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provide information on various aspects of university have come into play and factors such as ‘graduate prospects’ help determine how well a university ranks against their counterparts. Bearing this in mind, it is no shock to see universities placing heavy focus on attracting students with promises of strong career guidance and development opportunities, painting the university as an ever improving, job-friendly institution.

From the perspective of a student, York appears to have been no different. From the very start the university helped with attempting to place some assurance of the prospects a student might have by merely attending the university, sending out several emails during the UCAS cycle to applicants to boast of their joining of the prestigious Russell Group and constantly pushing the fact they scored well when compared to other universities under 50 years old. However as a student here, it’s hard to see how useful this really is. Trying to create a prestigious image for the university has little practical application and does little for somebody who has their sights set on graduation, who if they are anything like me are also nervous about what the future holds beyond it. Like many others in my position I feel that it will instead come down to not what university I went to but what it offered for me whilst I was there and what I will be able to take away from it and showcase to potential employers. How has York dealt with this? Pretty well it would seem…

I have often found talks from the careers department worked into my timetable. These talks provide a plethora of information on building up a profile for when my degree is complete and it does not stop there. At my disposal are networking events and career days organised in a wide range of sectors relevant to me as a joint

honours (History and Politics) student. In addition, an internal database of jobs, internships and volunteering placements are available by simply logging into the York system. With advice seminars, skills workshops and even CV reviewing appointments also available it feels like there is at least something to get me off the ground and started in preparation for entering the big, wide world.

I also have in the back of my mind the idea of simply prolonging my study and becoming a postgraduate student. In both of the departments I happen to be a part of I have had the opportunity to find myself tempted into further study. Being able to attend several talks from current students at the university who are pursuing MAs and PHDs has helped me to feel at ease about graduating if I should decide I do not want to dive into the world of work straight away and want to take an alternative route. With exceptional mentoring schemes and outstanding facilities we are reliably told the university supplies it certainly adds consideration to pursuing further study at somewhere like York.

It’s hard to describe and pinpoint exact feelings towards the becoming a graduate in what seems like a constantly changing and fluctuating environment. This alone could almost make the idea of becoming a graduate daunting and unappealing. What is for sure however, is that it appears the opportunities are out there if I take them and I’m sure many other current students across the UK will feel similar in their situations. Despite this, and with regular news of increasing fees and cuts to funding, mixed with a tough job market and high unemployment, the idea of spending a few more years studying the subjects I love after I graduate are starting to look ever more appealing.

Ryan Allen

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