Hollie Berman, finalist in English from Murray Edwards College, shares how the Careers Service can support you this vacation, and beyond
Finalists: we’ve all been there. Providing a detailed plan of your working life to your Great Aunt Esmeralda over the dinner table is just not the one after a term of Cambridge. It’s time to bring out the survival pack. Like every great kit, not everything will be immediately useful, but it’s all definitely worth having.
Take a breather
Firstly, relax! The vacation is a designated period for things to slow down and for you to take it easy. Should you like it to be, this is a perfect window to consider your options post-graduation, at a pace that works best for you.
Know your skillsets
At this time of the year, many finalists are unsure what the next year will bring. Instead of heading into the cold abyss of panicking about ‘the future’, have a think about the skills you have developed from your subject, or even any extra-curriculars you have taken part in. For example, “I enjoy the creativity of my English degree, so I’d definitely like to work in a creative industry”. Voila! You have a go-to response, and a refined direction to keep you warm.
Explore sectors and vacancies
If you have a few more ideas about what you might like to do after university but can’t quite pinpoint a definite answer, use this time to explore your options. The Careers Service offers an A-Z list of career sectors and current employment opportunities, so have a look through and filter out the things you are definitely not interested in, the things you would be interested in exploring, and the things that excite you the most. You can then chime out the answer, “I’m looking at careers in Media, but also in Conservation at the moment”, with confidence.
Consider further study
Perhaps you’re thinking about, or even applying for, further study. Use the string to connect the dots from your current degree to a new academic destination. If you’re still seeking study inspiration, explore course opportunities both in the UK and abroad via the Careers Service’s website.
Access advice and network from home
If you have a clear idea of the next chapter, but are concerned about how you’re going to get there, now is a great time to access useful services from home, such as the Careers Service’s CVs & Applications Book. You can also access GradLink to connect with alumni who are currently working in your chosen field. These are valuable ways to feel in control and well-informed about your next steps.
Research a gap year
A lot of people will also be using this time to decide whether looking for immediate employment is right for them. The Careers Service can also provide information on planning your year ahead on this route. Bring out the map, and consider what you would like to get out of a gap year. You might find that talking to people around you at home will inspire you, too.
The best way to find out about future events (and to scroll productively) is to connect with the Careers Service on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn. You can also subscribe to receive sector-specific emails via CamCareers.
Listen to careers recordings
Recordings of previous careers talks are also available on the website, so there’s no need to feel as though you have missed out on previous events or information from the past term!
Note down Lent events and 1:1s
That being said, keep an eye out for important careers dates for Lent, and note those of specific interest to you (see below). You can also book an appointment to speak to a Careers Adviser about your options once you return back to Cambridge after the vacation.
CAREERS: THE STATS
67% IN EMPLOYMENT
25% IN FURTHER STUDY
5% TRAVELLING/UNAVAILABLE FOR WORK
3% STILL SEEKING EMPLOYMENT/STUDY
* Information taken from 2016/2017 graduate data