Guest Blogger Emily Hill: ‘A Dangerous Juggling Act’

3 February, 2014

Guest Blogger Emily Hill: ‘A Dangerous Juggling Act’

3 February, 2014
three juggling balls
Instant Impact, the graduate recruitment agency, spoke to University of St. Andrews student Emily Hill about the hectic final year rush of balancing job applications, career choices and those all important finals. So beat the rush and apply to Instant Impact today for paid internship and graduate job opportunities with small and medium sized companies who hire graduates and recruit interns.


I am starting to feel that being a final year student at university is rather like being a particularly talented circus performer. You know, the kind that can throw fiery knives around, then swallow them and spit them back out jewel encrusted, all whilst on a unicycle, which is balanced on an elephant the performer happened to hand-rear themselves for ten years... Like such a juggler, in order to achieve all the goals of a soon-to-be graduate you often feel like you must become impossibly talented.

Then pressure mounts. Academic work becomes increasingly important to you, either because you're pushing for that last paper to boost your grade or getting in that last good mark, making the most of that last essay. Then there's the dissertation which I know for many is a monumental struggle - more words than ever before, more effort and more personal involvement and commitment. Never has your degree mattered more.

Alongside this you are balancing all those final opportunities, that ball, that dinner, that society event, that university tradition. Your university town has been home for the past few years, four in my case, and all of a sudden it's going to be wrenched from under you and you need to make the most of it while you can. It's the security blanket that keeps you going.

For many this is enough to handle. I've met countless recent graduates out of work because they said there was too much going on in their final year for them to identify what they wanted to do let alone apply for it. This might be true for some, but if it is then they are likely to struggle in the current competitive career market.

Under our university duvets, surrounded by our books, essays or experiments students seem reluctant to see the reality of employment in the UK. There are limited opportunities, for innumerable graduates and finding a job is harder than any essay you will ever write at university, even the dreaded dissertation. If knowing this and having the funds to do so you consciously choose to leave careers until after your finals, then it can be a wise decision. However, if you make the same decision in ignorance or a flustered state, without financial security, then you are asking for trouble.

There is however no need to be disheartened, only a need to be proactive. Now students is the time to act. The recent budget will promote small business and they will have more money at their disposal with which to hire you, if you are ready to apply. If you leave it till the summer then all the graduates who didn't, who managed to juggle on the elephant, will have got the positions which are about to hit the job sites.

I'm not saying it will be easy, and at times it will feel impossible - I spend perhaps twice as much time focussing on my career prospects as I do on my studies, as yet to no avail - but you only need one job. When the rejections come in, as they inevitably do, don't lose heart; if you juggle with hundreds of balls then gravity and the number of limbs you possess means that most will fall. This is not the 90s kids TV hit Pokémon - you do not have to catch them all, you only need to catch one. The key however is that if you don't juggle with any career balls at all, you cannot catch any.


If you feel Emily's call to action, then apply to Instant Impact today for paid internship and graduate job opportunities with a range of small and medium sized businesses specialising in everything from fashion to finance, marketing to consultancy.

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