Making the most out of your experience

Congratulations are to those who have attained a place at the University of Surrey for the 2022-23 academic year – well done!

As much fun and excitement leaving home and attending university for the first time is, it is important to keep in mind what you will have by the end of those 3 or 4 short years at university. For example, taking a placement year, applying for part-time work, developing skills for your CV, and many more.

The first year of your degree, in most cases, doesn’t count towards your final mark at graduation, hence it is a fantastic opportunity to explore the campus, make friends, become familiar with Guildford and what it has to offer as well as opportunities to develop yourself and find out what piques your interest. I would advise all students to explore their interests through the modules and projects you will be exposed to in the first year, as making decisions about your future career at such an early age can be overwhelming and dangerous.

Make the most of your year by joining societies and sports clubs, finding new hobbies, or developing old ones. Skills that you attain through both academic and extracurricular activities are what could give you that extra push when applying for graduate jobs and career opportunities.

Applying for work, whether graduate, placement or part-time can be overwhelming and challenging for students at any stage. This is the issue I am currently facing as well.

Studying and working at university for 5 years and being exposed to various other interests and hence doubts arise about your degree, as well as serious concerns about your potential career path. Doubt in students is very common and existential dread about the future can be a serious problem. There are several well-being and support systems in place for students for these issues. I suggest researching the support systems available just in case you will require them. It is good to be aware of the help you could receive from the university.

Having completed a placement and summer internship while at university taught me essential technical and soft skills that are applicable to most industries that I am interested in and can even be applied to jobs outside of my degree. If you are interested in an industrial or academic career during your studies, I suggest making meaningful connections with your professors and personal tutors, as they could provide you with projects and opportunities that will give you a chance to develop those skills.

Don’t forget to try to put yourself out there, both on social platforms like LinkedIn, by joining clubs and societies and searching for opportunities on pages like Indeed UK or LinkedIn Jobs. Those platforms can help you network and become more aware of life after university, and there is never a good time to start than now.

Thank you for reading another issue of my blog. I hope that I help students both prospective and current to orient themselves on campus.