From University to Graduate Work
I started my University life when I was 19 and decided to head off to study in sunny Southampton. The object of my academic life was to get a degree in Digital Media and after three years I left with a 2:1. I had some of the best times of my life when I was ‘studying’ there and I still miss it to this day. Like most other students, no matter what you are studying, it’s only in the third year that it dawns on you that you’re going to have to do something in the real world. That’s when I had to concentrate on what to do afterwards – where was I going to live and how I was going to get a job in the field that I studied for.
For me getting a job associated with the web was crucial, I didn’t want to waste my time or life working in an industry that I didn’t care about. Now some students might consider the careers office or department as their logical first port of call, and so did I! I have to say that the careers department at my University was not as helpful as I wanted or expected it to be, so I knew it was down to me to get a job that I liked. As I kept on searching for a web related job I quickly realised that there were practically no companies who specialised in the web that were prepared to take me on a Graduate scheme. I couldn’t believe it! It’s the same old merry go round of you can’t get work without experience, but you can’t get the experience unless you get work. No-one seemed interested in taking the risk of employing me even if only on a trial basis. I almost got to the point of saying I’d work for free, just to get a foot in the door.
After months of searching I came across Fresh Egg which was the only company interested in taking me on as a graduate fresh from the ranks of University. As soon as I came in for the interview and met the team I knew I could apply my knowledge and skills that I had learnt to my job role and make a positive impression. Since my time here, my career has been developed more than I could ever imagine since coming out of University. I am still learning a lot about the web and count myself lucky that I am doing something I studied for in a company that is growing and expanding.
In today’s economic climate finding graduate work is next to impossible. But the best thing you can do is to keep trying! Keep ringing and emailing companies as much as possible to get your foot in the door! It is true that luck has a lot to do with it but if you can prove to a company that you can apply your skills and techniques learnt at University to your job role then you have a chance of impressing them enough to take you on. There are not enough web related companies out there like Fresh Egg who are embracing students with a degree education, especially in a related and highly appropriate discipline, and I think that needs to change.
Here are a couple of websites that I found really helpful when I was looking for a graduate job;
http://jobs.brandrepublic.com/ is also a really useful source for digital and other media jobs. There may not be many graduate opportunities, but at least it will give you names of frequent recruiters and the specialist digital media recruitment agencies you could approach.