Graduates: What’s next in life?

YOU’VE finished up your exams, preparing to leave Aber… but what’s next in life? There are a lot of options – whether it be continuing study, taking a year out or jumping straight into the world of work; there is plenty to think about.

gradhatsIf you’re like me and not quite ready to leave Aber, then there’s always the options of staying on and doing a Masters. Chances are, it’s not too late to apply and see about getting a place on a course. The main issue, of course, is financing it. There are some scholarships available, but not as many as there used to be. You could try get a bank loan or a part-time job. With the part-time job, you could double up and do the job while doing the Masters over two years – two more years in the bubble!

Alternatively, you may find yourself wanting to study further and also wanting to move on from Aber. Again, there are still courses you can try applying for, you just need to look out there. There are also short courses which could be a useful option for some who are trying to learn specific skills for a future job.

A gap year is another option, and one that I regret not taking. There will be minimal opportunities in our lives where we won’t be tied to a full-time job. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to go try out something new. Whether it literally be backpacking across Europe, or looking at various programmes that are out there. Maybe go teach English in China? Work with those in need in India or Africa? There are bundles of different opportunities out there – you just need to look.

Getting a job can be daunting. There are so many different things to apply for, but what is the right thing to apply for? Are you qualified enough for it? Are you too qualified for it? Competition can also be rather fierce for many jobs, particularly graduate jobs. The advice I can give is to get everything set regarding applications. A well-polished CV, practice answers to questions for both online and in person interviews, sign up to LinkedIn and make sure you have references agreed with previous employers or tutors.Once you have all this, then you’re ready to start applying for pretty much anything that takes your fancy. If you don’t try, then you don’t get.

If the job hunt isn’t going well, then there’s always the option of looking for an internship or short placement. These can be paid or unpaid depending on the company but are a great way to build up experience. Things like this are not always advertised, so ask around and send emails to companies enquiring if you can come in and do some work for them. It’ll help improve your CV and hopefully lead you on to more opportunities.

All in all, it’s a scary prospect leaving Aber and the bubble and, as much as we sometimes get annoyed by it, it is still one of the best places to have studied in terms of student experience. Whatever you decide to do, don’t panic – there’s time to make a choice. Don’t be idle either though, keep looking on the web for opportunities, there are so many out there, hopefully, you’ll soon stumble across something that is perfect for you.

ASM Future Plans

A few ASM graduates took the time to tell us their thoughts on graduating and what they had planned for the future!

Illtud W. Dafydd, Sport Edior

“Aberystwyth has been great. It’s given me a year abroad, chances to play rugby, meet great people from across the world and also a chance to have a go at journalism. Next I’ll be heading to Cardiff to study a Master’s in Broadcast Journalism in September.”

Joel Hughes, Advertising Manager

“Next year, I’m going to Liverpool to get a job but also to be somewhere that I can play drums all the time. I can’t wait to be in a city, I grew up in an even smaller Welsh town, so it feels like a natural progression.”

Christopher-Cameron McNaught, Radio Manager

“I have mixed emotions about leaving Aber! 3 years of your life is quite a considerable amount of time at our age yet as sad as I am, I am extremely excited to get out and explore. I am heading to Australia after Aber for 12 months and I can’t think of anything that could be more different. Aber has taken me through a journey in which I have come out the other end more mature, more confident and more knowledgeable (good job really). However, as far as I go, Aber will always have a place in my heart.”

Daniel Oldham, ASM Member

“Coming home with stories of bonfires on a beach right on your doorstep and all the quaint eateries and cafes you just HAVE to show your parents and mates, I’ll miss that. Aberystwyth has changed me so much for the better; I’ve got nothing but love for my Student Media family, I’ll miss them most of all. Now I’m off to Europe and beyond to teach English, all inspired by the excellent support and awesome vibes in this little gem of a Welsh town.”

Alex Stuart, ASM Member

“Don’t come to university for a degree. Come to find a passion that you can show enthusiasm towards, to lead a society, to make life-long friends, to explore your subject area’s deepest depths. I’ll leave with a year spent working abroad in Germany, a year presiding over AberPhotoSoc, a year spent as the IMPACS institute representative. It all happened because I came to university not just to learn, but to live.”

Rhian Hughes, ASM Chair

“Aber has been a wonderful experience. Full of memories and friends that I will keep for years to come. It’s shown me that even the smallest of places can have the biggest of dreams. So taking that into consideration a masters in management is the next step for me and hopefully my own business will come after that! Thank you to everyone who has supported and helped me in the past three years! I wish you all the best.”