So the Festival of Careers has been and gone! I have to be honest, even though this is my third year at Leicester (not including the year I spent abroad), I had never participated in any careers festival stuff before this year. Now that I’m in my final year, I figured I should try and actually figure out what to do once I graduate and prepare myself for the real world.
I really like the concept of the Festival of Careers. The fact that the University of Leicester organises it for us students every year is a good indication that they care about our futures. There was nothing like this (as far as I know) when I was an Erasmus student at Pisa. I haven’t actually used the Career Development Service yet once during my time at Leicester, but I’ve heard really good things about them. They’re super supportive and can offer you careers advice, review and help you improve your CV and any job applications you might be completing and, if you’re unsure of what you want to do after you graduate, you can arrange an appointment with them to discuss potential career paths. No doubt I’ll be seeing them a lot during my final year as I’m still kind of unsure about all the options that are available to me after graduation.
Having had a look at the schedule for the week, my problem with the Festival of Careers is that there wasn’t a lot for me, or History of Art students in general for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, there was quite a wide range of stuff on offer throughout the week. There were a couple of talks relevant to me that I went to, including the ‘What to do with a Humanities degree’ talk and the EU Careers Insight talk (this is kind of a bad example for me because I don’t actually speak French or German, which is a requirement if a native English speaker like me wants to start a career in the EU…). There were also some genuinely useful sessions suitable for everyone, including the sessions on how to understand psychometric testing and the sessions highlighting the key skills required for future success. I just think that with the Festival of Careers, you have a slight advantage if you’re looking for a career in Management, Finance, Science or Engineering because the university is more able to provide for you. Most of the employers at the fairs were orientated towards students looking for careers in these four fields. I guess this applies to the real world as well – there are less jobs available but more competition for those that want to do museum work or pursue a career in the cultural sector etc.
We Humanities students have chosen to study the things that interest us, and the things that we’re passionate about, but I’m worried that I won’t be able to find a job or career that I enjoy once I graduate. Just having a degree in the first place gives us a head start in the job market I suppose. But it would’ve been nice if there had just been a few more employers from the cultural sector at the Festival of Careers, or employers catered towards Modern Languages and History of Art students, or something like that. Employers that I’ll actually be eligible to work for when I graduate with a BA degree.
Participating in the Festival of Careers has actually made me more confused, if possible, about what I want to do in the future. There really are so many options for me to consider. The Career Development Service will probably be seeing a lot of me this year…