This is it, you’re definitely on the final stretch now. You’ve probably handed your dissertation or final project in and have only got a couple of weeks of lectures left. Many students leave it until now, or even later, to think about what they’re going to do next, and although this isn’t an ideal situation, it’s not the end of the world!
So what are your options at this late stage – what can you do to get started on your career? Firstly, try to work out what you want to do. This sounds a bit obvious, but your job hunting strategy will depend on your career choice. Some sectors traditionally have earlier closing dates (finance and business for example) so you might need to consider taking a year out and reapplying for a 2010 start, but some sectors may have later closing dates and more immediate starts.
Do some research and find out what’s going on in your sector. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but take a look at this post for some ideas about getting started. Just because some employers in your chosen sector might have filled all their vacancies, don’t let this put you off! Each year the careers service hosts a careers fair for two days in June which features employers that still have vacancies which they are looking to fill. Find out more about which employers will be at the fair by looking at the exhibitor list. Remember, there are different exhibitors at the fair each day!
If permanent employment is proving elusive, why not think about internships? An internship is a short term position with an employer, which can be used to increase your confidence, skills and commercial awareness. You might have read about the new government initiative called the Graduate Talent Pool – you can see more about this scheme over on the graduate blog, which has loads of news and comment, specifically for graduates and is worth bookmarking if you’re about to finish your final year!
Hopefully you’ll also have seen posters up around campus for the Manchester Graduate Internship Scheme (MGIP for short!). In brief, this scheme offers paid placements for 2009 graduates from The University of Manchester. We’ll put a post up with more detail about this scheme next week!
If you find you need to hold off and apply for graduate schemes starting in 2010, don’t assume you can ignore things for a while. Applications open early so you need to identify which companies you would like to apply to and keep an eye on their websites so that you can apply as soon as possible. This blog and the graduate blog will both keep an eye on early opening schemes as well so keep your eye on us!
Whilst you’re waiting for applications to open, and graduate schemes to start, think about volunteering to help increase your transferrable skills, or even a summer placement with a company. Also consider taking a more junior role in your preferred sector to show your commitment and increase your commercial awareness.
Overall, don’t sit back and assume there is nothing you can do because it’s too late – get out there and have a go!