Mentoring & Networking : A glimpse of ‘the real world’

This time last year I was clueless as to what I was going to do after I graduated. To be honest, I still don’t have a concrete plan for the future. Nonetheless I have a much more positive attitude towards finding the career that is right for me, I am far better informed and I have the tools and knowledge to know how to get myself in the way of a job opportunity when it finally arises. Much of this can be attributed to a number of opportunities I have taken up through Careers Network.

Seeing a careers advisor was my first point of contact with Careers Network and was one of the most useful things I did at the beginning of my final year. I went in with an average CV, a lot of ‘I have no idea what I want to do with my life’ and mainly complete panic. However I came out with an appointment to have my CV checked, a few new ideas for career paths I could look into and a much calmer attitude towards finding a job. Seeking the advice of a careers advisor is an invaluable opportunity to take up whilst still at university.

I am also involved in the mentoring scheme run by Careers Network which has teamed me up with a university alumni who I am in email contact with. This has given me an honest and realistic insight into the ‘real world’ with someone who has come from a relatively similar background to me and I would recommend anyone to apply to be a part of the scheme for the next academic year.

Networking is a scary word that is constantly thrown around in final year. I had absolutely no idea what it meant, or how on earth I was meant to go about networking at the start of this year. But I have found that actually it is far less daunting than it might seem. Through attending a variety of events put on by Careers Network and staying behind after the guests have finished their talks, I have had the opportunity to talk in depth with people who are currently living the jobs I have an interest in pursuing. Ask for an email address – it is that simple. Everyone I have ever approached has been so unbelievably helpful and kind; people really are willing to help you and often get as much out of it as you do.

I can’t stress highly enough how helpful the events and contacts I have made through these events have been in helping me to figure out the best way to approach the working world. I may not have a definite plan for my future still but at least Careers Network have helped me come to realise moving away and pretending I don’t need a job to pay for my shoe obsession isn’t a realistic option for my future!

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About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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