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Six final year students tell us about the adventure they are set to embark upon after they have left the four campus walls of Lancaster.
Psychology and French
After four years at university, I have no intention of going straight into yet more higher education. I’m sure that eventually I would love a job in teaching, but for now I need a break from essays and deadlines and have decided to use the years following graduation to see as much of the world as possible. From August until November this year I will be working for PGL just outside Paris as a Tour Leader and Activity Co-ordinator. I applied in May after seeing a notice posted by the language department here at Lancaster on LUVLE which explained that PGL were interested in French graduates to work at their centres in France. After a couple of phone calls and a very lengthy online application form, I was offered two roles to choose from. The money won’t be fantastic but the experience will be invaluable – living in France again, coping with the challenges of such a demanding job, working with the 10-18 age range, meeting new like-minded people and most importantly, having something to tide me over until I decide what to do with the rest of the year! Having spent my Year Abroad as an English Language Assistant, I know that I would enjoy teaching English in any country, and there are so many opportunities to work overseas in the education sector. I’m pretty sure that I will be heading to Canada at some point early next year to travel and work, but as of yet I have nothing set in stone. Don’t feel too pressured to get straight into a ‘career’. Get out, see the world – as they say; you’re only young once.
French Studies and English Literature
In a matter of months I seem to have gone from having a very hazy view of my future to having the next few years clearly mapped out. It seems to have happened that way for a lot of my friends. My general plan was to do something in media and communications where I could make a real difference and so I eventually decided to apply for a journalism masters to better equip me with the skills I would need. After a colourful application process and interview I was lucky enough to be offered a place. For both personal and practical reasons I decided to defer this for a year though; namely that I didn’t want to be insanely poor during my masters and that I wanted to finally experience a bit of the real world first (after a 4 year university bubble!) before learning the practical skills of journalism. Again I struck lucky in that a job became available as a marketing assistant at the theatre where I have been working part time during my degree. I don’t know officially what got me the job but I think it’s a very good example of starting out in something you love, however small it is, because it may lead to something bigger. When I was looking for part-time jobs three years ago I was determined to find one in a place that interested me, and now it has led to a full time job that I already love! I have been very lucky in that the next few years have fallen into place and I think it is down to always having a good idea of what I wanted to do, but never being set on anything. By working for a while before doing my masters I will be able to develop all the real world work place skills that will hopefully appear desirable when I am applying for jobs after my masters.
After spending my third year studying in Australia and spending the holidays travelling around Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, I definitely came back to Lancaster for my fourth year with the travelling bug. For my next move after graduating I want to explore other parts of the world and I know I can do this by doing a masters abroad, but I’m not wanting to go straight back into full time education just yet. Another option I am currently exploring is teaching English abroad as a foreign language tutor, which will hopefully also help me to decide if teaching is something I would want to do as a career. It would involve completing a 4 week long course in a foreign country which can be started at 12 different times throughout the year. From then I could either return back to England or try and pursue teaching positions in that country. There are also options to teach English in Europe for somewhere between 6 and 9 months, but I would much rather go further a field to Asia, South America or possibly back to Australia.
With my time as a Lancaster University Student soon to be over, I’m keen to spend the next chapter of my life as a graduate in Vancouver, British Columbia. At around Christmas time this last year, I heard that a non-for profit organisation called BUNAC were holding talks on campus about exciting opportunities for students to travel or work abroad after they graduate. With a business studies degree and one years marketing experience from a placement I did in the second year, I was really keen to apply for the WORK CANADA programme which enables me to obtain a 12 month fully fledged visa to work anywhere. With this in mind, I’m keen to find a relevant job, which allows me to build up more experience. I’ve always been keen to travel after university, and with BUNAC, I have the best of both worlds! So as of September 2010, I will be jetting off to Canada with just 15kg of luggage to call my own for the next 12 months and two nights in a hostel before I have to find somewhere to live. It’s a scary thought but I know it will be an incredible adventure that I cannot wait to experience!
IT and Media Communications
I’m just finishing up my four years at Lancaster after studying for an MSci in IT & Media Communications. I’ve loved my time at Lancaster, as I have made some amazing friends and have easily had the best four years of my life. But alas; it is time to move on to bigger and better things. In a couple of months I will be graduating; swapping the green tranquillity of good old Lancaster for the busy bustling city of London as I start my career in website design, a job which I really love doing and have been doing freelance since my second year. I hope everyone else graduating this year has an amazing future, with a degree and the experience of Lancaster University behind you I’m sure you will!
Management and French
So, four years over?! All I have ever known is education. It is such a scary thought that now is the time to be brave and experience the real world where I will no longer be a student bum. I am definitely going to miss being a student at Lancaster, as I have had four fantastic years here that I will never forget. So the question is; what now? Well after a well-earned break over summer, I will be stepping into the world of work through a commercial graduate programme with Peugeot. I have always liked the thought of doing a graduate scheme with a big company as they invest in you and push you through challenging assignments to secure a good job at the end of it. I know it is going to be a tough year but I knew this from the beginning of the five stage application process especially when the Managing Director told me he wants people who he can push and who aren’t afraid of a challenge. I feel extremely lucky to be in a position where I have a job, and would like to help any of you still struggling to find one, as I know how hard it is. I found the job through ‘Best Graduates’, a recruitment company that specialises in finding graduates their perfect jobs. This company is fantastic, they were very supportive throughout the application process and contacted me by telephone when they had any jobs that matched my CV, so I was not inundated with pointless emails like so many other graduate recruitment companies do. They have also been keeping in contact with me since securing the job to make sure Peugeot have sent me the contract and apparently they are going to keep in touch with me so that they know how to help next years graduates with the recruitment process. So if this kind of job appeals to you, note down this company and good luck in your job hunting. You just need to be determined; never give up, and the job will be yours!