Matt
Subject: French and Spanish
Student status: Home, Graduate
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Transcript:

It's very strange because I think when you leave university if you don't have a certain plan you're just going to kind of drift off and you're going to have to take whatever comes in a way. I think if you have a set career the way I feel about it, if you have a set plan, if you work hard at it, you'll be able to do what you want to do, but I got very frustrated because you tell people you're studying French and Spanish and the first thing they say to you was 'Are you going to be a teacher?'

It's kind of limited  to this kind of language students creating other language students, that wasn't why I was there and there was a lot of the kind of positive spin on everything, 'Oh yeah you don't have to do that, you can go into banking or advertising or media' and it's like I don't want to do any of those either. Or 'Okay go off and do more stuff', it's like you need to work in a rainforest or the Amazon or travelling around Spain or Latin America but you need money to do that, you need to plan it, you need to know what you're doing.

A lot of graduates, obviously they're not going to have that much job experience so you don't have much on your CV but maybe you should go out and get some experience but how are you going to get the experience because a lot of people don't want to give graduates jobs just because they don't have experience. It's that cycle again and I think in a way it kind of instils more panic in a way because you feel that you have to be doing something when you graduate, it kind of just reminds you that you are graduating and you will be unemployed.

So what did you do after you felt a bit panicky and a bit depressed about the future, how did you go forward from there?

I didn't really, I kind of just accepted that I would be graduating and I probably wouldn't have a job when I left so I just said that now I've left university and I'll have a bit more free time,  I can go and do some more travelling and then work at looking for a job. But it's quite tough and quite confusing and not only is it confusing deciding what you want to do but also it's tough being a graduate and perhaps only having minimal experience, the summer work you did in the shop.

The best way to do that is if you are a person who's, you're quite organised and you like planning is to research months in advance the kind of placements that are available for your industry or the area you want to work in, mercilessly petition these people to give you work experience, even if it's unpaid I think it's a lot better way to go about it, that's what I would do if I was to have my time again.

Why do you think you didn't do it at the time?

Just because of a lot of things, being quite lazy and having a good time, and being side tracked by other things.

So while you were at university did you start to think about things that you might be interested in?

Not really because I didn't know what was available. I should have made more of an effort to either through contacts in people in the career service or the department that you were studying in to find out what people have done, so I should have made more of an effort on my part to do that.