Have you decided what you’re going to do with your life yet? Yes, you might be working towards a degree but once that’s done do you know what you’re going to do next? Have you got a plan?!
No? Welcome to the club, we’ve been expecting you.
Back in 2010 when I chose my course I wasn’t thinking about what I was going to do after university. I had some vague ideas of what I might like to do but had no concrete goal. And that’s ok, you’re not expected to come to university with a solid four-year plan – and even if you do I promise it will change. But fast-forward to 2014 and I still had no clue. Nada.
And this is where GradLink came in. GradLink is a mentoring programme jointly run by the Careers Advisory Service, Alumni Office and participating schools. It arranges networking events for different schools giving students the opportunity to meet with alumni and get paired with a mentor. The mentors are a wealth of information, providing insight into how to apply to graduate programmes, weighing the benefits of a year spent travelling and giving advice on how to choose a masters. Students are given the opportunity to meet with their mentor throughout the year (or Skype if they’re outside Dublin) and keep them up-to-date on how they’re getting along.
Some of the best advice I received was that it’s ok to take time out and then figure out the next step. In this economy it’s easy to get caught in the hype of starting your professional career immediately, accepting the first offer you get even if it’s something you don’t think you’ll enjoy. The same goes for blindly applying to Masters, just because you’ve been offered a place doesn’t mean accepting it is the right decision. Choosing to work in a local business, or travel for a year, gives you time to think things through, it gives you space to breathe.
In all honesty, I still don’t know what I want to do. But I have an idea, which is more than I ever had before. I know what type of work I enjoy, and which work environments I thrive in. I know that I want to continue working with people from different cultures and that I’d love a job that would give me the opportunity to travel. My CV is primed and I’m no longer fazed by interviews. GradLink was an invaluable resource for me and I’m thoroughly grateful to my mentor for her help and guidance.
Aoife was a Student Ambassador in the Trinity Global Room and now works for Global Relations