A lot can happen in between choosing your degree subject and applying for graduate jobs. Your career interests and ambitions will change over time. Check out Sophie's story about the transferability of your degree and skills.

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Sophie and I studied a Master's in Arts Management, Policy and Practice at The University of Manchester from 2018 to 2019.

What did you do after finishing university?

I explored roles in the arts for a bit but found that through interviewing, it actually wasn’t what I wanted to pursue. The arts sector did really interest me but I felt that it wasn’t something that was practically manageable for me. I worked two jobs at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester as a Box Office Assistant and a Learning and Participation Assistant for about nine months before getting my first permanent role at The Open University as a Student Recruitment and Support Advisor, which I worked in for 18 months. I then worked at University Academy 92 for six months, before moving to my current role.

What are you doing now?

I currently work as an Employability Adviser within the Careers and Employability Services at the Open University (OU). My role involves provides information and advice to current OU students and recent alumni, supporting careers events and doing specialist work within the STEM faculty to which I am aligned.

How did you find this opportunity? What was the application process like?

I found this opportunity online on The application process was quite simple. It was a CV and cover letter, alongside some questions regarding why I wanted the role, andquestions surrounding my experience and interest in working in Careers. I was then chosen for interview. Prior to interview, I had to complete a timed exercise which involved me answering careers queries via email, which was not to test my knowledge of careers support, but more the way I structured my responses. Following this, I had an hour-long interview online (via Teams) with a panel of three staff.

What did you learn from your first graduate role?

I learned a lot from my first graduate role. I deepened my knowledge of student issues and issues within Higher Education, and learned more about time management and working to a schedule. I also learned more about working as a team and as a wider unit, and how this contributed to the wider organisation.

If you could go back, would you do anything differently?

I would’ve undertaken more work experience to get more of a sense of what sectors are truly like. Studying with the mind of going into a specific sector can be totally different to actually working in the sector, and doing work experience not only gives you something to put on your CV, but also an insight into what roles are truly like.

What advice would you give to a current student who isn’t sure what to do after graduation?

Speak to your Careers Service! Think about not only what you’re interested in, but also the practical side such as the training and the salary, etc. Remember that sometimes you can come across a career path by undertaking work experience, so if you aren’t sure about something, do some shadowing or work experience to find out more about what it’s truly like and whether it is for you.