History degree, no experience - graduate jobs?

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MRJA01
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#1
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I've recently finished my final year studying History at the University of Manchester, due to graduate in July. I'm awaiting my results but on track to achieve either a 2:1 or a First. However, during my time at university I haven't had any work experience or been involved with any societies/extracurriculars. My only experience is with a part-time data entry job I held during college. I'm now thinking of applying for graduate-level jobs or training schemes, but concerned that this lack of experience will weaken my applications and show through at interview and assessment centres.

What kind of graduate-level jobs or training schemes should I be aiming for given this lack of experience? Or should I try to get some experience first by pursuing internships? I'm not really bothered about getting a job with a big/prestigious firm or a high salary, just something suitable for a graduate. The only field I've ruled out is teaching. I'd be quite interested in finance/accountancy but doubt I have a chance here, both due to experience and the fact I have no hard numerical/business/technical skills. Alternatively the public sector or civil service, but I suspect the same applies.

I'm quite lost so any advice would be appreciated, but especially from people who've been in the same position as I am now.
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tinyperson
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#2
Try a internship first
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by MRJA01)
I've recently finished my final year studying History at the University of Manchester, due to graduate in July. I'm awaiting my results but on track to achieve either a 2:1 or a First. However, during my time at university I haven't had any work experience or been involved with any societies/extracurriculars. My only experience is with a part-time data entry job I held during college. I'm now thinking of applying for graduate-level jobs or training schemes, but concerned that this lack of experience will weaken my applications and show through at interview and assessment centres.

What kind of graduate-level jobs or training schemes should I be aiming for given this lack of experience? Or should I try to get some experience first by pursuing internships? I'm not really bothered about getting a job with a big/prestigious firm or a high salary, just something suitable for a graduate. The only field I've ruled out is teaching. I'd be quite interested in finance/accountancy but doubt I have a chance here, both due to experience and the fact I have no hard numerical/business/technical skills. Alternatively the public sector or civil service, but I suspect the same applies.

I'm quite lost so any advice would be appreciated, but especially from people who've been in the same position as I am now.
Don't bother with internships. You are already going to be a graduate soon and unless you intend to go into banking you might as well jump straight into a graduate scheme instead of doing something you should have done years before.

Good thing is that the vast majority of grad schemes do not expect work experience. This includes the stuff you've mentioned like accountancy. You just need to practice psychometric tests and assessment centre exercises. RE: civil service, the fast stream is frozen at the moment so the only way in I suspect is via those direct entry-level EO/HEO roles which unlike graduate schemes may expect some work experience.
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0le
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The graduate schemes may not explicitly state that they want work experience. However, realistically, you will be competing with graduates who have internships, volunteering and extracurricular activities.

In my view you should start volunteering and doing some hobbies which can then be used as discussion points on CVs and in interviews.
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nousernameplease
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Start a summer job or volunteering to build some soft skills graduate schemes will want - like said above, they won't explicitly demand work experience but most people have done something and so it's likely other candidates will come across stronger through CVs and interviews. All you can do now really is get a summer job, like waitressing, care home or supermarket work to build those transferable skills, apply to as many graduate scheme roles as you can and be in constant consultation with your careers service, who likely will be able to help you optimise your CV and cover letters.
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Proxenus
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i made all my extracurricular activities up and put them on cv and i also use them for competency interviews. I also did online courses and put them on my cv which I actually did but i believe i could have gotten away with not doing them.

my advice is to lie as your only concern to STAND OUT. when i talk about joining a sustainable project at uni offering a sustainable light source to the Philippines at uni the interviewers never question it. just don't lie about work experience tho.
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nousernameplease
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(Original post by Proxenus)
i made all my extracurricular activities up and put them on cv and i also use them for competency interviews. I also did online courses and put them on my cv which I actually did but i believe i could have gotten away with not doing them.

my advice is to lie as your only concern to STAND OUT. when i talk about joining a sustainable project at uni offering a sustainable light source to the Philippines at uni the interviewers never question it. just don't lie about work experience tho.
And employers haven't seen through this once you've started? Don't you feel guilty about lying at all, or taking the place from someone who would have actually utilised the skills they have obtained, or even cheating the employer by not having the experience you claimed to have?
Lying just seems too risky and exhausting. Your hobbies can be a talking point, and you'll be able to give much more convincing, well rounded answers in interviews.
Have some self respect and be honest.
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Proxenus
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(Original post by nousernameplease)
And employers haven't seen through this once you've started? Don't you feel guilty about lying at all, or taking the place from someone who would have actually utilised the skills they have obtained, or even cheating the employer by not having the experience you claimed to have?
Lying just seems too risky and exhausting. Your hobbies can be a talking point, and you'll be able to give much more convincing, well rounded answers in interviews.
Have some self respect and be honest.
they won't question it. guaranteed. they will even forget about the societies I joined once I start.

i feel no guilt at all. because we live in a harsh world. I got scammed 50£ online once. they probably didn't feel guilty.

i believe in bending the rules to get yourself an advantage. everyone else is doing it and you need to be doing the same if you want any chance standing out. my mate attended one uni football session. he put he was captain of his uni football team. hes got the job and no one Questions it.

by being 'the better person' and not lying you are just putting yourself at a disadvantage. this is the truth. luckily I'm a pretty good at dark manipulation and quite convincing so I can talk my way out but I've not even had to use those skills as they only say 'wow nice project you have been part of '. i can easily answer any follow up questions if they have any.
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Napp
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(Original post by nousernameplease)
Don't you feel guilty about lying at all, or taking the place from someone who would have actually utilised the skills they have obtained, or even cheating the employer by not having the experience you claimed to have?
It would be a particularly odd person to turn down a job for some random stranger :lol:
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nousernameplease
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(Original post by Proxenus)
they won't question it. guaranteed. they will even forget about the societies I joined once I start.

i feel no guilt at all. because we live in a harsh world. I got scammed 50£ online once. they probably didn't feel guilty.

i believe in bending the rules to get yourself an advantage. everyone else is doing it and you need to be doing the same if you want any chance standing out. my mate attended one uni football session. he put he was captain of his uni football team. hes got the job and no one Questions it.

by being 'the better person' and not lying you are just putting yourself at a disadvantage. this is the truth. luckily I'm a pretty good at dark manipulation and quite convincing so I can talk my way out but I've not even had to use those skills as they only say 'wow nice project you have been part of '. i can easily answer any follow up questions if they have any.
No, you can get the job by actually doing all of these extra things, and then talking about them. And if you never did anything, then yeah you are less experienced and a weaker candidate to the employer, and so accept that and do what you can now.
Obviously nothing I say will stop you, but if I lost out on a job because Jim decided to lie and make up half his answers during his competency interview and so falsely portraying himself as the more suitable candidate, I can't say that's in any way right.
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