For many, higher education such as university or college marks itself as a turning point in a person’s life. Whether you attended for three years, four years or even more, it will have created an imprint on your mind that no other experience could have managed.
You will have made new friends, learned new skills, developed existing abilities and got to know who you are as a person, all while studying a subject that you are passionate about and hope to pursue a career in.
However, as your time studying comes to an end, along with reflecting on what you’ve gained, it’s also important to start thinking about the future and what is coming next. Where will you be able to get your foot onto the career ladder? How will you do it? For many, it is a decision that can wait until the end of studying.
However, giving yourself a head start now will be crucial in helping you move forwards and achieve your goals. During the final year of your degree or your course, it’s time to start thinking about what comes next.
Do you want to pursue a top-up degree?
If you have an ABE Advanced Diploma in Finance, an HND or maybe even a foundation degree, you might decide you want to do a top-up degree to add to your knowledge and qualifications. This could be in something such as Accounting and Finance or Business Management and will play a key role in helping you stand out from the crowd. Start thinking about your options and what benefits this would have. Now is also the time to talk to tutors to get their
Have you got any work experience?
One of the first questions you will find yourself asked in an interview is ‘what previous experience do you have?’ It’s a tough one when you’re starting out and quite chicken and egg; you need the experience to get a job, but how do you get that first bit of experience if you’ve never done anything before? Ultimately, try and do whatever you can over the coming months, even if it’s voluntary work.
Work experience and internships are other great ways of doing this as, while they’re often very low paid (if paid at all), you can learn about working in a real-life office environment, as well as the challenges that you will likely have to face in the working world and you will gain some knowledge, confidence and insight to take with you to an interview. Even if you can’t get any, ringing up a local accountancy practice and asking if you can come into shadow for a day (or even just to run errands) will be a great opportunity to learn and a talking point for future job roles.
Now’s the time to start researching job roles you’re interested in and getting a sense of the direction you want to take. Compare what each position is asking for, evaluate which parts you think would interest you over what doesn’t sound right. Look at the salary, the locations, the companies that are hiring. Find out more about them so that when you are prepared to start applying, you have done your research and have a really solid understanding of what it is that you want and what is the right role for you.