One of the “lost generation”

A blogger for the Guardian describes how their internship led to a job

I cannot recommend the experience enough, particularly as it has since lead to a job offer with the same company and, perhaps more importantly, helped me to better understand what I want to be doing and where I want to be doing it.

My advice to anyone contemplating such a route, is to work out exactly what you are going to be doing before you start your placement — ask questions, do your research and don’t feel tied to anything you aren’t comfortable with just for the sake of ‘experience’. Make sure you know what you want and what you are getting yourself into.

Having left university in limbo, I was, like many university leavers, given two paths I could go down. Firstly postgraduate study, my preference, but requiring a working gap year to raise the funds, or secondly, turning my back on full-time education and taking the leap into the world of work.

Neither looked particularly attractive, given the current unemployment figures and occasional chinese whispers of 200+ people applying for a single position.

So it was by chance that my path opened up for me in the way of an unpaid internship at AcumenPI, the company behind thestudentroom.co.uk and coursework.info. They were looking for someone over the summer to get involved in various projects, as well as the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks at The Guardian due to a new and exciting partnership with Guardian Careers.

Having been a long-term user of thestudentroom and moderator for nearly a year, I jumped at the chance.

Ever since starting the placement, it has become clear that this route into the workplace and means of gaining experience is being increasingly utilised by graduates wishing to test the waters in particular industries, and gain experience for their CVs.

In an article I read recently by Kathryn Hopkins recruitment specialist Manpower described the young unemployed, now competing with more experienced applicants as the “lost generation”, looking to work experience and internships as a means to bypass the saturated jobs market. This certainly fits with both my own view and as is well known, not all graduates have a designated career path laid out post-university.

I cannot recommend the experience enough, particularly as it has since lead to a job offer with the same company and, perhaps more importantly, helped me to better understand what I want to be doing and where I want to be doing it.

My advice to anyone contemplating such a route, is to work out exactly what you are going to be doing before you start your placement — ask questions, do your research and don’t feel tied to anything you aren’t comfortable with just for the sake of ‘experience’. Make sure you know what you want and what you are getting yourself into.

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