Now, as you may know, I graduated from USW back in July and I really wish I’d known these things at the beginning of my final year so I thought this post might be useful for some students about to start their final year so here’s my advice for final year university students.
1. Start your dissertation early
On my course we had a monthly lecture which took us through each section of the dissertation and from the beginning they told us to come up with a topic and start the dissertation etc BUT when they’re telling you this in September it really seems like you have all the time in the world but you don’t. For me, it was much more work than I realised and I had about 10 other assignments to be done that year too and about 5 of those had to be done by January so I prioritised them at the beginning of the year which I really shouldn’t have done. I didn’t start my dissertation until the end of January (ish) and it had to be completed by the end of April/start of may (the date changed). I also had other assignments due in around the same time as well as 2 exams less than 2 weeks after the submission date. Because I was working right up to the deadlines after starting 3/4 months earlier, I didn’t have enough time to revise for my exams (which were also super close together) so I ended up failing both exams which probably affected my final grade quite a lot.
2. Start thinking about your dissertation topic/question over the Summer
It’s probably a bit late for this now as it almost is the end of Summer but try to have at least an idea about what you want your topic/question to be. Part of the reason I started so late was that I kept changing my topic/question, I went through about 4/5 and started working on the dissertation every time so I ended up starting over quite a few times before I was happy with what I had chosen. (I studied Event Management so if you’re curious, my question was ‘does celebrity involvement impact the work done by charities?’). I would also definitely advise you to pick a topic you’re interested in because it will make it feel a bit less like work and make it a little more fun for you (as fun as writing 10,000 words can be, I guess😂).
3. Start looking for a job early
If you want to be on a graduate scheme after you finish your course, I would definitely suggest you start looking and applying in September. When I started my 3rd year, I was so focused on my assignments that a job wasn’t even on my mind at that point and I thought to myself I would start looking around March (which I did) but it was too late, the graduate schemes start applications (I think) around September/October (please correct me if I’m wrong). So, even if you didn’t want to be on a graduate scheme, I would still advise that you start looking for a job quite early too if you want to straight into employment. Like I said, I started looking and applying for things around March and I’m still unemployed now, 6 months later. I must have applied for around 70-80 jobs now and I’ve had maybe 7 interviews and they have all been unsuccessful which gets really frustrating so maybe I would have had more luck if I’d started applying earlier.
And they are my 3 pieces of advice for final year University students. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below or tweet me @Strictly_Emma. Also, let me know if you’ve completed your degree, what do you wish you’d known?
Good luck to everyone who’s going into their final year and everyone who’s going back to school/uni/college in the next couple of weeks! Just remember, if I can do it, you definitely can!
Thanks for reading, Em xo
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