About to graduate? What to do next: Graduate jobs, masters and working abroad

Elizabeth Whittingham·1 May 2018·6 min read
About to graduate? What to do next: Graduate jobs, masters and working abroad

Welcome to the Graduate Series! A guide with tips and tricks for surviving graduate life, from employment, travelling, accommodation, bank accounts, finance and paying your council tax, so stay tuned.

First, employment.

Graduating university is an exciting time, yet sometimes the pressure of ‘what to do next’, coupled in of course with the endless questions from family members, can be quite emotionally draining.

If you are struggling on what to do after you graduate or if you are just worried about leaving university in general, then here are some ideas, tips, and opportunities especially for you.

Take some time for yourself

University is difficult; mentally, physically and emotionally. When you hand that final piece of work in or sit that final exam, your emotions are all over the place.

The first and the best thing that you can do for yourself when you finish is to relax. Read a book that you haven’t had time to read during your studies, meet up with your friends who are emerging from their dissertation holes. You could book a holiday away, head back to your family for the weekend or have a big sort out of your student house. Whatever you chose to do, just make sure that you have a few days unwinding from the past three years.

Work abroad

If you have just graduated and are interested in travelling and working at the same time, then working abroad could be the perfect graduate scheme for you. There are heaps of options availablefrom American Summer Camps, to chalet jobs in the winter. Looking further afield, why not get a sixth-month VISA and head down-under? Do your research, heading over to forums where people who have travelled and worked and you’ll have a plan in mind in no time.

Have a careers meeting

Before you graduate, the best thing to do is to make the most of your university’s careers service. Book yourself an appointment and head along to chat through your options, they can be really helpful in terms of sites to check out, people or businesses to target and even how to write your CV.

Do a Masters

If you enjoyed undergrad studies and want to continue in academia, a Masters degree might be for you. You can either do them full time or part time, so if you want to have a job on the side you can. Remeber though, Masters require a lot more independent work than your undergrad, so be prepared!

Get some work experience

If you are still unsure of the job sector you’d like to go into, then you can always do some work experience or shadowing. While usually unpaid, it’s perfect if you’re planning to move back to your family home after your studies. Shadowing can give you a great insight into the workplace which you can draw on when applying for jobs.

Get an internship

If you would like to learn and earn at the same time then apply for a graduate internship. Sites such as glass door, monster and indeed all have internship search options so that you can tailor the search specifically to you. Internships do tend to be part-time which will be a great way to ease you into the workplace.

Find a graduate job

One of the most popular options for graduating students is to head into a graduate job specifically tailored to their own degree. Although there are plenty of horror stories about students ending up in local cafes chasing their dreams, with the vibrant diversity and endless options of jobs and job types available today, you have a good chance of finding one which suits you.

Here are some great recruitment sites:




You can also check out Bridgewater’s page here on job hunting advice!

You can also go to your university when looking for graduate jobs, as many have University Graduate Schemes. These are notoriously hard to get onto, but if you don’t try, you don’t get.

Start up your own business

Yes, this one is a bit out there, but if you have studied business at university, or if you are simply excited to try this out, then you can always start up your own business. There are plenty of sites with tips on how to get started, you can also attend workshops and talks in your local area. Entrepreneur have some brilliant advice on how to start up a business when you are straight out of university and lacking in the funds.

Get blogging and vlogging

More and more people are making their living now online. Whether it’s online content journalism, YouTube, social media or brand sponsorship, there are plenty of opportunities online if you are more suited to a vocational type job. You could also head into communications or social media jobs if you are fresh out of an English or marketing degree.

Don’t panic!

The ‘real world’ does not exist, everybody is living in the world, and you’ve been in that world for the past 21 years. You have lived on your own, managed your own finances and got yourself through a degree. If you are having any reservations about clicking that apply button then remember to realise how far you’ve already come- good luck!