Inspiring transformations: from university to your career

By Hannah Roberts

We all know that the transformation from university to job is not an easy one – it is one of the biggest concerns faced by the twenty-somethings of today that have attended uni. Even bigger than your GCSEs, and your A-levels, and your final year exams. The final hurdle in the long obstacle course of life! For now, anyway.

One of the initial problems grads are faced with is trying to determine the career path to take. All those without a career plan or graduate scheme already in place are left with the mind-boggling decision of deciding what industry they’d be most suited to. After near enough 20 years of hand-held education, this can be pretty overwhelming. When discussing this issue over lunch the other day, post-graduate uncertainty turned out to be a shared feeling within the Inspiring team.

When looking at our HR team for example, (granted they’re a bunch of delightful ladies) their degrees are a pretty mixed bag. Our HR manager, Helen, knew HR was the path for her, choosing to study Labour, Organisational Psychology & Human Resource Management at the University of Cape Town (quite the mouthful). The rest of the team studied various subjects across the country…

Danielle reading Geography at the University of Southampton
Annie studying French and Russian at Nottingham
Nicola with a degree in Sociology from the University of Exeter

This theme of diversity is emulated within our account management team…

Katy studied English at Exeter
Alice spent 3 years in Bristol learning about Theology and Religious Studies
Christina studied Human Resource Management at the University of Hertfordshire
Their client services manager, Louise, read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Manchester

Another significant realisation is that throughout our marketing, sales, business development and finance departments, there is no correlation between degrees and job titles, bar one individual (me) who studied Business and Marketing Management. Language related degrees are a big feature in these departments with our marketing boys reading French and Hispanic Studies at Nottingham and German at Bristol, not forgetting our head of biz dev who read French and Spanish at UCL. Our fantastic finance manager, Miranda’s tops the charts with the biggest transformation from her degree in Biology and Management Studies.

So, it would seem that despite all those initial fears and doubt we all seem to have done pretty well! The key to thing to take away from this is reassurance in the fact that your degree field does not have to determine the direction you take post-university. Granted some sectors will have set prerequisites for entry, but this is not the case for all.

Take PR for example: a university qualification in this field is not a requirement for entry into this sector at most companies. The same goes for careers in sales where naturally, any form of business-related qualifications will equip you with an in-depth understanding of how companies operate. Ultimately, this is not essential and there are other qualifications allowing you to get a foothold in such competitive industries.

Instead, focus on the skills and attributes you have developed in during your time at university. Spoken communication skills developed in relevant modules, a demonstrable interest in your sector of interest, illustrating how your strong degree in your chosen area, coupled with your experience, has allowed you to enhance the your skillset; these are the factors that employers will be looking for, as demonstrated in many of our internship vacancies.

Hannah is a Digital Marketing Executive at Inspiring. She tweets about all things golden here: @hlcroberts and pins all things pretty here: gildthelilly. You can also connect with Hannah on Google+