Student and Graduate Publishing

Managing Final Year

Tuesday, 05 September 2017 10:00

So, you’ve reached your third year of university. By this point you should be focused, having long ago recovered from the ‘this year doesn’t even count’ mentality you likely had as a fresher. Your dissertation, also known as your first piece of dedicated research, is due this year. So careful planning really is key.

Planning Your Time.
Make sure you dedicate a certain number of hours each week to exploring your post- university options. For many this will involve graduate scheme hunting. Such schemes are not the only way to secure a job but they allow your employer (typically a big firm) to train you in the basics needed for your desired industry. It is essentially a ‘try before you buy’ into a company.

Your career service on campus likely has some excellent staff and resources you can use if you get stuck. Your university may also hold some career fairs and panel events to familiarise you with certain sectors and companies; keep your eyes peeled for those and make time to attend if you can. This would be ideal for those still not decided on what profession they would like to pursue upon graduation.

Sites that may help in your hunt are; Bright Network, Prospects and Target Jobs.

Don’t Neglect Extracurricular Activities. 
Third year is the year you’re casting your social life aside and transforming into a study hermit, you tell yourself. Indeed, much effort and work should go into third year but still try to make the most of all the fun activities university offers- you have one year left to do so! 

If you have been overwhelmingly involved in the student society scene over the past two years then now is the time to scale it back a bit. But still make time for all your friends and everything you enjoy, it is all about balance. 

Consistent involvement or dedication to a society (or two) shows an employer you are organised and someone who can manage your time successfully.

Look After Yourself.
This advice isn’t specific to third year but is most likely to be neglected during your final studies, especially when the dissertation deadline starts to arrive. Make sure you don’t succumb to a takeaway diet- make time cook home cooked food. It takes longer to prepare, but if cooked in bulk you have lunch and dinner sorted for the next day too! 

Even if you aren’t the sporty type, do get involved in some exercise classes- they’re a great stress reliever and the release of endorphins from the exercise will help to lift your mood. Most importantly, give yourself something to look forward to everyday. For example, for a morning of work you could reward yourself with a Netflix episode before starting your afternoon work.

Remain Positive 
The thought of graduating and finishing university brings panic to many third-year students. However, the options really are endless once you graduate- you don’t have to tie yourself down to a job straight away. You may want to take a gap year and explore instead. Or intern and then do further study - the choice is yours really. 

Regarding the job hunt, just remember although it does sound daunting, the more applications you do, the more you get the hang of it. The same goes for interviews. You will get there. 

- By Hannah Abban