How do you stand out in a crowded job market? York St John University helped Siobhan Newmarch develop professionally and find her dream career.
Read more in her takeover below.
I was a student at YSJ from 2011–2014, graduating with a BA (Hons) in English Literature and English Language. Not wanting to limit myself to just one subject, I studied both of these together as a Joint Honours course.
I didn’t have a clear picture of what I wanted to do after university. Keeping my options open felt like the best thing I could do at the time.
I never regretted choosing Joint Honours. My literature and linguistics classes complemented each other and I felt I was receiving a more rounded education. Studying both courses helped me to develop a diverse range of skills that have benefitted me greatly throughout my career.
Reflecting on mistakes
In my second year, I completed a work placement and produced an assessed reflective portfolio. This involved discussing the experience, what I learnt, and the skills I picked up while working there.
It was on this module I got my first experience in writing editorial, securing an internship at a local magazine. I don’t think it would have been as easy for me to get my foot in the door of news, culture, and events journalism without this work placement. It was an incredible opportunity.
The module’s focus on reflecting on our internships meant that we were encouraged to be open about our mistakes as well as our successes. This has been invaluable for inspiring my self-development and attitude towards work. As well as gaining experience, I’ve been able to identify skills gaps and close them. I’ve also gained a lot of useful and transferable skills along the way.
Finding my dream career
I continued this practice of self-reflection when studying for my master’s degree. This time I was looking for marketing internships rather than editorial ones.
I realised I needed to improve my skills in strategising and communication, and I knew that I could pick them up easily in these roles. At the same time, I could use my editorial skills to write great copy for marketing purposes.
Having concrete evidence of my eagerness to work and develop professionally during my academic career gave me an advantage in the job market by the time I graduated. As a result, I’m happily employed as a Content Executive at Glass Digital. I still use skills that I learnt on my first work placement every day.
I also find communicating, researching, strategising, working towards goals, and developing professional skills a lot easier thanks to the opportunities I had at York St John University.
As well as a degree, York St John University set me up with vital skills that made finding my dream career a lot easier.
Because more employers are looking for experience as well as theoretical knowledge, and because the roles they are offering require a more diverse range of skills, the university is making sure that its students know how to develop professionally.