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 second installment, we hear from Rebecca Lowe.
By Carl Shepherd
Welcome back to YSJ: Beyond Graduation – the blog series that aims to delve into the graduate career and work placement opportunities available here at York St. John University.
What’s next after university is so often a question of much anxiety, uncertainty… and what can sometimes feel like too much choice. But what some of you may not have considered is to look a little closer to home (YSJ!) for future work experience. Speaking with graduates who now work within York. St John, I have found it really helpful to learn of the many opportunities that our University has to offer.
Today, I want to share with you an interview I had with Rebecca Lowe: another English Literature graduate who made the successful switch from student to worker at YSJ. Having graduated, Rebecca currently works in the Events Department as an intern who helps with the organising, planning and running of events at York St. John.
Initially, Rebecca decided that she “wanted to gain experience in the professional working world” in an environment that she already knew well. Rebecca also explained that she was “unsure of the career I wanted to pursue after graduation, and the internship was an opportunity to experience a career, without major commitment”. As a student myself, I think this is a really interesting point. Having similar uncertainties, it is nice to know that York St. John can provide a bridge between graduation and a fully committed career – offering a way, to really find your feet in the working world. English Literature particularly is a very broad degree, which is great… but a little overwhelming, too. This is why I think the opportunity for in-house work experience is a great opportunity for a focused, yet relevant placement.
As with other graduates now working at YSJ, Rebecca’s experience evidences how the skills we gain at University are perfectly placed in a work environment – especially within York St. John. “Time management and prioritisation of work is really important in my role, and so it was extremely helpful to have already developed these skills during my degree”, she explained to me. In terms of social skills, Rebecca also explained that her time as a student helped her to “grow in confidence in group discussions and dealing with new people” which aided her throughout both “the interview process and my approach when starting the job”.
In terms of transitioning from student life to work life, Rebecca also found that her time as a YSJ student really prepared her for the structure and mentality of full-time work. “The approach to work, such as meeting deadlines and ensuring work is completed to a high standard is the same… so my degree definitely prepared me very well for this job”, she tells me. I find this really reassuring to hear, as it confirms just how helpful our degrees will be to us in the future, beyond any single skill even – but more broadly, in terms of how they instill in us a diligent and efficient approach to work.
Speaking to Rebecca about her future, she told me that she has “gained enough insight into the University Events industry for me to know that it is a career I definitely would consider for the future”, which really highlights how a post-grad work opportunity at York St. John University can really set you on the right path. Again, I think it’s great to know that our University can provide us with opportunities beyond our time as students… particularly if you, like me, are still trying to figure everything out.
Today’s blog entry encourages us to seek out internships available here at York. St John as a means of career progression, and also reminds us of the real importance behind the skills we are gaining throughout our degree. I think that Rebecca’s advice for future graduates speaks for itself, and is a great note to end on:
As a first full-time job, it has been the best experience and I would encourage anyone to apply for an internship or job at York St John University, especially new graduates.