Extra-curricular activities gave me experience to find a job

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Kirsty

I always knew that I was going to study English at university as I was really good at it, and chose my A Level subjects English, English Literature and Drama with this in mind. While at college I was encouraged along the way to apply to university, especially Russell Group universities, and had compulsory lectures about applying for university meaning I was well-informed when it came to applying.

While researching courses I realised that English was a subject for study as it can be used in a range of jobs; consequently I already had thoughts of going into law, journalism and publishing before starting university.

While at university, I took part in a project called ‘Skills for Work’, run by the careers service, involving researching a career path, which really helped me consider my future career plan. Although I didn’t get any work experience at university, I took part in extra-curricular activities such as the ‘Students for Free Enterprise’ scheme where I volunteered in various workplaces, and took an active role in marketing the law society as well as writing for the student newspaper. I also mentored international students alongside being a course rep and aimed to fill out my CV with loads of extra-curricular experience.

As a result of this extra-curricular experience, I began to consider a career in law and so attended law careers fairs whilst also looking into law schemes. I also went to workshops held by the careers service and in particular found their online service to be very helpful as it had all the information I needed. I chose not to apply for jobs in my final year as they conflicted with my large work load, but did carry out research into the graduate job market by looking at the TargetJobs brochure.

After finishing university, I decided against pursuing a career in law because of the financial implications of attending Law School and instead applied for jobs in marketing as all my extra-curricular activities had been based in marketing. After applying for graduate jobs during the summer, I successfully got a job as a Candidate Manager in marketing five months after finishing university.

Reflecting on my experience, I believe that it would have been easier to find a job after graduating if I had started getting things on my CV a lot earlier on in university which might have allowed me to spend the final year focusing on my studies. Although in the first year I didn’t feel confident enough to get involved in clubs, I later realised they were extremely welcoming and beneficial to my career prospects.