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Graduates - post here if your work and jobs so far are not as you expected or hoped

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    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    I admit I'm about as far as you can get from an expert in graduate recruitment, but I would have to disagree with this. Surely a select few really well thought out, competitive applications to positions that correspond best to your studies/previous professional experience would be better than a load of impersonal applications with the same CV and a non-personalised, rushed application letter?
    That's a false dichotomy, though. Even better than "a select few really well thought out, competitive applications to positions that correspond best to your studies/previous professional experience" would be "a ****ing ****load of really well thought out, competitive applications to positions that correspond best to your studies/previous professional experience"

    Some will be more likely to succeed than others but the more you apply to the better chance you have overall. Applying to loads of jobs doesn't mean you have "rush" an application - it takes no time at all to tailor it to each job.

    I mean, with (paid) internships (not the same thing I know, but still) I only applied to 4, got interviews at 2 and an offer at 1. Whereas I know people that have applied to hundreds (only a mild exaggeration ) with no success.
    Very well done indeed. Don't think that those others would have had more success by applying to fewer jobs, though.
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    Why are you on this forum, are you even a student or prospective student?


    That seemed like a personal attack; I didn't mean it to be - I'm genuinely intrigued.
    I'm 25 and have nothing to do with being a student. I joined when I was 17 for UCAS stuff and kind of just never left. TSR has many uses.
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    Why are you on this forum, are you even a student or prospective student?


    That seemed like a personal attack; I didn't mean it to be - I'm genuinely intrigued.
    I'm always a student, I'm a student Pilot doign my PPL exams. However I was on this forums from when I started SATS in year nine, just a different profile.
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    (Original post by NB_ide)
    Very well done indeed. Don't think that those others would have had more success by applying to fewer jobs, though.
    Once you have nailed down quality and can alter your application quickly then more will always be better. I think her point (and one that I agree with) is that quantity should never be at the expense of quality and that the former is a lot more important.

    Basically, it's better to spend hours making an application to one job than to spend hours clicking "send CV" on Reed!
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    (Original post by M1011)
    Don't be put off by this thread.

    So long as you are going to a decent university and aren't doing something woeful like BSc Hair Dressing it will be worth your while.
    I reckon you'd have a pretty good chance of getting a job with that degree, most likely in hairdressing
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    (Original post by TheCurlyHairedDude)
    I'm always a student, I'm a student Pilot doign my PPL exams. However I was on this forums from when I started SATS in year nine, just a different profile.
    Fair enough I guess.

    (Original post by NB_ide)
    I'm 25 and have nothing to do with being a student. I joined when I was 17 for UCAS stuff and kind of just never left. TSR has many uses.
    I understand graduates are on here as well because there's lots of information about getting graduate jobs etc. But someone who's never been a student I don't think would find much more use here than any discussion forum.
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    (Original post by NB_ide)
    I see all kinds of figures thrown around in newspapers and such, for example that after 6mo the average graduate salary is 25k or so. I find that hard to believe and it must surely be taken from a sample of top graduates. Maybe it's just my friends but after six months most people I knew from uni (left in 2008) were unemployed or working in a supermarket. I took a first in a bioscience from a well-regarded university, but had no work experience or connections in industry and so on. I also didn't realise (poor guidance at school, imo) how there's really no work in biosciences at all, and it offers little or no access to other disciplines.

    It took me over 3 years to land a job, and now I earn 15k (gross), working as a lab technician in an unrelated science. That's several thousand £ less than a typical PhD student earns, taking tax into account. I've applied for other jobs but now that I'm several years past graduating I've been told in interviews that they worry I have lapsed a bit, drifted away, mentally - and it's true, I have. My current job doesn't let me use my brain very much and I've forgotten everything I did at uni, so I'm really back at square one, but rapidly ageing and becoming less valuable to an employer with each passing year.

    I have no idea what to do - this job is pretty boring but has some positive aspects. It's a complete dead end and my pay scale tops out at 17.5k I think, which I would reach over a number of years if I perform well. I'm closer to 30 than 20 and am still living in a shared student house, no chance at all that I could afford anything better.

    I'd be interested to hear from others who were perhaps a bit naiive about their choice of subject, or didn't realise what one has to do to get a decent job, or can't find anything worth doing for reasonable money, etc.

    I'm a bit confused by it all, and disillusioned. In my case, university made it harder for me, by letting me live like a child for even longer and shielding me from the real world. People who left school at 16 and started work can do much better for themselves than someone like me.

    Let's discuss this situation, increasingly common with jobs as scarce as they are today. I don't like being in this awkward middle-ground. I either want a decent, engaging job earning a wage appropriate for someone my age, or I should just drop out entirely and go and live in a cave somewhere. I could maintain my current lifestyle on benefits alone so I'm not sure why I bother.

    [/miserable rant]
    What subject did you do? and at which university?
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    A common theme of people here is not trying to get any work experience until after graduating. Thinking a degree is enough to get a job. Now I haven't even started my degree yet but I'll be applying to do internships and bits of work experience from day 1 because I know experience is key in getting any good job. Or a tonne of luck but you'd be a fool to rely on that.
    Definitely. It makes sense to me now but I was blind to it back then. I only blame myself, ultimately, but I think my school could have given us a bit more guidance. I was basically the top student in my year in most respects. The cards fell such that I didn't go to Oxbridge, but it could have easily been the case that I did. I'm glad I didn't, I must say.

    But basically it felt like we all just got shoved into uni without much further advice about life afterwards.

    Also, maybe it's just coincidence but seems 90% of people here did a biology-related degree - could be a massive shortage of jobs in that area, or little demand for biology (and related disciplines) graduates for some reason.
    biosciences are a notoriously futile degree path from what I've read, but it could just be me noticing references to it more than other degrees. There are not many jobs directly related, no - and generally any other numerate science grad would have a better chance with other suitable jobs. I remember at school one of my friends went to do film studies at a uni no one had heard of, and we were taking the piss a bit. He retorted that "biochemistry" was ridiculous and asked what job am I ever going to get with that.

    He did lots of film-related work outside of his degree and went straight into a very good job in media, now earning a fair bit. I fell off the conveyor belt with a 1st in a fascinating but ultimately useless subject and have earned about £10,000 in four years, and not really done much else with my time!

    He and I have very different characters and views on the world, though, so I am not entirely surprised how it ended up.
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    Government's crying out for science teachers... You could look into that... Doesn't have to be the subject you got your degree in.
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    (Original post by I'mBadAtMaths)
    What subject did you do? and at which university?
    biochemistry, at York (rated 3rd in the UK for biosciences)
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    This is why you do extra-curriculars at university and apply for internships/work experience. A uni degree by itself won't really get you that far these days
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Government's crying out for science teachers... You could look into that... Doesn't have to be the subject you got your degree in.
    I know a lot of teachers and PGCE students. I have to say it scares me somewhat. The workload is tremendous and you have to be a very certain sort of person to enjoy the job.

    Also I don't honestly believe in most kids' potential, lol.
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    (Original post by NB_ide)
    biochemistry, at York (rated 3rd in the UK for biosciences)
    **** son. And you got a first? Bloody hell. I'm doing biochemistry at Imperial, is there anything you could recommend to make getting employment in the field easier?
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    (Original post by M1011)
    Don't be put off by this thread.

    So long as you are going to a decent university and aren't doing something woeful like BSc Hair Dressing it will be worth your while. Choose somewhere with a placement year if you are worried about gaining experience.
    Oh ok good im studying management and specialising in project management with a year in industry
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    (Original post by BritGirl)
    It's threads like these that make you think twice about university :confused:
    Unless you live under a rock, you must be aware of the situation the country is in at the moment. The thing that has really annoyed me is the degree that I have applied for leaves you with little options that I could of done at level 3 at college meaning I will have to do a postgraduate. I guess I will be in a sort of fortunate position that their will always be children in the world who need looking after.
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    (Original post by Bubble87)
    I also graduated 2008 with a BSc in Marine Biology and Zoology. Ended up working part time at Debenhams for 2 years (lol) and now I'm in an entry level job with the NHS and going back to uni in Sept to do Radiotherapy. Although my First degree is now virtually useless, I wouldn't have gotten onto Radiotherapy without it because my A Levels were dreadful!
    Hm, I find this quite amusing in a strange way because I wish I had a BSc in Marine Biology and Zoology. I've got a BA in Archaeology and an MSc in Environmental Management. I did the latter because I wanted to be out in the open doing fieldwork and to get out of my dead end admin job, which was the only thing I could get with my BA and lack of archaeological ambition.

    I managed to get a bit of a lucky break into ecology consultancy after I graduated and I'm gaining experience all the time but it'll take me at least two more years to get associate membership to the regulatory body without having a relevant first degree and I think it reduces my overall employability. So, I guess it just depends on what chances you are lucky enough to get which makes or breaks your degree choice (unless it's medicine or something).
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    If you're not doing a degree that goes to a specified job, i.e Medicine or Dentistry, then its worth getting varied work experience (if you can) in that field. i.e if you do a language, you could get work experience
    - shadowing an interpreter
    - a foreign speaking section of a call centre
    - a specific language speaking restaurant (some restaurants only hire people who can speak italian, spanish etc for their italian or spanish restaurant)
    - a foreign speaking newspaper or newsletter
    - experience writing for a section on a website
    - If you can, go to a relevant speaking country and do a summer course there in the language (my friend is currently in Italy for the year and she spent a term working for an italian artist, a term at an italian university, and on the side she joined an exchange program where she would meet an italian person who wanted to improve their english and she wanted to improve her italian)
    - experience assisting language lessons in a school
    - private tutoring of a language

    The main point I'm trying to make is, if you want to do a specific thing i.e being an interpreter, don't just go for experience in that specific area, get experience in the wider sense, it will show greater initiative, and that you really love the language you can speak and want it to be a part of your life.
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    (Original post by M1011)
    Don't be put off by this thread.

    So long as you are going to a decent university and aren't doing something woeful like BSc Hair Dressing it will be worth your while. Choose somewhere with a placement year if you are worried about gaining experience.
    Not necessarily. There is a presumption that graduate unemployment only involves those from ex polytechnics taking non-traditional degrees; this is simply not the case.

    There is incredible competition at the moment in some professional fields, like engineering or my own field (law), so the odds really are stacked against you. I think everybody really is in the same boat which makes "standing out" a lot harder than people make out. So you are head of a society, volunteer regularly, have work experience? Well so does every other candidate at the moment, you have to even to be considered for low paid work today.
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    (Original post by RJ555)
    Not necessarily. There is a presumption that graduate unemployment only involves those from ex polytechnics taking non-traditional degrees; this is simply not the case.

    There is incredible competition at the moment in some professional fields, like engineering or my own field (law), so the odds really are stacked against you. I think everybody really is in the same boat which makes "standing out" a lot harder than people make out. So you are head of a society, volunteer regularly, have work experience? Well so does every other candidate at the moment, you have to even to be considered for low paid work today.
    Networking is more important than extra-curricular activities in my opinion. If you do some relevant work experience and volunteer while at university then that will look good but as you say a lot of candidates are doing that. If you want to avoid all this competition (because odds are there will probably be someone better than you or more qualified if you're competing against 30 people or more) you have to keep sending out speculative CVs (easier and quicker than job applications as you can just tweak the CV and letter a bit rather than answering those tedious HR questions) and talking to people on LinkedIn and talking to people on your work experience. People often do want to help or put you in touch with people. That is how to get a job because when you have a meeting with the managing director they won't have anyone to compare you to like in a typical interview. Also, you are cutting out all their hiring costs and look proactive. A lot of small businesses don't even bother paying for hiring costs/HR and just wait for speculative CVs to come in.

    Networking is how I got my last two relevant jobs.
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    (Original post by NB_ide)
    Where do you work now and how did you get there?
    I became a trader, lost my job and then got another job as a trader.

    I got there through online applications and networking.

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