Network. Network. Network.
We hear it all the time. But how far does making connections have to go?
As a recent grad, I’m starting to wonder why I have not begun charging each person for telling me how important internships are; how invaluable they are, it will have a long term impact, you can build up relationships there and get to know someone, who knows where the internship will lead. The list goes on. All with the same theme. Work for free, it will be good for you somehow, someday.
Will it really?
I currently have thirty six grand worth of student debt. That is £36,000 that is just going to expand. Have worked in a call centre. Have lived of my single parent mother rent free, food free and bill free simply to afford to work for free for a company. More recently, I have even handed in my notice from a full time paid job (yes, it was in a call centre) just to be able to spend two weeks interning.
Two weeks is not much. Two weeks not earning money. Two weeks not attending any other interviews. Just two weeks.
When you have already spent three years, £36,000 grand, countless library hours, volunteering projects and internships to try and improve your existing career options two weeks does not seem like such a big deal.
Then you ask what was the point in doing a degree? What was the point in studying late at night? What was the point in taking out a student loan for it all? How far does having a degree help you with a career today? And by career – one that is not in a call centre, sales role or working in a bar.
How far does it cost todays graduates to make it in certain industries? How much more money is needed to make enough connections for getting into a career?