Tuesday, 6 July 2010

You won’t be dancing in a 2:2 this summer if you’re after a graduate job

Good afternoon graduates. If you’ve already picked up a paper today, watched the television, been on the internet - or spoken to your mum, chances are you’ve already been kicked in the balls, at least once.

That’s right grads, it is official. If you got a 2:2 your life is over.

¾ of employers now apparently require a 2:1 and that is just the beginning...

Got a 2:1 or a first? No need to look so smug. Did you not hear there are 69 applicants for every graduate role?

No experience? No internships? Nothing that makes you stand-out in that oh so big crowd?

Why Sir, you are, most probably, a bit screwed.

Gosh it’s all a bit depressing. Isn’t it? We need to motivate our grads, not let them get complacent. What a brilliant time this is to do something creative, find a way to wangle yourself in-front of those that matter and make a noise. Surely you’ve got nothing to lose?

Yes – internships and experience are important. But I was lucky enough to have parents who could pay for my lunch, and brothers and sisters who let me sleep on couches or sofa beds.

It has always struck me that internships are a very middle class affair, with many not being able to afford to support themselves over summer vacations or uproot to where opportunities exist.

At Willoughby PR we have supported this year’s BHive competition, giving the deserving applicant a paid placement and, if all goes swimmingly, a great reference and bulging portfolio.

But grads you need to be clever. Think carefully about your internship - what will you get out of it? Who might you meet? Could they give you a glowing reference?

Twitter was certainly a-flutter with one freelancer’s cheek yesterday, so take this as a warning.

My advice is to not put your money too quickly where your mouth is. If you are lucky enough to get to intern, milk it for all it’s worth. And most of all, good luck (particularly with the tea order).

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