Graduating students

Finals are over – So what’s next?


For the class of 2017, finals are nearly finished, Uni is (graduation ceremonies aside) pretty much done and dusted. So what do you do now? Inevitably there’ll be a few weeks of chilling, relaxing and partying. But what’s the plan after that? What’s the next step in the great journey of life? Well we’ve looked at a few options…


Getting an internship is a first rung on the step ladder to a full-time job. Genuine internships are paid, but you might find some are voluntary. They put you in a workplace so you can establish contacts, learn your chosen trade in the real world and – most importantly – demonstrate your talents. Your University Careers team should be able to help point you in the direction of vacancies, but if you’re feeling brave get on the phone to the companies you want to work for you can get on the phone and cold call them.  Check out’s Find an Internship page – amongst others – to see what’s available.

A Graduate Job.

It isn’t always as it sounds, but if you’ve worked your socks off, got a first or trained in something where there’s a shortage of practitioners – such as teaching or medicine, you might find there are plenty of opportunities. They’ll inevitably be probationary or junior roles whist you find your feet (unless you’re very well connected, have very good grade or get lucky) – but they’ll start you on the ladder – and most importantly you’ll be earning a salary. Again, your University Careers office will have lots of great advice, as well as graduate recruitment websites.

Go on Tour – a year out travelling.

student, travelling

If you’ve got the resources (and that may be a trickier proposition with the cost of Tuition fees these days) you could go out on a world tour. An extended holiday to see parts of the world that intrigue. Undoubtedly you’ll meet other adventurers and make new friends, creating yourself an informal global network. It’s a lot of fun, and crucially, will undoubtedly help you develop some essential problem solving and risk-taking skills.

A Gap Year – Working or Volunteering.

Working or volunteering overseas can be a great way of gaining experience as well – as being extremely rewarding.  There are people in need all over the world and many organisations running projects for graduates to help. Whether it is a project providing drinking water facilities in a third world country, teaching children in Asia, or environmental campaign work in South America.

Further Study.

Busy University Library With Students And Tutor

Another option is to continue your studies. A Master’s Degree, or even a Phd, can add to your future appeal with an employer. Most Master’s are one year, and very intensive (certainly a step up from undergraduate studies), whilst a Phd can be a further 3, 4 or 5.  A Phd is good direction to choose if you’re interested in a career in academia.  Who knows – you could even end up the next respected authority, lecturing globally on your chosen subject.

A Combination of the Above.

You could decide that your career trajectory is further education and academic study – but that a year out volunteering or travelling is a good idea first. Combining more than one possibility is a good idea. First of it gives you the chance to widen your perspective on the world, experience different cultures and customer (which can only be an advantage on planet that’s getting smaller all the time). You can also keep your options open, so if the opportunity of a lifetime rears its head and you decide to take a different path, you can do that too.