I don’t want to do a graduate scheme – so how do I find a job that was right for me?

I spent most of my time at university having fun and studying, devoting very little time to graduate jobs.  It was only really in May of my final year that my thoughts turned seriously to what I was going to do after my degree.  I had studied History, which is one of the least vocational degrees, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.  I could tell my mum and dad were a little anxious about what was to become of me.  My father had joined the graduate scheme of a big company as soon as he finished university, and I thought he rather felt that this would be a good idea for me.  I couldn’t seem to be able to muster any interest in the corporate world, and was really quite keen to get a job in the media sector.  All the advice I heard about getting into media was to try to land internship jobs, and use those as a stepping stone.

If I was to do some internship jobs, this was to mean one thing for sure – I wouldn’t be earning much money for a few months.  But I knew that it was really important to spend some time looking for a job I would genuinely enjoy.  So I sent my CV off to a few companies that looked interesting, asking whether I could come in and do some unpaid work for them.  My local newspaper got back to me and invited me in the following week, which was fabulous.  I got on so well with the team there that I ended up getting really involved and staying for two months.  They really made me feel welcome, and I wrote lots of articles for publication, including a front page headline.

I really loved the experience but the editor said he wouldn’t be able to give me a job there unless I took a journalism course, which I wasn’t too sure about.  I had just completed a Masters course and was keen to find a job rather than do more studying.  So I wrote off to some more companies while I was there, and was fortunate enough to find a local newspaper which was advertising for a junior staff member, and was willing to pay me to train.  I was over the moon and have now been working atthis paper for six months.

I don’t often look with jealousy at my friends who went down the graduate scheme route.  I know that with so many graduate jobs around, you have to think carefully before you settle for something, and for me, doing internship jobs was the best way to do this.

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