First year is over, and you're (hopefully) wiser now than you were in the haze of freshers.
But just because you're not in final year yet doesn't mean you shouldn't be thinking about ways to get ahead.
For the sake of your future self, here are some tips to help you start figuring out your life after uni, and how you can hit the ground running when you graduate.
1. Stop thinking you need to know *exactly* what you want to do
The idea that you need to have your whole career path mapped out in your head before you graduate is a myth. University is about learning new things, gaining valuable experience and honing your skills. Don’t get caught up thinking you need to know your future job title right now, instead focus on what you enjoy or are good at, whether that’s problem solving, organising events with friends, or coding, for example, and go from there.
2. Be the first to hear about 2020 work experience opportunities
You’ll be free for at least 2 months over summer, and your hometown probably won’t fill that university-shaped void but an internship might do the trick. Alternatively, your course might require a year out on placement or you may just be looking for a three-day long insight opportunity. Whatever form of work experience suits your need, PwC will have you covered.
PwC's 2020 paid work experience opportunities will see you working on projects that support clients, the economy and the wider community. Get a real insight into post-uni life with the graduate-level responsibility you will receive.
Although vacancies aren’t open now, we recommend you join their Talent Network (detailed further below) so that when applications go live in the coming months, you’ll be the first to know.
3. Join a society if you haven’t already
Once they were just stalls beyond the free pizza at freshers’ fairs. Now, societies are your answer to CV and skill gaps.
Pick one you’re either passionate about or is relevant to your strengths or goals. And even if you can’t find one you think suits you, every society has a committee with positions such as President, Treasurer and Social Secretary - so whether you want to be a big boss in the future, a top accountant or an events manager, you can use a society to help you get there sooner.
4. Create a LinkedIn profile
People do get jobs from social media but instead of having to #ad #spon #gifted your content, LinkedIn is the real-world answer to finding work online.
Brush the dust off of the profile you once created because careers services recommended it. Once it’s polished up you can do the fun part of making some connections. It’s okay to reach out to employers so go ahead and like, comment and DM your way to a future opportunity.
5. Join PwC’s Talent Network
If reaching out to employers sounds a bit too awkward to you – there are ways employers can come to you. Companies like PwC want to help students get ahead of the curve, and they have launched a Talent Network that is free to join. This service means you find out about opportunities in advance (think autumn 2020) and receive tailored alerts. Recruiters will directly contact you when opportunities are suited to your skills. Click here to join PwC’s Talent Network now.
6. Make part-time work for you
The majority of students have no choice but to work part-time. Like societies, use this to your advantage. Set up their social media or, if you’re interested in finance, you could ask to shadow them work through their accounts. Even helping your manager set up events can provide a real insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes. Show initiative and talk about it on your CV.
7. Become an expert
Now is a good time to make your hobby your field of expertise. Whether that’s computer programming or baking, it will prepare you for the future because it is a practice of commitment.
You can join groups, use YouTube tutorials or even sign up to websites like Skillshare. If you have the expert knowledge of something you’re passionate about you will also have more to talk about in applications and interviews.
8. Talk to people
This one sounds simple, but it may be the hardest one on the list. It’s easy to stay within your bubble at uni, socialise with your friends, hit the library, repeat, but only by branching out and diversifying your pool of contacts will you increase your chances of hearing about opportunities that may help you in the future. This also applies to careers fairs - don’t just attend them, confidently approach the people there. Your initiative and approachability will impress everyone.
‘The future’ isn’t always linear but it is always a good idea to do your research. Consider it an act of self-care for your future self.