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Big Things come from Small Beginnings

Acorn ImageTo all our new starters, Welcome to the University of Hertfordshire! It’s fantastic to have you with us and we look forward to having more contact with you over the years of your study. Your career after university might seem a long way off but making a few small changes now can make all the difference when you do finally reach graduation. The greatest oak tree had to grow from the smallest acorn and I believe you have the potential to have a great career if you take our advice now. Remember you only have 1000 days in which to make an impact*, use them well!

– Judith Baines, Head of Careers, Employment and Enterprise

We know it’s difficult to think about the future; it can be hard enough planning for the week, especially if university is a new experience for you, let alone three or four years ahead to the end of your degree. The good news is that we aren’t forcing you to decide anything just yet because, even if you have no idea what you want from your future career, there are activities that you can take part in now to increase your prospects further down the line.

Get work experience

You may have seen in the media that graduates are having a hard time finding work when they finish. University is most definitely about learning but just relying on your academic skills to find work can be a big mistake. Employers want to know that you’re able to function in the workplace as well – in fact 75% of graduate vacancies are likely to be filled by graduates that have already completed work experience with that employer. No matter what your job is you’ll learn something so even part time work can have benefit.

Join a Club or Society

Not only are they great ways to make new friends at the beginning of uni, they are also great environments to learn new skills. If you stay with the group through university you may decide to take on some of the organisation as you become more involved. This could be doing such activities as organising trips away or communications with the group – great transferable skills to take into the work place. This is also the start of your network; keeping in touch with the friends you’ve made through clubs and societies can be useful in the future when you are looking around for opportunities.

Oak Tree Photo

Plant the seed

Whilst you don’t have to decide on a career right this moment, keep it in your mind to be thinking about throughout your course. If you have a very definite career path you want to follow you can start doing your research from day one. If you’re not so sure, keep your eyes and ears open; listen out for events and employer talks run by Careers, Employment and Enterprise. Come and talk to us about your career path and the sorts of resources we have to help you with your decisions.

These things will help you no matter what career you decide to go into. Making little steps now means you can be leaps and bounds ahead of your competition when you come to graduate. Don’t be the person leaving university saying ‘I wish I’d done more…” It’s your chance to take control of your future, don’t miss out!

*1000 days in a three year course

photo credit: slimmer_jimmer and eflon cropped via photopin cc

Jerome Price Photo

Jerome Price is the Online and Digital Content Manager at the University of Hertfordshire Careers, Employment and Enterprise Service

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