Student Perspective: Amanda
Hi, my name is Amanda and I am currently finishing a masters in Peace and Development here at Leeds Beckett. I am a mature student as well as being an international student. Being a mature student, this means, for me at least, that I have had a few years of work experience before going back to university to obtain my postgraduate degree. I will be finished with my postgraduate degree in September and the looming job hunt is not making me excited to be finishing so soon. Searching for a job can be fun, scary and downright hard. Having previously been in the workforce and gone through many job searches, applications, interviews and rejects does not make a new job search look appealing. At this current point in time for me, the job search is even less appealing as I have had a small quarter-life crisis.
I chose my degree, which is quite specific because I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Now however, I am lost. But, as a friend told me recently, that is ok. It is ok not to know what you want in life. It is ok to take a step (or two) back and really observe and understand what you want out of life. It is ok to take time for yourself to grow and have life experiences. My friend said to me, if you could ignore all the logistical issues (money, place to live, ability to live in other places), what do you want to do? For me right now the answer is I don’t know but her response to me can apply to anyone. Find organisations you want to work for and cold email (formerly cold call) them. Attend networking events or find people on LinkedIn who have jobs that you find interesting and email them to get some advice. Make connections.
One thing I have learned over the years when searching for a job from just out of university to wanting to switch to another is that you have to put in the work. Compared to my experiences at my undergraduate university back home, the support in career services is not as prevalent as it should be. Even the support or assistance from my own department leaves me wanting. However, I have learned that I need to be one to make it happen. I have had meetings with many of my different professors to chat with them about the work force and how to get a job in my chosen field. They have been great in giving me advice and helpful websites, but all the work is down to me.
Getting a job isn’t easy. You have to submit loads of applications before you get even one interview. You have to write countless cover letters and edit your CV multiple times until you find the right job for you. You will hear industry leaders, career coaches, motivational speakers, professors and even colleagues tell you that it is all about who you know. I have found out that this is true and the only way to get to know people is to reach out to them yourself. Sure, there are people who may be glad to introduce you to people but you have to do the leg work. I don’t know exactly what is next for me, but I know that in order to find that out, I have to put in the work to understand what my next career is.