The story of a graduate

TW: Employment

What was your reason for going to UofG? The city? Living in the West End? The night life? The campus? When I was 18 and choosing between universities my main concern was: which has the greatest employment opportunities afterwards?'(The great night life and adoration of the campus was just a given).

My chosen course was Marine and Freshwater Biology and Glasgow University had the second most likely employment opportunities next to St Andrews. As well as this, the University of Glasgow is one of the top universities in Scotland, the UK and even ranked 73rd in the world. They also call their students “world changers”, which is a phrase I love as I personally want to help change the world.

Last year I wrote an article about graduating from the University of Glasgow. One year on, in the final semester of a Msc Course at Heriot Watt University, I’m going to tell you the reality of employment. To all those that have graduated or those about to graduate I want to really give you the lowdown.

Graduating a year ago

So you’ve probably just submitted your last exam or you’re a few days from freedom. What’s next? For me… I was definitely not ready for employment – I wanted to know more about my course and gain other valuable skills. This is why I decided to go and do a masters. A top tip from my fourth year tutor was to not choose a masters degree at your undergraduate uni just because you like the city so I decided Edinburgh. Some of my course mates stayed in Glasgow for a masters or a job, some of my friends moved down south and got a job, and just because Covid-19. So, from September 2021 to August 2022 my life was sorted.

The start of my Msc

During this time I thought it would be best to try and find a graduate job post-masters. I started applying and I really thought that I would be in for a shot. I’m now almost finishing my masters degree, gone to Malaysia and analysed coral reefs, done a variety of monitoring surveys in Orkney, Millport and Loch Lomond, and got a 2:1 at the 73rd University in the world yet I’m STILL looking for employment and have faced more rejections than nights out in HIVE.

Analysing mussel gill protein

Being an international delegate for the A11CR course in Malaysia

Meanwhile, you’ve got friends who stayed in their hometown, went straight into employment at a local company, settling down with the love of their life and buying a house for the child they’re expecting. They are earning more money than your student loan provides and they probably aren’t going to be in crippling debt.

Is it demoralising? Yes… Does it hurt when you see people you went to uni with updating their employment status on LinkedIn? Yes… Is it terrifying being unsure about where you’re going to be when you finish and you don’t have any idea what’s going to happen? Yes…

BUT my “almost-graduates” and already graduates, what I’ve found is that everyone has their own plan, as cringe as that sounds. There’s also no point in applying for jobs that you’re sorta into because employers can tell. If you need to move home and stay in retail/hospitality for a while then it’s okay.

Staying in these jobs can give you the transferrable skills you need to finally get your dream job. Lastly, and most importantly, don’t compare yourself to others and remember… if you haven’t slapped the ceiling in Beer Bar before you move out of Glasgow then you haven’t lived.

I might still not have my dream job but I know others that do… And I also know others that are in the same position as I am so please don’t ever feel alone. Keep on trying and maybe use your free time to go volunteering and spend quality time with the people you love.

Someone just employ me please

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