With graduation on the horizon, there’s no time like your final year to make the most of university. Before you know it, it will be summer, you will have graduated and you’ll be a proper functioning adult, don’t you know.
Between your dissertation, final exams, revision and job-searching, and before you’ve the chance to have any regrets, here are a few other things you should be getting on with:
Lead a society or club
Well, first things first, if you haven’t actually joined a society or club yet stick to that as your goal for the year. However, if you are heavily involved in something you enjoy and feel you have enough experience, third year is a great time to run for President, Treasurer or Secretary. You’ll enjoy the challenge and will have plenty to talk about when you go for interviews and look for jobs.
Build you personal brand
If you’re Facebook is a plethora of pictures of you on a night out and that’s the only way for employers to find you online, you might want to compensate with a professional LinkedIn page. Show off your skills and experiences, and any internships and placements you might have been on. Get people to endorse your skills early. You can also add any non-academic activities you may be involved in, and voluntary work, as these will also display your achievements to potential employees.
In some degrees, for example Graphic Design, you might also want to think about creating a simple website showing off your skills and achievements through the work you have done. Before potential employers even meet you, they will have had a chance to see your work and if you meet an exciting contact randomly you can give them your web address.
At the same time, you also have to think about getting a new version of your CV up and running.
Look back on your time and count your accomplishments
Believe it or not, you’ll learn and accomplish a lot in your three years at university. It’s a time to come out of your shell, to find out what you really enjoy and what you want to do with your future. It’s also the first time you’ll have lived like a grown up, understanding the real cost of everyday things, and paying your electricity bill on time.
It’s a great idea to write down everything you’ve accomplished at university, however small, as it will also motivate you to keep going and give you the confidence to believe in yourself.
Build relationships with your tutors
Most of the time you’ll only see your tutors and lectures in lectures or seminars and it’s likely that they won’t get to know you too well. Final year is the time for dissertations and for smaller group work and can be a great time to get to know your course staff. Learning about what makes them tick and what they do on a day-to-day basis can be great if you are trying to figure out whether you want to stay in academia, and it’s also great for them to get to know you when it comes to writing job references.
They’ll never be a time again when you’ll have so little to worry about and so much free time. Trust me. Enjoy going out for one too many drinks, planning a summer holiday you ill-afford and sitting around in the park on a lazy afternoon. Enjoy being with your friends as well – they’ve as much time as you, and before you know it you’ll have to sync your Google calenders to ever find a date when all of you are free.
Use the careers service
It is there for a reason. Take advantage of everything, whether it’s their CV editing workshop, interview skills day or mock interview practise. They can advise you when you’ve questions and may be able to help if you have absolutely no idea of what you want to do. Once you are back home, or in a new town working, you’ll not have the same friendly advise service.
Explore your university city
(And the surrounding areas). You’ve probably fallen into a rut of attending the same nights out and going to the same venues, but use your last year to try out something new. Whether it’s a new restaurant, a different cinema, or a new night out make the most of it while you are there.
It’s also a great time to explore the surrounding area, whether it’s countryside or other local towns and sights of interest.