By Kaz Bosali
Most students start university when they’re a teenager, at the tender age of 18, long before they have a clear career path in mind. It marks an exciting time in your education, and you will never have to sit through assembly again!
Before securing your place at university, you’ll have written a personal statement explaining why you have chosen your subject and how you hope to use your degree in the future. However, a month or two into university, you slowly realise the degree you are studying is not what you wish to do as a career.
And that’s okay.
Whether you are in your first year, second or final year – you are allowed to change your mind. If you aren’t studying Law but decide you want to be a solicitor, you can enrol in a one-year course to qualify to be a practising lawyer. If you are studying Business but want a career in media, you can join societies at university that supplement your technical skills.
At any given moment, you can decide to choose a completely different career path.
As a student (and most cases as a recent graduate), you’ll have access to resources and services at your university that you can make the most of.
Here are 3 tips to position yourself as a strong candidate if you decide on a change in career path while at university.
Every university has a careers service where you can organise mock interviews and receive CV feedback. Use the opportunity to get tailored advice on how to build your personal brand using social media and communicate your transferrable skills. A career path consultant can point you in the right direction.
If you’ve decided on a different career path, getting an internship during your summer holiday is a wonderful way to know whether it is right for you. Your university can help you secure one and there are lots of external services out there that help students with placements.
You can get in touch with a university member of staff from the faculty of your interest and ask for advice or whether you can sit in on a lecture. They’ll most likely say yes, and again, you’ll get to expand your horizons past your university degree and see whether this different career path is right for you.
When applying for graduate schemes, all that’s required is that you have a degree, and most do not specify what you studied. Employers and companies generally are not concerned about your skills or knowledge because they train you on that. They’re looking for passion and your why! They’re looking at what makes you tick and whether this is something you’ll stick to long term.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to embark on a career path that’s related to your degree at all. University is all about exploring, learning new skills and growing. Nothing is set in stone – including your career path after you graduate. You’re allowed to change your mind.