Smiling photo of Pranil Raja geography grad

Developing resilience and moving forward

Pranil Raja graduated from our Geography BSc(Hons) in 2019. Now a Business Development Executive at British Engineering Services, Pranil shares his journey from student to professional with us and gives tips on how to find work after graduation.

I studied BSc Geography, by far one of the best courses offered by the university. During these pressing, precarious and anxious times I’m writing to give some words of encouragement and comfort and wisdom (hopefully), to help final year students move through their last months of study.

My final year of university wasn’t straightforward, but it wasn’t difficult either, for two reasons:
1. Preparation: I prepared for my dissertation over the summer following second year. I put a lot of time, effort and research into that period where I had the least pressure from other requirements. This was a fantastic way to manage my time and balance my workload when the new term came around in October.

2. Support: I’m very grateful for the assistance from lecturers, tutors and other students who I had gotten to know well over the past 2 years and I utilised these working relationships to breakdown complex academic issues and assignments. The University has a plethora of fantastic, skilled staff who all played a part in some way to supporting me in my studies and for whom I shall always be thankful.

Don’t underestimate the value of time and resources during your final year of university. You may have more free days – or more time on your hands than 1st or 2nd year –  but use this to your advantage.

Make sure that you’ve got all the resources you need for your assignments, books, papers, materials etc because you won’t get that time again. This point doesn’t mean to add pressure onto an already critical period in your university career but to encourage oneself to become responsible and to avoid panic which can inevitably lead to a lower rate of success. If you’re facing periods of struggle or stress the university has the services and advice available to give you the guidance needed to manage your work-life balance.

Here are some hints and tips on finding work after you graduate:
– Set realistic goals: You might have a 5 year plan or a goal for salary or lifestyle – this is fantastic but try not to be disappointed if this doesn’t go to plan right away. I found it difficult to find a job that matched my skillset and interests and it took a lot of applications, interviews and phone calls to find a job I’d be happy doing.

– Keep trying and don’t give up: After submitting close to 50 job applications and spending over a month searching, I found a company willing to take on a graduate. I was offered a few interviews and at times it felt like some jobs weren’t worth my experience and qualifications and it’s easy to become downhearted when you receive no responses BUT it’s purely a situation of strength in numbers. The more applications you send out, the more responses you are likely to get. Don’t compromise on the quality of your applications though.

– Diversify: There are hundreds of job sites out there, as well as agencies, government schemes and even job boards from major newspapers. Make sure you look in every place possible as your next job might just come from where you didn’t expect.

– Get out of your comfort zone: I decided to leave Brighton and my hometown to relocate to a new city. It was here that I found my new job and a new place and purpose in the world. This wasn’t an easy move but one that re-warded me in the long run. Maybe a new start in a new town or city is just what you need to help your post-grad career.

A bit about me!
I’m Pranil, 21, and I am originally from Hertfordshire. I came to Brighton to study Geography and loved every minute of it. Recently, I’ve moved to Manchester and I’m currently working for a company called British Engineering Services where I’m working with clients and businesses to quote and advise on engineering projects that we undertake. It’s a diverse and constantly evolving industry and the company are fantastic. The support and friendship I’ve had since joining over 7mths ago has just been wonderful and it’s really a company who are leading the way with employee support, forward thinking and an open approach to collaborative working.

There’s so much opportunity to grow and improve yourself and your skills and if you’re fortunate enough to be offered a job in a professional environment after you graduate then grasp it with both hands.

I’m also aware that sometimes, things don’t go to plan after graduation. In these situations, I would strongly encourage seeking help from those around you, from friends and family – adopting a certain sense of resilience and tenacity in these situations can make all the difference.

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