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When I received my first Student Finance instalment, I was beyond ecstatic to see so many zeros in my bank account. However, that feeling did not last very long as I started buying things that I really did not need. For example, that Christmas jumper I bought in three different colours which cost me £149.97 altogether.

Around November time, I did not have much money left in my bank account. So, I did what every student does and started looking desperately for part time jobs. I was lucky to find one weeks later, however, towards the end of my second year I realised that working as a Sales Assistant was all I ever did whilst at university. As my degree was in Accounting and Finance, I was not quite sure whether the skills I developed in my Sales Assistant role could be classed as work experience.

Although I was happy working as a Sales Assistant, I had to think ahead and plan my future. The only question on my mind was, how would being a Sales Assistant help me to progress in my role as a future accountant? My answer was… “I had no idea”.

After spending too much time thinking, I finally decided to make an appointment with one of the Careers Consultant who was very helpful in advising me. One of the main points that stood out after my appointment was that although your Sales Assistant/Bar job or hotel jobs are beneficial for you financially, the question you have to ask yourself is, to what point will this experience help you?

I spent a couple of months researching work experiences and placements opportunities. A couple of my classmates managed to secure summer internships with very well known and successful firms while I was not having any luck at all.

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I started lacking motivation. However, when I least expected something great happened!

I had an offer for 12 months placement in an accountancy firm, which was all I needed at the time. I could not be happier, I felt lucky to have been offered that opportunity.

My advice is, the industry is competitive. Therefore, do not plan last minute like I did. Allow yourself time to think ahead and plan your future. Part-time jobs are great but relevant experience is even greater. Think big!

Thought of the day

  • Plan ahead
  • Think about experiences in your area during your first year NOT your final year
  • Use the Careers and Employability Service
  • BE proactive and go the extra mile in your career

Always remember, with relevant experience …You can go anywhere in life/you have the world in your hands.

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