I think that experiencing worry about beginning “adult life” post-university is a feeling that most students can resonate with. I also think that those who have it “all sorted out” are in the minority. Yes - some people do have a pretty good idea of what they might like to do with their careers, but the day-to-day working out of how to achieve those goals may take a little longer to figure out.
One of the routes that some decide to take is Postgraduate study. This could be straight from
university, to take you down a different, or more specific route. Or some decide to undertake a postgraduate degree several years down the line - in order to assist in changing careers or expanding their knowledge.
I have just gone through the process of applying for a Master’s degree, receiving a conditional offer just last week! Before I applied, I had absolutely no idea of how to approach the application, and obviously still don’t know everything! But I thought it may be helpful to put together a few tips that I learned along the way:
1.Talk to people
As someone completely new to the idea of postgraduate study, I found it helped to talk to people on my course who were going through the same thing. The application deadlines were nowhere near as tight as they were when applying for undergraduate, with more freedom to apply when suits you. It meant that people on my course were at different stages, with some even having already completed their applications. It helped to enquire about their experience in order to feel less alone.
2. Attend open days
Check out any postgraduate open days taking place at the universities you are thinking of applying to. There, you can find out about the course, chat to current students and really get a feel for the place. It also helps to be able talk to lecturers to find out whether the course suits you, and if there is anything in particular that they are looking for from you in your application.
There should also be opportunities for you to find out more about finance and accommodation, which is incredibly helpful.
3. Ask for help
Don't be afraid to ask for help! Get your friends, family members and current lecturers/supervisors
to proofread your personal statement or any other piece of work you have to submit as part of your application. It really helped me to get different perspectives and they may also think of something that you haven’t thought to include!
4. Don’t be afraid to “brag”!
A lot of the time, it doesn't feel natural for us to speak highly of our skills and achievements. But applications and CV’s unfortunately require it! An application is your opportunity to sell yourself and do a bit of bragging! Write a list of your skills and things you have achieved in your career thus far, and then think about how they will help you in the subject you are applying for.
If you are struggling to come up with anything yourself, ask a loved one to help. I find they are often better at pointing out your strengths.
Whatever it is you decide to do after you leave university, whether it be Postgraduate study, a new job, a gap year, or something else entirely, I wish you the very best of luck!
My name is Kathryn Austin, and I am in my third year of studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford. I have always had a strong passion for writing and am hoping to enter into a career within the Journalism or Publishing industry. In my spare time I love to spend time with my family and friends, enjoy travelling and reading, as well as having keen interests in film, fashion, history, and current affairs.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/kathrynaustin_
Note: 'Student Blog' articles highlight the student perspective on issues relating to ProtectED. Consequently, this article reflects the views of the author and not ProtectED.