Alumnus Spotlight: unemployment

Dave’s Top Gear marathon begins at 12:00pm every day, which means I have to get out of bed early (11:30) if I want to give myself a chance of making […]

Dave’s Top Gear marathon begins at 12:00pm every day, which means I have to get out of bed early (11:30) if I want to give myself a chance of making a full English breakfast beforehand.  While I watch May and Hammond race Clarkson to Norway in different modes of transport, I check my emails. I don’t pay too much attention to the TV as I of course have already seen this episode, but rather wait expectantly for Gmail to load up. My heart skips a beat but then sinks as I have mistaken an email from the “Mermaids” with “Merrill Lynch”… again. Rather than “we need your help immediately Mr Hall-Smith” it’s “dance improvisation session this Thursday!!!”.


If someone had told me that I was going to be doing my summer holiday routine up until Christmas I would have told them not to insult me, and then laughed the accusation off nervously. It is quite obvious from this article that the inevitable has happened: for those of you who only went to the library to steal the newspaper; think a 2:2 is good enough (it is); and still aren’t entirely sure what the FTSE is, there is no need to worry. I realised when I returned to St Andrews a few weeks ago that living in a hedonistic wonderland is a great privilege that should not be wasted with internship conversation “oh my ghaad you got Goldman?”, GIG seminars (still not sure what they do), or competitive grades.


Things can be a little slow on the road of physical and mental rehabilitation after graduation, but if there is one thing I have learnt my children, it is that it is unwise to rush into anything. In my enjoyable half year of unemployment*, immersed in the home of witty banter (Sky Channel 111) and leisurely afternoon walks, I have allowed myself the time to think of what I really want out of life. Consequently, I will be doing something I really want to in 2012. I know this has been the best thing to do, as a number of my more successful/employable colleagues have quit jobs/MA courses and have admitted: “Geez, Ed, I am so jealous of you, let’s chill for the time being then go into business together in our thirties.”


You should not feel that your studies, whatever you’ve learnt, are wasted if you don’t jump into a job immediately. I was extremely chuffed when a friend of mine recently asked me to impart some of my knowledge of Biblical history for some economics assignment he was doing. I am also very proud to know that Nebuchadnezzar is not just the name of the hovercraft used by Morpheus and Trinity to find “the one” in a futuristic computer apocalypse, but rather a 7th Century Babylonian King who inspired several books in the Torah.


My advice is not for everyone. There is a reason I am not currently in a Graduate Training Scheme, and that is because I am not extremely ambitious, or very sensible. Any more enquiries, PIN: 27B18557.



Written by Edward Hall-Smith, standout writer, a former St Andrews student and big cheese of Greyfriar Gardens


*Not entirely true. A good friend of mine and Landlord of the village piss-hole, “the Poacher”, has given me a small job pouring pints to some of the local degenerates.