Dazed and confused – what next?

Graduate Nicola Haydon (English, 2015) tells us about her journey from a confused student to a graduate intern with know-how.

Throughout my time at university, I was conscious of the fact that my degree on its own was not enough.

I clearly remember going to an induction lecture in my first week and being told I needed to start thinking about my career now. This terrified me. I was still unsure about whether or not I wanted to be at university, let alone what my next steps would be, but rather than bury my head in the sand I decided to make the most of the university experience and take opportunities as they came along.

Studying English, I was very lucky to gain a wide range of transferable skills, but in a way this made career decisions more difficult as I didn’t have a set route to follow. For that reason, I ended up with a large amount of work experience under my belt as I tried to narrow down what my career direction would be. I engaged with Careers throughout my time at university, first taking part in the @Work scheme, then undertaking a York Students in Schools (YSIS) placement. I did an internship found through the Student Internship Bureau between my second and third years, and applied for and was given the York Award in my final year. All this enabled me to improve my skills and employability, as well as helping me to decide which careers options could be right for me.

I am now working for Careers as a graduate intern in marketing and information support.  I was already conscious of the value of the Careers team at the University before I was offered this role, but now I am even more aware of the range of opportunities offered – and not just to students.

York graduates are lucky as they can access Careers for life. The support doesn’t stop once you’ve left the university – you can still book appointments and access job vacancies through Careers Gateway. If you’ve graduated and are still looking for a role, or are unsure of your next steps then don’t hesitate to get in touch as we want to support you. It can often feel like you have been pushed out into the world and now have no guidance, but we want to reassure you that that’s not the case and we are here to help. Equally, if you’ve managed to secure a great position then we want to hear from you!

From November 2015 the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey will be available for July 2015 graduates to complete. Having been part of the Careers team for three months now, I can really see the value of filling the survey in, and I’m looking forward to completing it myself. I’m proud to be a graduate of York and the survey helps inform prospective students about what we, as graduates, go on to achieve when we leave the University.