So, you’ve just graduated
I wanted to write this article as a quick guide and give food for thought to fresh graduates who find themselves unsure about taking their first steps in a professional career – which can be daunting!
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
During my time in recruitment, I’ve interviewed and met thousands of graduates and the most common response to tackle is “I don’t know what I want to do.”
When faced with this obstacle during meetings, I usually cover these key points to try and provide some direction.
- Why did you study your major in the first place?
- What initially made you chose a Finance or Economics major?
- What courses did you take?
- What did you enjoy, what didn’t you enjoy?
- What did you struggle with and what did you excel at?
It’s useful to reflect back on what you’ve just accomplished before jumping ahead.
Look back at your intership(s)
- What type of organisation did you work for?
- What department did you intern in?
- How did you find it?
- What was the culture and environment like for you?
Chances are if you didn’t find it interesting during your internship it probably isn’t going to be for you. At least not in the beginning anyway.
Your personality Although a basic point, we all need to know what our strengths and potential blind spots are.
- Are you outgoing? Do you see yourself in a client facing and highly interactive role?
- Do you prefer number crunching, analyzing data and putting in the work behind the scenes?
Final thoughts As with so many other things in life, your heart and then your head should dictate what journey makes sense to embark on. Doing your best work requires that you are passionate about what you are doing.
Speak to your family and friends Speak to your family and friends who might already be working, find out where they work and ask them about what they do.
Start networking Attend events, career fairs, professional seminars and listen to what people say about their particular industry or company. Networking is a fantastic way to build relationships and gain valuable insights into future career paths.
Research graduate training programs If you still feel unsure about what is right for you, the UAE has some fantastic graduate training programs for all majors and studies. These give you the chance to gain exposure across multiple departments as you work and rotate with different teams.
Attend interviews Interviews are a great opportunity to learn. Not only will you improve your skill in speaking about yourself and getting the chance to meet professionals in your field, you should also take this chance to ask questions. It can be daunting, but if there’s time during your interview, ask the person you are meeting what they enjoy most about what they do, or the company they work for.
I hope these basic points will give you a starting point and at least some ideas to take action. For a more detailed discussion feel free to reach out to me directly I would be happy to hear from you.