Embarking on your first year in college, you may not think that you need to be considering your future career just yet, but you do. Some students have a very clear idea of what their future career will look like and that’s great but more often than not we really don’t know what we want to do after college. It is time to get serious about your future and the good news is the University is here to help. From assessments to psychometric testing, career advice and mock interviews, Maynooth University’s Career Development Centre has every resource you need to help you find your way.
At a recent presentation on Kilkenny Campus, Brendan Baker, Head of Career Development Centre, stated that over “40% of the jobs listed on graduate websites are degree agnostic”. Employers are not necessarily looking for someone with a specific degree so make sure you have an attractive skillset to bring to the table. Remember, while an employer might be degree agnostic they are not results agnostic. It is a very competitive space and employers want the best of the best. What makes you special what difference can you make to their organisation? Getting good results is all part of that so put in the work now and you will reap the benefits later.
Have you put any thought into your future? What are your values, who wants to make money, who wants to change the world, who wants both? Taking the right steps now will lead you where you want to go. What you are learning in college, not just the subject material but also the skillset you are building day by day. Think about it. You are constantly organising your workload and working to deadlines, developing your writing skills, researching and evaluating sources, leading or participating in discussions, proposing ideas and theories, developing self-confidence in your opinions and thinking creatively. These are all key attributes valued in the workplace.
Brendan described the recruitment process for most companies as weigh, slice and dice. It is a competitive space so put some plans in place now to help you prepare. Have you a good CV (who told you it is good. Have it assessed by a professional). Have you a professional looking LinkedIn page, do you know how to conduct yourself in an interview, can you hold a professional conversation, do you know how to develop a network of contacts, have you any summer internships or work experience planned, are you a member of a society, have you written for the campus blog? You need to spell out why an employer should choose you over another candidate and that goes for summer work experience also.
Unemployment is down and graduate recruitment is up. You will be leaving college at a time when you should have lots of opportunities available to you as an arts graduate. Be it further education or working in journalism, education, politics, business, marketing, law or elsewhere make sure you are prepared and that you are an attractive prospect for any potential employer out there.