The title may come across as a little dramatic, and even though I will admit my days of youth theatre have left their mark, the title is very accurate.
I’m sure you are thinking, “What can she be worried about? She is completing a year placement with a well-known engineering company and had some work experience with another her first year! She must be crazy!” I know, I know, it sounds like I should be all set to find my great graduate job and commence with this so called “adult life” in two years’ time.
First of all, I am incredibly thankful that I have been able to get the opportunities that I have had, and know these will definitely help with my graduate search when the time comes, but my main issue is the state I left my grades in after my second year, and my master’s hanging in a state of limbo. I just missed a 2:1 for my second year after having a strong start in my first year, meaning I was unable to automatically transfer from a BEng to a MEng, which I am wanting to complete to improve my chances of becoming a chartered engineer further down the line. I’ve been told that I can apply to change to a MEng after my marks for my final year project are returned and they are at a 2:1. Sounds great, right? Well I won’t know those results until late spring/early summer, so I would spend the whole year wondering whether or not I’m in my final year or not. Whether or not I’ll be graduating soon, so I need to look for graduate jobs (and with the second year 2:2 on my CV, no matter how close, I wonder how that would go), or whether I can be safe to just apply for summer work and start looking for a two-bed flat with my bestie.
The slip in grades is entirely my fault, and cannot really be blamed on any special circumstances. I was working at the local university nightclub from 9pm to 4am, and worked as an officer for the student union during the day due to very low funds, but I still spent my actual free time very badly. I was hoping that my placement would make me better at time management, but the magic of the adult world is I have no homework or coursework to plan for in the evenings. I am trying to make the most of my placement whilst I’m here, attending career events, applying for any training they will let me, as well as polishing my CV and talking with staff about their graduate experiences.
It’s quite difficult to put into words, but as my placement continues (I’m now 7 months into the 12 month contract I have), I find myself thinking more and more about what I’ll be doing once university starts in September. Will I simply just apply for summer placements, highlighting that I intend to transfer to a masters (I really cannot afford a postgraduate degree – remember the two jobs), or prepare to graduate. I want to be ready for either choice, but many great companies do not allow for multiple applications so I would have to be sure of which type of opportunity I am going for, and I do not want to accept that I’ll end up with a 2:2 in my projects, because I really enjoy the degree, and a project focused on my interests of analysis and aerodynamics would hopefully prove successful as these are modules I was able to achieve first class marks in in the past.
Maybe I’m just thinking a bit too far ahead, although I doubt that is the case, but it’s just good to write it all down. Hopefully I can look at this post next year and be in a much more comfortable position, no matter the outcome, and still be prepared for my next steps.