The week before I left for uni, I was talking to a man in a club. He looked like he was in his late 30’s early 40’s, and he owned a building firm. When I told him I was off to do a degree in English, he replied, ‘what’s the point in that?’. I’m starting to feel more and more that he was right.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my course. I had the proper student life: 8 hours of seminars a week, a couple of books to ‘read’, plenty of hangovers, and then one sleepless night each term before deadline day (although I won’t be telling prospective employers about that!). The problem with English though, is, what does it lead you into?
My boyfriend studies Politics and Events Management at uni, which trains him up to be able to work in his sector. His modules aren’t optional like mine were, as they are training him up to work in a specific industry. I think this is more favorable to employers, because they know they will be employing somebody who understands their field. But all I’ve done is read a couple of books and write a few essays. Yes, I have a great transferable skill, but what have I proved I can do with that skill? (Not much is the short answer)
So now, with that wonderful perspective we call hindsight, I know I should have taken a sandwich course. This is where in the middle of your degree, you take a year out to get some work experience. Most universities have great contacts with decent employers that means you can usually set yourself up with a great (paid!!!!) internship. My friends who chose to do this have all been employed pretty much as soon as they finished their degree. Yet I did not even consider a sandwich course, because :
- I wanted to live the student life : party, party, party
- I had no idea what I wanted to do
- I was 18, employment was THREE WHOLE YEARS (!!!) away
Let me tell you, three years is not a long time.
Anyway, there’s nothing I can do about that now, so what do I do? Being as I want to go into publishing, having online proof that I can string a sentence together is a good idea. Hence the blog. I’ve also been applying for two week work experience at Random House and Penguin (aren’t I lovely giving you links to those sites?). Apart from that it’s just crossed fingers and apply, apply, apply.