(The Free Press Journal publishes articles by study abroad consultants, Consulates, foreign universities, international students, and much more every Saturday to give its readers a glimpse of the world of overseas education.)
Well, it’s been more than a year since I moved to the UK and within that period I have had a major transition from being a master’s student to a working professional on a placement year. It’s been an amazing yet challenging journey as being an international student surely has its perks as well as limitations.
I finished my University studies in May 2022 but haven’t graduated yet since I’m in the middle of my placement year, but I’m working full time and have my dissertation based on this placement in September 2023 which has truly been a life lesson.
Building a career in UK comes with its difficulties
The entire process of- acquiring the right resources to build your profile, updating your CV in the necessary format, researching about the companies and the industry, months and months of job applications, waking up to rejections and not letting it affect your drive, preparing for interviews, panicking while trying to balance a uniform routine, the uncertainty of being accepted/getting rejected post interviews, consulting people for referrals, stressing out over everything- can feel demanding and could affect the motivation one has to keep going. But all of it feels worth it when in the end, you get that email with your offer letter from a company you’ve been interviewing with for so many rounds!
Shriya is currently working with We-are-HR, London
Competition tougher than ever
Irrespective of the fact that the UK is a huge centre for globalisation and shelters people from all over the world, I feel that it’s comparatively tougher in the job market for an entry-level, fresher international student. As compared to other applicants, there are more specifications, and more criterias for us to qualify, which ultimately just adds to the entire process. Eligibility factors for an entry-level role seemed irrational at points and restrictions acted as barriers at times, with a linguistic advantage possibly complicating things. There’s competition among all candidates, so it’s understandable that it’s a huge task for employers to evaluate everyone.
I might’ve made it sound awful, but there are thousands of people out there just like me, going through this process right now, as well as those who have been through it already. On behalf of the latter, I can say that the feeling of stability and confidence you get on securing that job role, is out of the world. Financial independence has made me more cautious and responsible, I can see the gradual growth and it has helped me gain a more futuristic perspective. I’m slowly blending into the British work culture and growing to admire it.
The support from my family and friends, university staff, and colleagues have been very encouraging and my advice would be- talk to the right people whenever in doubt.
UK's post-study visa an opportunity for students
The UK has the option to apply for a 2-year Post Study Work Visa, which is truly beneficial for individuals planning to pursue their careers here. Also, the plus side of graduating with a placement degree is that I’ll have had a year of experience while applying for new jobs next year. It’s been a strangely confusing time for me throughout this one year, figuring so many things out while living alone, having faith in my decisions, and taking the risk of executing them!
I hope everyone going through this process can find the right resources to guide them and I wish all the strength, courage, and support to aspire employees. We all are aiming for growth and with enough effort & dedication, we can achieve it all.
The author is an MSc Advertising and Marketing Communications student at Nottingham Trent University and works as Marketing & Sales Executive in London.
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