Graduating can be tough, and your first year as a new graduate has surely come with challenges, opportunities and steep learning curves. And the advice of others who are on the same journey is always appreciated.
In this special compilation of clips from Season 2 of the podcast, 12 Edinburgh graduates offer advice based on their own experiences in the past year, and tips on how to answer the 'what next' question.
Thank you to Molly, Stella, Tim, Rosie, Sheela, Struan, Zara, Victoria, Matt, Maddy and Shirley for their contributions.
Graduating can be tough. We spoke with 12 Edinburgh graduates who know that. And they've offered some sound advice for those who are deciding what to do next.Molly:
Yeah, like, me five years ago would be really proud of where I am now. I was doing something I did, because I wanted to study it. And I hadn't to be honest, really thought about what possessions I was going to come out with. At the end, I was going and excited and wanting to learn all this stuff. And, and it was it was so cool, like.Stella:
So I would say I was already quite confident beforehand. And, you know, I knew my my worth. And I think that's really important. So I mean, I think anyone should really know that. And don't undersell themselves. I don't think it has anything to do with bragging or, you know, not being modest or anything, it's just, it's a healthy approach. And it's going to pay off in loads of situations, people just have a healthy amount of self love. Knowing that have this safety net and form of my like family and friends is a big point. I have this like support system in place if you want. And I know that even if something doesn't go according to plan, I always have that I never have to deal with that, which obviously, that is like very deep rooted confidence. Yeah, I'm really thankful for that as well, obviously. But then also, if you put yourself into challenging situations, which I would say, I've always done, you always will come out of it with something that you've learned, sometimes things go wrong, but then things also go right and then obviously can take pride in yourself.Tim:
I think one of the things that helped me a lot in the past is, is this mindset of staying proactive. And it's it sounds very simple. But if you go out there, and you if you want to sort of take control of your life, if you see an opportunity, I always try to go for it, no matter what it is, try it out, be the I suppose the author of your own life, there are so many opportunities that arise if you just listen closely and act upon the things that people just maybe mentioned on the side. Like for instance, I participated with a small project of a printing company, which tried to make their printers more sustainable, because I like overheard a conversation on like, get together a few years ago. And suddenly I'm in this project and learning about circular economy. So I think it's really important to just like try to be proactive, if you want to change things, just in the small scale, go out there. And if you hear someone say something interesting, go for it, jump into it, try it out.Rosie:
If I was going to give advice is that make sure you're comfortable and happy where you are the things that the uni tell you might not actually fit what you want to do. And going against that might actually be the best decision you will make. And you know, that's that took a lot of energy and a lot of confidence or a lot of kind of balls, I guess. But I think me making that decision and me coming out the other end, that really was the best thing I did.Sheela:
The worst thing you can do is kind of go into a sector that you've only ever had experience for that you've only ever thought about that and then realise it's not for you. I've been quite maybe naively picky about things about it. But this has to be your dream job. Well, not really like I think when it comes to next year's application cycle, I think we're going to be a bit more realistic about things but more organised about things. But still keeping in mind like the core values of one in the working world. I really do want to grab them by the horns and really run with it in the wet in the same way that I did learn.Struan:
I had this idea that I want to get an internship. And then I thought well to do that. What would I have to do? I can email people, I can talk to people. I can go in meetings with people. At the end of the day, there are people to watch what can happen is they can be like you might not be a good fit. Sorry. And that's it. And at the end of the day as well researchers and supervisors they love that they love people going up they say and lecturers just say please ask me questions. So this is in the same ballpark because you're going up and you're interested in something I do it and you want to dedicate your time to do it and respect me I just saw there being no disadvantage to kind of just going up to peopleZara:
We're all a bit of improvising, I'd say. But what I have learned throughout this whole experience is that that's the same for everyone. I've interviewed some really incredible founders of million dollar companies, you know, even people that really seem super confident and always know what they're doing. They also struggle with the same kind of questions like, oh, maybe I should have done that, or did I do this to the best of my ability, or I made this mistake. And I think when you get to the point where you realise everyone, to some extent is actually winging it, then I think it makes it a little bit easier, you know, you still feel it. But you know that everyone is kind of in the same boat. And I found that in this ecosystem, people are super, super supportive. Now, particularly our generation people are becoming more open, it's more acceptable to talk about things that didn't go to plan to talk about your failures to be vulnerable. And I really, really admire that. And people, when they when they can say, hey, I actually like this didn't go so well, or that was not what I planned. Honestly, it it really is everyone, everyone has those moments of wondering, What am I doing here? And why am I qualified to do this? If anyone is interested in entrepreneurship, and is maybe questioning whether there's a space for them, I just wanted to say that there absolutely is and they should go for it. And maybe from the outside, I know, it can be a bit daunting, perhaps intimidating. But once you're here, there are so many people willing to help that are super excited to get new people into the space. And so I think no matter what background you come from, no matter what your experiences, I think entrepreneurship is a really unique way to tackle whichever issues matter most to you in society. So go for it.Victoria:
Usually it's you go out to university, you have to find a job. But I think now it's more of a, it's okay, if you don't actually have a job because the world everyone is in such a different place. So I get this grace period of letting myself not feel like I have to jump on the bandwagon with how everyone else is doing and just being like, it's okay, and stop projecting what people expect of me, I'm just being like, recognising, okay, your this is your expectation of me. But this is not my expectation of myself. Because I was always reflecting on like things in university like during my whole journey, but I think this year definitely was a lot more of that. Also, because I think I had a stronger community around me who I can talk to, because I realise how important it is to just talk it out. I think everyone has different ways of coping with something. I just love just talking to people about my experiences, and then hearing their thoughts because I think everyone always has different opinions on things different perspective, they see things through a different lens. So it's very helpful for me to talk about, maybe like an issue I'm having and then say, Hey, what's your opinion on it? Just finding the right people to connect with and click with and be very honest and open to has really helped me feel like always listening is a very Is it necessary necessary skill. And I think I see it this way that someone has told me that what I value might not be what another person values. So I have to work on recognising what other people value and observing with other people's behaviours to understand them and empathise with them on their situations.Matt:
My current graduates and current students in this dramatic tone, I will tell you, people will shine when they move forward, if they're shaking hearts. We were this anxiety in us, but also, this anxiety has a certain energy to it. So you're like you're shaking a little bit, you're just scared of something. But this energy, you can turn this anxiety into action. And through this action, you will demonstrate yourself prove yourself. It's quite dramatic, but it sounds better in a song because songs, songs and stuff let you like express these kinds of things like more like well acceptably I'd say.Maddy:
Heck yeah, I feel so proud of myself like which I think would have been harder for me to say before going through this allowing myself a little bit more, like, grace and a little bit more just like self compassion and kindness there when things are hard being like you're going through an extraordinarily hard time but then also being like look at everything you've done likeShirley:
sometimes you do get you know ego plays a part and about everything that you feel and self confidence and, and stuff like that sometimes stop you from from looking for for that guidance, and specifically stuff that you feel that you do know and not enough about. But sometimes it happens also with things that you hope you know enough about but you know deep inside that you don't actually do And that these are the points that sometimes you're afraid to ask for help and guidance. You shouldn't be embarrassed or you know or afraid to admit that you need help with something.Voiceover:
Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story