Graduating from university is a great achievement. Three years’ hard work and dedication come to fruition as you collect your degree certificate, surrounded by your family, friends and DMU colleagues. But just like any great moment worth celebrating, graduation will be over in a flash and you’ll have to decide what it is that you’d like to do next and how you’d put to use the knowledge and experience gained at university. You might already have a good idea of the answers to those questions, but if you don’t, we have some ideas to help you start planning for the rest of your life!
1. Celebrate and reflect
First of all, take some time to celebrate your achievements with your loved ones and reflect on your journey through DMU. You’ve come a long way in the last three/four years and this is worth celebrating. Think about all your experiences at university, all the new friends you have made and the way you have grown and take a moment to appreciate all that. University is the only time in your life you’d have this unprecedented amount of freedom and the opportunity to be surrounded by so many different people that you can learn from and share experiences with.
2. Make a plan
Once you have enjoyed your achievement and reflected on all the experiences you’ve had at university, spend some time outlining what you’d like to do next. Aim to cover at least 1 year. You don’t have to be too specific about what you’d do day by day, but have a rough idea of how you’d fill the next 6/12 months. Even if you have an internship or some other form of work experience secured for a few months, still make a plan for the rest of the year and decide what you’d like to do after you finish your work experience. You might hope to get a permanent job out of it, but that’s not a given. Or you might think that the experience will be enough to land you another permanent job. This might well happen, but prepare for all options, just to be on the safe side. And if you get stuck for ideas, you can try your hand at volunteering, travelling or working on a project of your own you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time. The only thing that matters in your plan is that you keep busy and keep learning.
3. Be prepared to alter your plan
You might think that this is counter-productive. But keep in mind that you’re still very young, there are countless opportunities in front of you, and your priorities might change over the next year. So even if your plan makes perfect sense and you think it’s most sensible to stick to it, be open to new opportunities and allow yourself the freedom to experiment and try out new things! If something you’re interested in comes your way, grab it with both hands! You won’t regret it!
4. Start building a professional network
You can start off by keeping in touch and connecting with your university course mates, lecturers and tutors. You can then start extending your network online and offline, to reflect the new relationships you build whilst undertaking work experience, attending events, or taking a new course. If you’re not on LinkedIn, sing up now and create a well-rounded profile, following our handy guide. You can also join our LinkedIn group, dedicated to DMU students, graduates, staff and employers!
5. Keep in touch
DMU is dedicated to providing the best resources and opportunities to its students and graduates. To reflect this, we offer lifetime of career support to all DMU graduates. This means that you can come and talk to us about your career options at any time. In addition to that, we have schemes and resources that you can access, exclusive to DMU students and graduates. You can find all the ways to keep in touch with us here.
So, enjoy your graduation, celebrate your achievement and best of luck for the future!