.. 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.
However, all is not lost, as all the speakers also wrote about their experience, so you can catch up on the PPLS graduate case-study blog.
Kolos (cognitive science and psychology) was back again this year, now in a new role, having been head-hunted by IT and finance company Capco. Passionate about the need to develop skills and experience outwith your degree during your time at university, he talked about the value of roles in student societies, staff student liaison – and more – to draw on in your applications and interviews – and a good plug for the Careers Service for clarifying your direction and support with the recruitment process.
Lauren (linguistics), web content editorial assistant here at the University, talked about the value of her internship and work she’d done on developing student society websites for getting her current position. Plus keeping an open mind – she started off looking at work in festivals and events, though an opportunity opened up writing for the web, and she took it.
Robert (philosophy) works as a global trade consultant with EY (Ernst and Young). What’s that? you may ask – and Robert explained – read his case study for the definite answer! Once again he stressed the value of internships, getting involved with societies ( being head of EUSA sports union was a great talking point in his interviews) doing your research, and preparing before attending Careers Fairs so you can make the most of your conversations with employers, rather than just pen-collecting.
Megan (psychology) used a fascinating ‘onion’ analogy to explain how all your experiences enable you to be very versatile in your career, in the way an onion is very versatile in cooking! She works as an events co-ordinator and mentor with the Social Mobility Foundation , and has also been a Saltire Foundation intern in Chicago, and volunteer with LEAPS.
Joe (linguistics) is a collections information officer with a national heritage charity. After consulting the Careers Service he signed up with an agency to gain experience. His stint as the music librarian for the University Wind Band landed him a temporary role as collections information officer, which has subsequently become permanent. He reckons his passion for stationery, owning his own filing cabinet, and having everything labelled and organised also played its part!
Rachel (cognitive science) gave a spirited performance (she did spend a lot of time in student theatre – great for evidencing so many skills) on her role and motivation for working with EY, and achieving her ambition as a US student to work in the UK after graduation. Be organised, start early, look beyond the job title (she’s still finds it difficult to explain hers concisely!), do your research – and only apply to things you have an interest in – just some of Rachel’s advice to current students.
Laura (linguistics) gave us a description of her route from Youth Hostel warden to systems analyst for TPP clinical software, and more encouragement to look beyond the job title. She initially rejected her dad’s suggestion of applying for the role as she had no experience of healthcare or IT. Her advice was not to be intimidated by roles in IT, even if your degree doesn’t seem relevant. Employers are interested in intelligence, transferable skills, and the ability to share your opinion.
Ryan (linguistics) put in his third appearance at this event – with another different job – this time trainee careers adviser! With a passion for working with young people, he described how he’s built up his experience (via his different paid and volunteering roles), and gave valuable advice on the importance of structure and volunteering if you find yourself without paid work.
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 case study blog.
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
- starting on a career path based on your interests and motivations, without necessarily knowing the destination
- making use of your Careers Service.
Your career is a journey – not a destination.