Words of wisdom from former students who were once where you are now

Graduates dressed in official graduation attire from behind hugging each other

Joining a 250,000 global community means you have access to a wealth of knowledge, expertise and advice

  • 15 July 2021
  • 3 min read

It’s that time of year where the campus is buzzing with proud parents and happy graduates as they experience their long-awaited graduation day. Although it may feel as though your journey is coming to an end, please know that it’s not. This is just the beginning.   

Graduating from the University of Portsmouth means you’re joining a 250,000 global community of alumni who were once where you are now. And being part of this community means you have a wealth of knowledge readily available as you embark on your journey. 

But first things first. We asked former Portsmouth students to tell us what one piece of advice they would like to offer you as a new graduate. Here’s what they said: 

Cornelia Martha Huseine

BA (Hons) International Development, 2020

Female sat on a train smiling at the camera

My advice for recent graduates is to look for volunteering experience the summer you graduate, regardless of what grade you achieve - work experience is so important, especially when volunteering for local organisations or charities, as it shows your willingness to learn and expand your skills.

Cornelia Martha Huseine, BA (Hons) International Development, 2020

For most volunteering experience, I’ve found you can email the company directly and ask if there are vacancies. If you would prefer to go straight into work - enhance your technical or soft skills, such as applying for an excel course, leadership or public speaking course. The reason being that I find a lot of employers are looking for skills that can help you within the workplace. 

Knowledge of your degree is important but a lot of soft skills / technical skills are transferable and will be utilised once you’re employed. If you are not sure what to do after you graduate, search for courses that can help with your job role. For instance, I completed a project management course as I knew that I wanted to manage and work on various projects despite not knowing what job role I wanted to apply for. I learnt that my project management experience opened the door to so many opportunities. There’s different courses available online and so many are free, so do your research and find out what works best for you.

Savanna Stephenson

BA (Hons) International Business, 2019
If you accept a job that is paid lower than your preferred, or isn’t exactly your dream job, don’t compare yourself to your friends! Jobs aren’t for life, your role doesn’t define you as a person and it's just the start of your career. The only way is up.

Amrita Brar

BA (Hons) English Literature, 2020
Relax and take your time whilst looking for a job most suitable - don’t feel as though you’re rushing to find something! Everything will fall into place - it just might take some time.

Tia-mai Hurst

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, 2020
Live in the moment! You are embarking on a great journey and there will be bumps in the road but don't let them knock you back, keep on striving forward.

Grace McConnell

LLB (Hons) Law, 2020
Good luck! Enjoy the experience of accomplishment. My advice would be to work out what parts of your degree you enjoyed and which you didn’t so that you can take that forward when thinking about your career.

Kevin Guyll

BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Systems, 2018
Make the effort to talk to and meet people. One face-to-face meeting is worth 1,000 emailed CVs.

Josiane Wilson

BSc Psychology, 2019
Don't be afraid to deviate from the status quo - not ready for full time employment? Explore something completely new! If you're applying for jobs, remember that it is a two way process - you're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you.

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