Post careers appointment blues…

Student blogger – Anastasia Miari

I’ve had the careers meeting. I’m weighed down by god knows how many careers guides attempting to point me in the right direction… So where do I go from here?

So I tried my hand at teaching in the summer and have decided that I’ll probably have to try out a few other careers before graduating because as is the case with many other students, I have no idea what I’m going to do for a postgrad… if I even choose to go down that route?!

With this in mind, I decided that I’d have a careers meeting booked with our very own Careers Service. It wasn’t difficult to get a meeting but I was shocked to find that I had to book a few weeks in advance; the Careers Service, fully booked? Anyway, no rush – I booked an appointment for two weeks in advance and pretty much forgot about it until seeing it pencilled in my diary the day before.

Recently I have been looking into careers in fashion. I know, I’m a drama student with experience in teaching, hoping to pursue a career in fashion… not exactly feasible, right? Well quite to the contrary I found that if I do work for it, it may be possible to turn my hand at fashion. The problem is, how exactly do I go about that and what exactly am I suited to within this sector? Thank fully, there was a very helpful careers adviser there to help point me in the right direction!

On arrival at the Careers Service, I was asked to wait for my adviser to come down and greet me, which she did within minutes! Anyway, we proceeded into her office for half an hour of pure careers talk and I must say, I left feeling a little bombarded!

I went into that office feeling lost. After being asked what I wanted to do I felt laughable just replying “I want to go into fashion”. I knew I wanted to find some work for summer; I even proposed working abroad (Milan… wishful thinking, I know). My ever friendly adviser didn’t laugh but she did let me down gently. She had found some companies which offered summer internships but they charged and were internationally run (meaning I would pay money to a company in America that may not be legit). I had an image of me turning up in Italy, bags in hand, with nowhere to go. Obviously that idea was out, but I was offered some alternatives, which made me realise that the careers advisers do take our requests seriously, no matter how ridiculous or hairbrained they may be.

I was advised to look into places that may not necessarily first spring to mind when thinking of fashion buying and marketing. Places like Sainsbury’s and Tesco that do have graduate schemes as well as offer part-time work experience for those hoping to gain experience in the field of buying. I was told that through gaining this experience during my time left at university, when applying for graduate internships at some of the bigger companies such as Arcadia, I would be more eligible for one of the internships with the transferable skills I would have acquired.

Sounds simple enough: apply to companies for work experience, get work experience, apply for an internship… but what if that doesn’t work out? My careers adviser also had an alternative if things don’t exactly go to plan. There are vast arrays of postgraduate courses which are there to equip me with the skills necessary to go into fashion buying or even fashion journalism if that’s what I decide I want to do. My adviser found some that may be of interest to me and added them to the A4 printout, my guide to sorting my life out, so to speak. This was given to me at the end of our meeting. On it are lists of people to pester for work experience, places to look for internships and tonnes of useful links to postgraduate study courses which may be of interest to me.

I said I went in feeling lost… and I came out feeling bombarded. Walking out I was told that I could book a follow up appointment and contact my adviser for anything else if I needed it. I still felt lost, but for the right reasons this time… I now feel spoilt for choice. I’m lost amongst websites, careers brochures and my own sheer indecisiveness.

My careers appointment did help push me in the right direction and has enlightened me to a certain extent. I now know that it isn’t feasible to want to just go into a certain career and be able to snap up an internship straight away. Though this is a little disheartening, I now know what I need to start doing in order to make myself eligible for the schemes I hope to apply for when graduating. Through work experience, I also hope to find whether the job is actually for me.

A careers appointment is well worth having if you’re even mildly confused. The advisers try their best to find out as much as they can about the career you want to pursue and do all they can to get as much information to you as possible. Not only do they find ways in which you can pursue a career which may not necessarily be that easy to get into, they find alternatives when dead ends do crop up. To book an appointment just call 0161 275 2829.

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