By Sangita Lal
If you’re reading this article, it probably means you made the decision to come to university to do a degree or course of some kind, but what happens when it’s all over? I’ve spent some time interviewing current third year UWE students to see what they have got planned for after graduation and why they’ve chosen the paths they have.
Rebecca Jones, a third year student of English Language and Linguistics, expressed her views on being a third year: “There’s a lot of work and it can be quite daunting but I would do it all again.”
According to Rebecca, university is an experience she doesn’t regret and is something she would recommend all college or sixth form students do.
When I asked Rebecca about her plans once she finishes university, she did not have a specific career in mind, explaining: “I’m planning on doing some voluntary work through the summer to see what I actually want to do. I’d like to go travelling for a bit too, so maybe get a job, do some voluntary work, figure out what I want to do, then start doing it.”
This opinion was also shared by Carys White, another third year English Language and Linguistics student, “I want to earn money and go travelling until I figure out what I want to do.” said Carys.
University has provided a degree, but not a specific career plan for both Rebecca and Carys, who mentioned how she changed her mind regarding a postgraduate study; “I wasn’t sure and didn’t see the point in doing a Masters in something specific for my future if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” said Carys.
A third year Law student, who wishes to remain anonymous, is doing a vocational degree which she deems ‘very important.’ Her degree has meant she has made decisions early in her academic life which has created a specific path for her to go down. “In the current climate, it’s very hard to get a job you want so you end up leaving university with the right qualifications but not necessarily in the right job for you. With Law, there are no training contracts out there so I have the
experience but no offers,” she said. Tom Charles, a third year Games and Technology student, also shares similar views: “I’m not excited about looking for a job because I don’t think I can get one. If I don’t get one I’ll go travelling for a bit and see what happens.”
Despite the difficulty of obtaining a job, Tom is a firm believer in the university experience, stating “I’ve had an amazing time and met some amazing people and if I never came to university I would never be able to
get the job I want.”
Tom, Carys and Rebecca have all shared the same view, that despite the difficulties ahead and the stresses of third year, it’s not an experience that they would change.
Huw Armstrong, a third year History and Politics student, has found third year stressful but not because of jobs or worrying about careers; “I’m not really thinking about jobs, I’m just concentrating on finishing my degree. I haven’t really given jobs much thought, I’ll just cross that bridge when I come to it.”
Huw is relaxed about his future as he explained how he would go about getting a job when the time came: “I’ll apply through the Internet and if I don’t get a job I’ll go travelling for a bit. Having a degree levels the playing field.”
Rebecca Jones also mentioned the opportunities UWE has provided for her and how they have helped her to try and figure out what she wants to do; “UWE opens doors for you and enables you to meet people who can help you with your future.”
The third year, anonymous Law student, also agrees with this as she said: “Careers fairs give you a one-to-one with the right people and help focus you towards the right path for you as a person.”
It seems that most students think getting a job will be difficult once they leave university. For some it is an increasing worry, but others are more relaxed and plan on traveling before setting up a career.
Students also feel that UWE has helped prepare them the best they could by providing careers fairs that help students get in touch with people in professional positions.