As part of his ‘Literature at Work’ placement, current student Carl Shepherd has been catching up with some of the recent Literature graduates we fortunately didn’t need to say goodbye to… Because they’re still here and now working for the University!
In our first installment, we hear from former Words Matter Co-Editor, Nicoletta Peddis.
By Carl Shepherd
As a second year student, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is anxious about the path ahead. Moving towards my final year at YSJ, the looming question of “what’s next?” is inevitably gracing all of our already-busy brains. And whilst I certainly haven’t got it all figured out myself, my quest for the future has discovered a wide range of exciting career opportunities available here at YSJ – opportunities that before, I didn’t know existed! Perhaps life after graduation doesn’t have to be a million miles away, after all.
And with this in mind, I wanted to write a series of blogs to shed light on working professionally at YSJ. What kinds of career are on offer at the University? What is it like to work here? And how does studying at York St. John – particularly within the English Literature department – prepare you for the switch to employment? These are just some of the questions that I hope to help answer, talking directly with students who have been successful in taking up graduate positions here at York St. John University.
To kick off this series, I interviewed Nicoletta Peddis: an English Literature and Creative Writing graduate who is currently undertaking an internship within the University. Working as a graduate intern for the Alumni and Fundraising Department, Nicoletta’s role sees her assist in the organisation and promotion of different events ran by the Alumni Team at York. St John. Entailing the use of various marketing channels, including targeted PR campaigns and social media advertising, as well contributing to the alumni magazine and newsletter – Nicoletta’s creative degree made her the ideal candidate for the role.
Describing studentship and employment at YSJ as “two sides of the same coin”, Nicoletta believes that the transition between the two couldn’t have been better aided by her time studying at her now workplace.
“Even before starting the job, the skills developed in my three years as a student had a huge impact on writing a successful application”, she tells me. Throughout her time at YSJ, Nicoletta also “matured in terms of time and stress management” and “developed strong verbal and written communication skills”, too. These are prime examples of skills that are vital in the workplace, and are well developed throughout the course of your degree – which is a great reminder that the lessons we learn here at University extend far and beyond any assignment or deadline.
Making the switch from student to employee may seem a little daunting. But, rest assured: the support you receive as a student here at YSJ will stick with you in your paid role. “As an employee, I received from my manager and colleagues the same attention to my personal and professional growth”, Nicoletta explains. She also adds that an internship at York. St John is a “great way to take your first steps in the workplace, and you’ll receive all the training and support you’ll need with the transition from studying to working”.
If this blog has sparked an interest in YSJ post-grad employment, you might be wondering how you go about finding a place on an in-house graduate internship. Thankfully, it isn’t too complicated. In fact, Nicoletta discovered her role simply through keeping up-to-date with the Careers Team at University. Having received an email about the scheme she is now a part of, Nicoletta’s diligence paid off when she was successful in applying for the position.
Nicoletta’s story is testament to the fact that it really can pay to keep on top of the many emails and notifications sent to our inboxes. As daunting as it can sometimes be, with services such as the LaunchPad so freely available (which provides direct access to career advice and opportunities), it doesn’t have to be the struggle it can sometimes feel to pave a clear pathway to the future.
Nicoletta’s experience prompts us to remember the importance of taking the time to stay aware of the many opportunities available via the Careers Department, as well as how helpful it can be to reflect on the career skills our degrees are intrinsically building.