I know what I wanted and I went for it. I’m not at the top yet. It is almost a year now since I landed my first Marketing role, I have made it my own and I just want to continue to make an impact on the industry I am operating in. However, what has become increasingly apparent to me since my stunt at Waterloo station is that there is a growing number of graduates that do not know what they want to do when the cap lands on graduation day.
Are students well prepared for life after graduation?
A huge number of graduates don’t know how to go about landing the perfect role for them. Here I would say this is the fault of career services at universities, they give the same advice and CV templates to those studying physiotherapy and those studying photography. They will most likely both end up in a sales role with very little career progression. The focus seems to be more on how many keywords you can cram into your CV, rather than how much experience you can gain while at university.
Graduates seem to be in such a rush to get to the top, but so many who study a particular course at degree level and fail to understand the career options after graduation. Now who is to blame, students, lecturers, or the curriculum? Then they look to their friends who are excelling in their careers and they didn’t even go to university and have no debt to pay off. Questioning whether they made the right choice they could end up settling for any role and never fulfill their potential with the degree they worked so hard for.
Can a career mentor help?
My suggestion would be to seek out a mentor. Someone who can give you some guidance, support, knowledge, and encouragement to help you achieve the career of your dreams. By finding a mentor who you aspire to be like, they will be in the position to give you advice on how you can best achieve your career goals and you will have somebody to bounce ideas off while organizing and planning career moves.
Statistics show the number of women applying for computer science, property, and construction or engineering courses has either dropped off or leveled off. My aim is to boost the representation and population of women in these industries as well as to ensure a degree means something again, so I have taken it upon myself to not only be a ‘media personality’ but also a motivational speaker.
What is very disheartening for many, is that there are more men called John in the FTSE 100 than women. More and more women will begin to reach the boardroom level and the FTSE 100, but how can our generation better prepare ourselves for leadership roles now?
Become a mentor.
If you are passionate about your industry, try and pass that passion and ambition on to those that are still in the early stages of deciding what they want to do career-wise. Inspire the next generation and it also looks amazing on your CV ;).
I am happy to give advice to those in need and the best piece of advice I can give would be to join a start-up company in your chosen industry. The rate you can grow and the things you can learn at a start-up company can set you on a path to greatness. Help a company grow and whatever success is to you, it will be achieved. Be it a team award or a promotion, if you become a valued employee to the company and find your niche within the market, eventually you will go onto bigger better things.
Author: Alfred Ajani is a Coventry University graduate from South London, also known as ‘The CV Man’. Marketing and PR Projects Manager at The Asoria Group, responsible for driving the Marketing and PR function of The Asoria Group. My role is to bring innovative solutions to traditional challenges within the recruitment industry.