Life after University: Finding a Pathway for You

Written by Charlotte Mullane

Finding a path that is the perfect fit for you can be overwhelming and challenging. You’ve spent the last few years of your life working towards the completion of a degree, but what exactly should you do with it?

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It’s no secret the world of media is vast and open-ended, which instigates a level of difficulty in narrowing down a pathway. I myself heading towards the end of my media and communication degree am struggling with this same issue. It’s important to note, however, that this is an exciting problem to have as you can really take your degree anywhere. According to a survey done in 2017, 74% of media studies students were employed in the first six months after graduating. Given the boundless opportunities out there in the industry for young professionals, it’s easy to try different things and figure out what suits you best. At the end of the day, you’re never stuck in one place and can always change your mind.

Although the industry that can seem initially daunting to enter, there are common pathways students have explored  post-graduation to help narrow down their options. Some of these pathways taken are in the fields of marketing, public relations, sales, journalism, and television and radio. Getting into these fields simply requires time and dedication. Specifically for marketing, the most beneficial career advice I have found is to research and network. Looking online at job requirements and skills potential employers look for is a great way to start. Additionally, researching networking events you could attend in your area can assist greatly in getting to know people already in the field. Websites such as meetup can be used to easily find these. 

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Within these fields, graduates commonly end up working as social media managers, editorial assistants, public relations officers, event managers, market researchers. Additionally, common media careers are writers, magazine journalists, broadcast journalists, and web content managers. Employers commonly include communications agencies, marketing organisations, public relations consultancies, publishing companies, and television and radio companies. Within these media fields, jobs and employers there is an endless combination to choose from and there is a wide range of online sources to get started in any one of them. A great example is AdWeek, a “source of news and insight serving the brand marketing ecosystem”.

This website hosts a range of events, job opportunities to apply for, and ways to connect. There is a multitude of websites such as this one specific to all fields of media that can be easily found and taken advantage of to start looking into media fields of interest. 

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One of the greatest things about the media industry is the number of opportunities available. For this reason, the best thing you can do is to start researching information about potential careers that you may be interested in. Look into a pathway that you find interesting and put your energy into achieving it. There is no harm in changing your mind later and ending up in a field in media completely different to where you began. Just remember, your first job out of university is likely not going to be where you end up. On average, people change jobs 12 times throughout their life

It seems the best piece of advice media professionals can offer is to be proactive. It can be highly beneficial to search out employers independently rather than waiting for advertisements or rely on recruitment companies. Furthermore, finding people who are already in a field you find interesting and discussing the pathway they have taken, can be a great way to draw inspiration and gain clarity into the field while potentially finding opportunities. The media industry has a world of opportunities waiting for you. So no matter how unsure you may be of where you would now like to take your career, the first step is to simply take action and see where it takes you. 

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