The biggest problem we students have when it comes to thinking about careers is that we live, securely and happily, in a bubble. The last thing we want to hear is that one day, in the not-so-distant future, the bubble bursts and we end up in the real world, scratching our heads and wondering where the last three or four years went.
Eventually we have to get a job, or go travelling, even set up our own business, or maybe do another degree… There are endless options for us to consider and they all take more thought than we are generally willing to give.
The biggest piece of advice there is when thinking about the future is so blatantly obvious, it barely counts as advice at all. Literally thinking about the future is the first step: what do you want to do and how are you going to get there?
It’s OK not to know, but starting to understand your skills and options is a vital first step. No one wants to leave the bubble, but it doesn’t go on indefinitely.
A valuable resource that Careers now provides is the Alumni Mentoring Scheme, which I wholly recommend. It requires a small amount of your time and the returns are excellent.
Essentially, you list your interests and tentative thoughts about the future and Careers matches you up with a York Alumni who has experience in a field you may be interested in. Over the weeks you Skype, call, email or meet with your mentor and discuss your future. From applications, to getting work experience, to what a job is like… You can cover anything.
If you are like me and you have put off thinking about the future, clinging to the student lifestyle and hoping it never ends, this is the scheme for you. Your mentor helps you make those first steps into the future that everyone dreads. I started the scheme last term, in my third year and without a clue as to what I wanted to do. As this leg of the scheme officially draws to a close, I have a much clearer understanding of what jobs I would enjoy, what my skills are and what I need to improve on.
The scheme gives you practical steps you can take that make your future career less daunting and more realistic. It might not be as easy as avoiding the topic and taking comfort in Willow’s tequila and prawn crackers, but it is worthwhile and, as an added bonus, it won’t make you ill and regretful the next day.
Applications for this round of the alumni mentoring scheme are now closed. If you are a continuing student keep a look out for a new round in the Autumn term. ALL current students can connect with York graduates through our Graduate Profiles.
If you are a current student and have a career related topic that you’d like to share with other students, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org