Nina
Subject: German and Spanish
Student status: Home, Graduate
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Transcript:

As an undergraduate I did want a career, a career meant to me doing something that I was interested in rather than making a lot of money. I had this idea that I wanted to work in international development or for a charity. I never really looked into what that involved so my idea about careers was very naïve, that just going to university meant that you'd get one. It would be there on a plate when you graduated. It was as I went through, particularly my final year, I thought, 'This isn't the case.'

I started looking at job search engines and things like that. I thought, 'Hmm, there's not a great deal out there and the stuff that does seem a bit more interesting, they are really tough and their requirements they want you to be experienced or have done something that is quite related to that, you can't just go into that with any old degree.' I panicked about that a bit, so when I started university my ideas about careers were that I did want one and it was just happen, just magically. Very naïve, but wanting one from the point of view of it being an interesting, enjoyable occupation for my time.

Also I suppose there was a status element because I wanted to be this wonderful person  in development who had done good things, I wanted to prove myself in that way as well. A career was something with which I could justify my existence and the way I earned money. It was really important to me when I started and throughout university, and it changed, I became less naïve about it, I realised that I really had to focus on what I needed to do to get it. Then it changed in that I didn't want to do it anymore and I started to think, 'What does a career actually mean?' I still want to do something that I actually enjoy because I think it's just so difficult to spend 40 hours on something you don't but after the Masters I started to think that my ambitions had been quite greatly reduced in that I don't want to hate it. I don't need to make a massive amount of money but I don't want to be anxious when I get the bank statement through.

Going into the first job, I thought, 'I need more than this, ok, I don't hate this job and it's paying enough but I would like to be using my capabilities more and be more interested. It doesn't have to be amazing, it doesn't have to be top level, I don't feel the need to be director of this or that. I just want to like it, I don't want the feeling of dread on Sunday night.'

So my ideas about a career, they've become a lot more realistic and they've also come down a step, it's not like I'm going to really excel in the field and be this amazing person who saves the global South. I don't mind being quite a regular person as long as I don't either hate or feel indifferent to what I do.