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I did nothing throughout University to get experience

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    Hey everyone. I am feeling a bit disheartened and was wondering if anyone could give me some help.

    I hope this does not sound like I am bragging or anything and people don't take this the wrong way but I just want to highlight what my situation is like. I have just found out I got a first class degree in History and also got the prize for best student. I have 4 As at A Levels in Maths, Economics, History and Further Maths. The academic side of my application is brilliant, I have 2 prizes from my school and from my university.

    However, I have nothing to show for work experience. I didn't do anything extracurricular whilst at Uni apart from Salsa dancing, and even then I went for fun and not for any sort of responsibility. I worked over Summer in factories packing stuff, and before then I worked at the Wacky Warehouse (its like a childrens soft play area) and at a Charity Shop. My CV is really really bare. And I am fully aware that work experience > good degree.

    Before you ask, yes I realised I should have been getting work experience but I had no idea what I wanted to do and I buried my head in the sand and put it off longer and longer. Its my own fault 100% and I know that. I know what I should have done but I can't go back in time and change it so I just need help as to what I should do now.

    I still don't even know what I want to do. I am thinking of applying for graduate schemes but I am really relying on my academic qualifications so don't think I will go far. I was looking into archiving cos I think my qualifications will be worth more there and also I could just spend the next year racking up experience. Problem is though you have to do a masters so I would have to spend a couple of years saving up which would be difficult to do with placements which are usually for 2-4 weeks and unpaid. I feel like I have lots of potential but no direction and I am feeling really lost. I think my family think I should find it easy to get a job and don't believe me when I talk about experience but when they graduated there were very few graduates. My family and I don't really have the money to walk into masters so its not really an option without a couple of years saving up.

    Have I made a massive mistake and made myself really unemployable? Or is there hope? Is it too late to get relevant work experience? For example, I was interested in the NHS management training scheme so was thinking of asking around a few hospitals to shadow NHS managers for a couple of weeks, and do volunteer work in various charities. I realise there is lots of competition for that scheme and I probably won't get it, but I thought experience like that would be trasnferrable for other jobs in businesses other than the NHS.

    Sorry for essay. Thanks to everyone who helps
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    It's not all doom and gloom. The fact you have outstanding academics will count for something it just won't necessarily be easy but your chances of getting a job aren't as bleak as you think. If you're not sure what to do yet then just apply for a grad scheme; working should help you figure out where your strengths lie from a professional point of view and you'll realise what you like/don't like. Then you can do some research into careers which suit your strengths and interests plus then you'd have some experience so it wouldn't be anywhere near as difficult making that next step into a definite career. If you're worried about not having enough experience then I definitely wouldn't go the masters route.

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Updated: July 1, 2012
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