Want a job? Increase your skill set whilst still at university
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University: it’s all about getting the best grade you can, right? Well no – at least, that’s not all that it’s about. Here, writer and marketer Claire Louise Sheridan explains why you need to develop your vocational skills and how to show them off, alongside your exam results, before you’re anywhere near graduation... Since leaving university, I’ve watched as my fellow graduate friends have split into two clear groups. First of all, there’s those of us who’ve left uni seemingly victorious – namely, we’ve got exactly what we wanted by going there in the first place, and have been fortunate enough to land a ‘proper’ job. However, there is a second group, who’ve left and have had to return to various jobs in retail, bars, or worse – signing onto Jobseekers Allowance. Fortunately, I fall into the former camp, but I can’t help but feel sorry for my friends in the latter. It’s a much bigger section of people than you might think and, whilst there’s no shame in it, I’d say the majority of them aren’t happy with it. So, where are things going wrong? Well… if I’m completely honest, university just isn’t the be-all-end-all it used to be. Full disclosure here, my attendance at university was literally the worst. I know I probably shouldn’t be so blasé about it, but I’m talking full on “oh you’re in this class?!” when exams would roll around, that kind of thing. In fact, when applying to take the coveted ‘work experience’ module, I remember distinctly my friend saying super-casually “oh, but you’ll never get on that! No offence, but they’re going to have to pick people who actually show up…”. She was kidding, but I knew, despite laughing along, that I’d get onto it. Why? Because I knew that to make it through the interview stage to get the only university offered work experience we could apply for; we’d need to set ourselves apart with plenty of real experience to qualify for getting more.
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