MyKindaFuture's Graduate Stories

MyKindaFuture's Graduate Stories

Monday, 14th of May

Does the thought of graduating daunt you? Is it scary to think it may not all go to plan after uni finishes? We asked some of the wonderful MyKindaFuture Team what their university experience was like for them, and how their future really compared to how they envisioned it at the time. Point in hand: never underestimate the opportunities you will be presented with and just because things don't go to plan, that doesn't mean you can't proceed with having a successful career!

Frances, Business Development

What degree did you study, where and why?

I studied Politics at Cambridge (officially my degree was PPS but I specialised quite a lot). I chose politics because a teacher at my secondary school suggested I took it at A Level, I did, and loved it! Also, I thought I was going to change the world. I ended up at Cambridge because I did better than expected in my A levels and my sixth form college then pushed me to apply, didn’t love the extra work I had to do at the time, but, worth it in the end!

Throughout your student life, what did you want to do when you graduated?

For most of student life I flipped between just wanting to graduate and wanting to rule the world but having no idea how. I wasn’t very career minded, my whole education had been focused towards making it to uni, no one had every really talked about ‘what next?’. I also felt pretty isolated from the ‘city’ jobs because I knew nothing about them (I had to google what ‘the city’ meant during my second year because I realised I couldn’t blag it much longer). This is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about what MyKindaFuture/Bright Futures do.

What was the path you took when you graduated?

In my third year I made the decision to not worry about jobs and focus on studying and having fun. This was terrifying and freeing. When I graduated I moved home for summer and started to apply to every job on my uni careers website that looked remotely interesting (I didn’t know where else to look). I ended up getting an interview and job offer for an internship at a start up and it went from there.

What do you miss most about university life?

How easy socialising was – I don’t think I’ll ever live in a situation again where I can just walk into the common room and find all my friends with zero organising… (unless we all end up in the same nursing home of course…)

What advice do you have for those in their final year at university?

Enjoy it! This is possibly the final point in your life where your only focus is learning about a subject you do (or did!) truly enjoy. Have fun, enjoy the experience and try and breath. If it all goes a bit wrong (my final exams did) it will be okay!

Talia, Product Development & Marketing

What degree did you study, where and why?

I studied psychology at Surrey University. I loved psychology at A-Level, I think its so interesting studying human behaviour as it helps you work out why people act in the bizarre way they do sometimes! I chose Surrey as it was ranked highly for studying psychology, it also had a compulsory year out which I was keen on too as I knew it would really help with job prospects post uni.

Throughout your student life, what did you want to do when you graduated?

When I first started psychology, I thought I might want to be a clinical psychologist; I then started to understand the emotional strength you need for that job, and the many years of studying it takes to do it too – so decided it wasn’t the route for me. A few of my close friends studied business so I heard about the world of business, marketing, sales etc. through them and thought it sounded interesting. I then did my placement year at Walt Disney’s London head office in the Learning and Development department, which I really enjoyed and made me realise I did want to work in business.

What was the path you took when you graduated?

Through my boss at Disney, I heard about a role at a company his wife worked at… MyKindaFuture. I went for the interview for the role of “Campaign Manager”, which felt very unachievable for me as I didn’t even know what a campaign was. In the interview I realised that although I didn’t have the lingo down, I had a lot of transferable skills for the role I had at Disney. I have been here at MKF for over 2 and a half years, and have changed roles into a product and marketing role, and been promoted to senior manager!

What do you miss most about university life?

Probably living with loads of your friends and the close-nit community university life has; I still live with friends in London which is really fun, but my friends are much more spread out than uni where you can walk to see your friends. I must admit though I much prefer working life, I really like being busy, the work I do gives me a lot of fulfilment (if you do the right job for you), and you earn money! The best bit is when you go home in the evening or at the weekend, you don’t have that nagging sense of guilt that you should be doing revision or coursework – the dream!

What advice do you have for those in their final year at university?

Don’t put yourself under too much pressure to apply for the graduate schemes this year, you could go for next year’s intake. That Christmas period where you are revising and doing your dissertation is probably the most stressful part of the year, so you could avoid adding extra pressure by waiting to apply to the grad schemes (or do them early in September so to avoid that peak stressful period). Then once your January exams are over, I think this is when you should really start making the most of uni life – go out, have fun with your friends! Also, I have mentioned grad schemes – as you can see I didn’t do one, but a lot of my friends did – don’t feel pressured into applying for them just because that’s what everybody else is doing. The grad schemes don’t excel your career more than any other job does, they don’t get paid higher and don’t progress quicker – it’s much more about you and what you make of the opportunities around you in whichever work place you are in. Plus, corporate roles aren’t always the most creative jobs so a grad scheme may not suit your personality anyway!

Pascal, Product Development & Marketing

What degree did you study, where and why?

I studied History at the University of Kent, as it was my main passion in school and what I felt I was best at. 

Throughout your student life, what did you want to do when you graduated?

Whilst I was studying I wanted to either get into academia and pursue writing as a career (books/journals), or I wanted to get into journalism.

What was the path you took when you graduated?

I ended up working in journalism for two years before moving into more business/marketing related roles.

What do you miss most about university life?

It’s hard to pinpoint one thing which I particularly miss about university life. I’d say that having all of your friends living in a very close proximity is something I miss, that and the fact that at university you are working towards a very tangible goal. You started at university so as to attain a degree & you know exactly what you need to do to achieve it. That level of clarity and focus I think is something which I missed when I left uni.

What advice do you have for those in their final year at university?

Make the most of your final year! By that I mean, have the most amount of fun you can have but also study as hard as you possibly can. University is such a unique experience and one which I will always remember fondly. You don’t want to leave it thinking that you didn’t give it your best shot! I would also encourage anyone to use holidays wisely… One thing I regret not doing more of was work-experience during summer holidays. It’s such valuable time for you to gain business experience whilst in a relatively stress-free environment.

Rebekah, Partnerships Manager

What degree did you study, where and why?

I studied Events Management at Staffordshire University, it was the least scary university at the time and course had a strong practical element which was something I enjoyed! I decided after finishing my degree I wasn’t done with studying so I went on to the University of Bath to do a masters in Sustainability and Management very last minute which was a real wild card, but I really ended up loving each module, the topics covered and I felt like it was a time of real learning.

Throughout your student life, what did you want to do when you graduated?

I was really keen and working towards a career in events management but with a tie or a focus on sustainability, I was really unsure on how I could combine the two – it almost seemed impossible and I was ready to jump into either one or the other. This was my main motivation for accepting a job at MyKindaFuture as after finishing my studies I was keen to get out into the world of work. This meant that previous ambitions of pursuing a PhD were put on a back burner, it is something I’m aiming to come back to in the future.

What was the path you took when you graduated?

After I graduated I applied for lots of graduate roles and schemes which was something heavily encouraged by university, but as I soon found out wasn’t quite the right pathway for me. I wasn’t having much luck with all of the schemes rejecting me for graduate programmes (over 50)  as I was finding it difficult to pass the online testing stages. After this I looked into roles without the requirement for testing and had quite a few interviews (turns out I was a lot better at interviews than online testing) before deciding to move to London to work in a company that did some good, shared the same values and had a strong social mission.

What do you miss most about university life?

I miss having a lot of time, even though I worked alongside my studies and had a tonne of university work, placements and events to run – you will never have as much time as you do at university. The social aspect is also something I miss, being no more than three doors down from your friends is something you don’t quite experience when you all end up moving away for jobs or return to home towns. To name others, the usual – cheap drinks, student discount and lots of nights out are missed greatly!

What advice do you have for those in their final year at university?

Work really hard but also enjoy yourself just as much, just do your best and your best will be good enough! Get as much work experience as you can, your degree really means nothing without it. Make use of your contacts, whether it’s through those you volunteered with, your university support team post-graduation or your academic colleagues and lecturers. And finally don’t worry too much if you don’t know what you want to do, you might end up stumbling into something amazing that you would never had considered if you had a structured pathway after university.

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