Balancing your final year of university with finding the right graduate career

Your final year of university can be a highly stressful time, there’s so much pressure to do well and maintain a social life on the scraps you have left over from your student loan! Now, throw in the task of finding a grad job and justifying your 3 years at university (not to mention your crippling, ever growing mountain of debt)… but it really doesn’t have to be as stressful as that!

Read our guide for tips on how to manage all of the above and still have time (and cash) for £1.50 double vodka and Redbulls at your SU’s student night!


Don’t Panic!

The first thing to you need to remind yourself throughout your final year is not to panic (too much). So many students fall into the trap of getting bogged down with all the work they have that they make it worse for themselves rather than taking on the challenge. 90% of students said that the stress of balancing writing their dissertation and exam revision in final year caused more stress then they’d anticipated without adding the pressure of the job search.

Obviously, the pressures faced in the final year differs, depending on your course. Anyone who hasn’t been through final year is in no position to tell you it is easy… because it’s NOT.

Top tips for keeping stress levels low;

  • Remember to sleep! – Pulling all-nighters is only going to mess with your head!
  • Give yourself breaks – Plan in some down time
  • Don’t procrastinate – Focus on what needs doing and get it done in order of priority
  • Book a holiday for once it’s all over and give yourself time to RELAX (if you can’t afford a holiday, you can! Read this!)


Get the work done!

Some employers now will only consider graduates achieving a 2:1 or above, with this in mind don’t let your work suffer while you’re swiping through the Indeed app like you would Tinder after a boozy night at the SU.

Make a plan of what needs doing and by when, this way you’ll ensure you meet your deadlines. If your course was anything like mine, you’ll be balancing 4 or 5 modules, all with different deadline dates which can only add to your stress if you don’t manage them properly.

Always get your work proof read by a few people, a fresh pair of eyes will always help when you’ve been working on the same assignment for a while.


Research! Research! Research!

Decide which career path you want and research the sh*t out of it. The utopia most students are looking for is the mythical ‘Grad Scheme’ (which is basically the way employers fluff up their training programme) the likelihood is that it probably won’t contain much more than the standard training they give to all new employees but it sounds good doesn’t it?

Don’t limit your options and make sure you look for credible companies. Looking on Glassdoor, Google reviews, Indeed are all great places to start but speak to the experts, if it’s recruitment or sales, we’re a great starting point!

Get your CV up to date and make sure to really sell yourself in it! Most careers advisors at your Uni should be able to tell you where to find a CV workshop so you can get some advice on how the layout should look, how your personal profile should sound, and how to make your CV stand out from the thousands of people looking for the same jobs!


Make time for you

Give yourself time and enjoy your final year. Trust me when I say this, you WILL miss the freedom of getting up when you want, the amazing discounts you get with your NUS Student card, themed nights out with your society, and eating takeaways every night!

Don’t get caught up in the worry of finding a role before you graduate. Most credible companies have a quick and insightful recruitment process, so it’s likely you won’t be waiting too long for a start date. But if you want to get a head start, attend careers fairs, talk to specialist graduate recruiters and build your network. Give yourself time around your studies and make use of the February half term and Easter break to get your applications in the mix!

So enjoy it while you can, be sure to share your tips and advice (and this blog) with all your uni friends and if it’s a lucrative career in the staffing and recruiting or sales industries then get in touch!