career development / Coronavirus

COVID 19. Graduating in a recession, top tips from Warwick Alumni: part 4

This week’s post focuses on self- care. How can you look after yourself amidst all the current uncertainty? Not having control over your destiny can feel scary and not what many of us are used to. Warwick alumni offer some sound advice to help you stay grounded.

“When I got my degree a decade ago I wouldn’t have expected to be facing such uncertain times as we face today without the valuable help of my cohort. During this crisis we have shared resources and even thrived getting recognition at work. Talk to each other, share ideas generously, nourish each other. Keep coming back to your cohort for inspiration and support. Make the effort to answer questions. During your studies your professors have challenged you, mine certainly have. It is now up to you to lift each other up. Warwick graduates from all over the world salute you proudly for having accomplished your goals. May you thrive with us.” (Carolina Gallegos, MA, Drama & Theatre Education)

“Keep in touch with friends and especially those who were your friends at Uni.  Meet for a chat often, over the phone or on-line and share your problems. And meet socially when you can. Don’t become isolated! And remember, it is nothing wrong with you that stops you getting a job; it’s just it can take time to get the right one for you.  If you have a faith, keep praying and trusting in that Higher Being.  If you don’t, try reading some positive stuff anyway. Remember the words of Julian of Norwich:  “All shall be well and all manner of things shall be well”.  It is always good to remember that people of the past went through the same things we do.” (Mark Potter, BA, English & American Literature)

“My advice is not on your career. My advice would be, try not to lose touch with your university friends. Ten years after graduation, looking back I see that best quality people were my class mates. I regret that a bit, about losing contact with many of them.” (Askar Aituov, MSc, Information Systems & Management, WBS)

hannah pic“A great mentor once told me “your career is a marathon and not a sprint” – and this is the advice I would give to the Class of 2020 graduating from Warwick Business School. I graduated in 2009 (International Business with French) when many graduate schemes in Marketing were being cancelled/scaled back due to the financial crisis. I still remember feeling panicked that things were suddenly no longer going to plan! The pandemic experience has made so many of us realise the benefits of taking time to slow down, better look after our physical and mental health and value the time we have with friends and family so don’t lose sight of what’s important. You’re just at the starting line with many more years to go! “

Hannah Brockbank, International Business with French

computer keyboard with word Tips And Tricks

And finally… some tips to help you focus on what you can control-and taking action.

  • Even if you don’t find what you are looking for in work straight away, consider taking any job (as long as its legal and moral!) for a while, to gain experience.  As I’m sure many undergrads will know who have had to work while studying, the experience may also help to sharpen your thoughts on what you enjoy and really want to do in life.  More menial or laborious work will bring you into contact with different people from different backgrounds, some less educated and some very needy, some big characters and I have found that this experience of being one among them teaches humility and a respect for all people of any background and how to relate well to everyone in your later working life. Mark Potter, BA English & American Literature
  • Don’t dismiss the opportunity of a locum post or maternity cover. Whilst these are fixed term they can be a CV builder and can open the doors to the internal vacancies which you can be excluded from as an external candidate.
  • Think about joining a professional body (especially for those that do not automatically require you join one (medics lawyers etc.) It shows the employer that you have more than a passing interest in the field and are looking for a career rather than a job
  • Learning doesn’t stop at the University Gate and involves more than simply academic learning….practical skills such as Driving and First Aid can be attractive to an employer as can technical skills such as COSHH or Health and Safety Assessment and Computing skills.  Finally there are the soft skills such as negotiation letter writing communicative skills dispute resolution… mine has included  a willingness to get involved in careers events at local schools. Oh and have interests that extend to more than gaming or drinks with friends down the pub (don’t make them up either… you may get asked about them). Martin Howie, BSc Microbiology & Virology
  • You graduate at a time of great uncertainty but do not lose courage or focus. This is a time to evaluate what you have accomplished, think strategically and ask yourself what you could do to make the world a better place. Jobs are a means to earning an income but not the only way to earn an income. Can you think of creative ways of improving the world? The people who succeed the most are ones who come up with ways to improve wherever they are using whatever resources are available. Valerie Patrick MBA, WBS.


Innovative solution concepts on touch screen

Call to action: Job hunting careers resources

Take a look at some of the FREE resources and events provided by our Partner Bright Networks or undertake a mini virtual internship if you’re struggling to secure placement experience. Over 3,000 Warwick experiences have been accessed by Warwick students and recent graduates to date!

Graduates will be able to access our forthcoming career webinars from October.

For recent graduates who have not yet joined Warwick’s Alumni Community  find out about the benefits of keeping in touch.

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