Grad Case Study: Henry – Part III
Following from yesterday, we finish our chat with recent graduate Henry, who studied Human Geography at Leeds University. After travelling round South America for 6 months, Henry is now looking for a permanent job in London.
Henry tells us what he wishes he’d known before leaving uni, his next steps and how HelloGrads has helped.
What are your friends doing now? Is job-hunting a big topic of conversation?
There are a few people who are settled down in jobs, but a surprisingly large number haven’t got their career sorted. I think the majority of my friends still feel they are a bit in limbo. A lot chose to do what I did and travelled, so did odd jobs and then went away, but are now in a similar situation to me.
It is a massive point of conversation when I see my friends, as almost everyone is in same position and it’s a standard questions to ask when you see anyone… ‘What are you up to?’. But it’s a bit of an odd one as no one actually wants to talk about it. I was with some friends at the weekend and we tried to steer clear of the topic, as it can be a bit of a depressing convo. I’ve been searching for a job for the last three months and haven’t got anywhere – it’s a bit demotivating and I think that’s the same with everyone. But in a strange way, it’s also nice to know that you’re not the only one struggling.
Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d done at uni?
A small thing would be that I wish I had been in some kind of society. I know it sounds small, but it looks good on your CV and is a good topic of conversation at interviews. I can talk about my interests, but it would definitely be a good conversation starter.
The main thing would be that I wish I had done either a placement year, or done an internship in one of my uni summer holidays. I know I didn’t know what I wanted to do at that time, but with hindsight I should have just done something finance-related.
What would be your advice to final year students?
Get something work-related sorted for your final year summer, if you haven’t already. I think with any industry you will only benefit from having some solid work experience behind you. That’s something I think I really overlooked in my final year.
So what’s the next step for you?
I am starting an investment management course that I can study for at home and then complete online. This is the course that most asset management companies get you to do in your first year as a trainee, so I thought I would do it myself whilst I am not working, to make myself more employable.
One of the other things I’m looking at doing is an internship abroad. There are companies that find you an internship anywhere in the world, in the industry you want. It will probably be an expensive option, but for me, if it’s a good experience and helps me get a job, I would seriously consider it. I was a bit unsure at first, as I thought it was maybe people taking advantage of graduates who are struggling to find work, but I spoke to a friend’s older brother who did it. He said it was a great experience and ultimately made him stick out and get his first job. It does seem there is a gap in the market for this sort of scheme. It’s so hard to get an internship or work experience without having really good contacts. So for someone who doesn’t have those contacts, but can afford to invest a bit of money, maybe it’s a good idea. We will see…
What information (if any) has been helpful on helloGrads.com?
So far I’ve found your tips about cover letters and CV’s really helpful. The stuff I’ve used the most has been about applying to jobs. I hope to use the rest of the information as and when it’s relevant. I think at this point because I’m still living at home with my parents, I haven’t really explored stuff about renting or money. It will definitely be information that will be useful to me at a later date though. Once I am preparing to move to London, I will absolutely take advantage of the rest of the stuff you talk about. What’s great about it is that it’s all the information I need in one place. There are bits and bobs that I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of which can help me plan for living in London in the near future (hopefully!).
It’s a great source for people like me in their early to mid twenties. There aren’t many places that you can get non-biased advice that is purely looking out for the user!
Thank you Henry. 😄
We aim to catch up with Henry in 6 months time to see what he’s up to and how he’s progressed.
Find out more about the tips and guidance Henry mentions:
Applying for Jobs
For tried and tested tips on how to make a good impression in an interview, check out our video interview with Bruce McKendrick (CEO of Forest Holidays).
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