence and flexibility your degree gives you. After a short spell of academic research work immediately after graduation, she registered with a graduate recruitment agency, took a chance on this job, and has never looked back
And finally, Kolos, Business Intelligence IT consultant with Sopra Steria, after a big plug for using your Careers Service whilst you can (for up to 2 years after graduation) emphasised that you don’t have to know the name of the job you’re looking for, though you do need to think about what you want from a job, the things that are important to you, your values and motivation, what you enjoy, what you’re interested in. And again, he emphasised how flexible your degree is, that it gives you the confidence to take on challenges, and know you’ll succeed. He likened business meetings to staff-student liaison meeting (he was a student rep) – you don’t always understand the full extent of what’s being said (by academics, clients), but you’re astute enough to ask the right questions, and find out what you need to know to do the job!
If all this has whetted your appetite to find out more, click on the names above to read a full account of their career paths to date, and their advice for current students.
And for yet more inspiration, you can read case-studies from previous years via the PPLS careers web pages.
So, your PPLS degree can take you in so many directions – be inspired by recent PPLS graduates above – follow their advice for working out your starting point after graduation, which includes, in no particular order:
- identifying what’s important to you (not other people!)
- thinking outside your degree discipline
- getting experience sooner rather than later
- not being afraid to make mistakes – you learn from them
- not being hung up on job titles (who knew an submarine engineer was actually writing bids for sub-sea cables contracts?)
- starting on a career path based on your interests and motivations, without necessarily knowing the destination
- making use of your Careers Service.