Saturday 24 February 2018

The Weekly Read: What will I do after I graduate?

College student (Stock photo)
College student (Stock photo)

Nicole O'Connor

Undecided as what to what you want to do after you finish college? Fear not, as Nicole O'Connor has compiled a list of options and services readily available to you prior and after you graduate.

So you have spent the last three to four years in college, probably doing a course you chose before you turned 18. But now the end is near and the fear is suddenly very real.

You have spent the last number of weeks doing final assignments and studying for upcoming exams. During this time you have sheltered yourself in a state of denial, while shunning anyone who mentions the short number of weeks you have left in your precious student life bubble.

However, you are probably slowly coming around to the reality that you need to make some kind of post-graduation plan. If you, like me, have found yourself in a fit of panic and have found yourself uncontrollably crying on more than one occasion, stop, don’t worry.

A friend of mine once told me it’s not about having a plan, because one small, unforeseen circumstance could change everything. So don’t freak out if you don’t have a plan, as you will eventually figure out where you want to go or what you want to do.

However, to help you out and to help give you some peace of mind, here are some of the options and services available to you.

Careers Service

One service many students are not aware of or underestimate, is the careers service. When having trouble making a decision about your future career, the careers service should be one of your first points of protocol.

Whether it is getting help with a masters application form or advice on your CV, these guys are the ones to contact.

Alumni Advice

So you are nearing the end of your studies and have found yourself wondering, what next?

What better person to speak to than someone who has done it all before you. A member of your college's Alumni Office or your course chair should be able to help you get in touch with someone who can give you some advice and reassurance about the working world and life after college.

Masters Courses

Maybe you are not ready to leave the education system just yet, or maybe you want to specialise in a particular topic that you touched on during your degree.

If so, maybe a masters is a good choice for you. Some postgraduate courses accept applications right up until the end of May. So why not inquire at the university or college you are interested in? A lecturer or your college’s careers service may be able to assist you with your inquiries or application.

Graduate Programmes

If you decide you are ready for the working world, but are looking for an easy transition into a job, why not look into a graduate programme?

There are lots of companies in Ireland that do have graduate programmes to help students break into their chosen industry.

Working Visa

You have spent the last three or four years studying to get your chosen degree, so maybe a working visa is the right choice for you? After a few long years studying you probably want to get out and explore the world and experience something new.

So why not head off to a country of your choice to work for a few months?

Talk to Someone

If you are really worried or anxious about life after graduation and find yourself stressing constantly, why not go see your college counsellor? Talking it out might help you feel less stressed, help you figure things out, or even just give you some reassurance.

Everyone has fears when leaving education. Many people graduate from their undergrad having spent the last 21 years in education consistently, so heading into the working world can be a shock to the system.

But remember, advice and support is available to you from friends, family as well as college support services.

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