First years to final years – time to look back

Careers blog by Tricia Raxworthy, Information and Engagement Officer

Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

As you approach the end of term, and for some the end of your time as a University of York student, we hope you’re looking forward to the summer vacation and your plans for what you’ll be doing next.  But before you head to the beach, embark on a summer internship, or go shopping for your new work clothes, it’s worth taking a little time to look back and reflect…

Freshers’ week may be a distant memory now but can you remember what you felt like then? What were you looking forward to? What were you apprehensive about? Were your expectations realised? What have you got involved with since then? What obstacles have you had to overcome? What went well… or not so well? Think about your skills and strengths, and how you have used these over your time here, both the skills you feel confident about, and those you’d like to develop – communication, time management, problem solving, technical skills and many more.  Which of these have you most enjoyed using? What have you learned about yourself, and what might you do differently in future?

Your involvement in college life, clubs, societies, and the local community through work and volunteering, alongside your degree all contribute to your university experience. If you joined one of the York Strengths Development Days, you should have even more insight into your personal strengths and how you can use these through the rest of your time at university, and as you look for a fulfilling career after York.

It’s a good idea to keep a record of your experiences and reflections. These can be invaluable when you’re confronted with questions in a job application and need examples to back up your responses. It’s so much easier if you have these ready in a reflective journal or just as notes on your phone. Your time spent reflecting will be well worth it, and provide you with examples of experiences, both positive and negative, decisions made, action taken and lessons learned. These in turn can help you plan for the future – and may even help you impress an employer and land your dream job!

See you next term – or at graduation!

The Careers and Placements Team

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