Ever since I was really young, I was always fed the message from teachers and parents that education was incredibly important. In fact, I was fed this message all the way up until uni, and is something I really took on board. But I know for some uni students, education becomes second to the desperate scramble for work experience and CV enhancing experiences. As a graduate, I’m hoping I can help all you budding professionals out there, freaking about perfect grades vs a long list of hard-core internships.  

For me, I always knew uni was the way forward. I’d been dreaming about going for years before finally starting at Cardiff Uni. Throughout the course, the main goal is to work hard and get some seriously good grades. There is a mounting pressure to do well and sometimes it can feel like you don’t ever have enough time to get everything done to the standard you would like. 

“ I found that although good grades can be crucial, work experience is what can set you apart from your competitors. ”

So amongst all that, how are you supposed to fit in work experience? I know many people on my course were left wondering if it was worth potentially sacrificing getting a First, in order to get some credible work experience.

So let me ask you something, what makes you different to the classmate sitting next to you who has the same grade? From an employer’s perspective, nothing. And that’s the problem with setting your sights narrowly on that First. 

I know it’s hard to fit in the time to do work experience and sometimes, even if you want to do it, it’s hard to find businesses that will actually let you come in and work for free. I know, strange. In my final year of university, life was busy and really hard. I was in uni for four days a week, in a work experience placement with a marketing agency for one day a week, and then working both days on the weekend at Boots. I barely had time to get stuff done, and socialising was pretty impossible. 

Uni can be hard; it’s stressful, infuriating, and sometimes unfulfilling, yet uni is a great time to make yourself super busy, and set yourself up for the future. I’m now working for the company where I carried out my work experience. I know I’m a lucky one and you may be thinking that it’s too much, but, honestly, you can do it.

“  What makes you different to the classmate sitting next to you who has the same grade? ”

For me, I found that although good grades can be crucial, work experience is what can set you apart from your competitors. Getting good grades is amazing and takes a lot of resilience and hard work, but if you can develop the skills you need for employment whilst you’re still in university, it will help to put you ahead of the game. If you can get a good grade and the right experience, you will be unstoppable.

Have you got a story that will inspire or entertain students? We want to hear from you! Email joinus@myunibasics.co.uk 

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Written by Rachel Williams, 10 months ago
Agree? Disagree? You can tweet them here @racheywills94