Graduation Class of 2021

From one grad to another – words of advice from the alumni community

3 min read

This year's graduation ceremonies are soon to be in full swing as more graduates become part of the Portsmouth alumni community.

Former students have been in touch to share what they wish they'd known when they graduated and what advice they'd offer those starting the next part of their journey.

Michael Webber at Wimbledon

Do as many extra-curricular things as possible to make you stand out from the crowd, getting a good degree is great but getting into the top employers requires you to stand out.

Michael Webber, BA (Hons) Accounting with Finance, 2017

Every job you take is good experience. The people you meet along the way and the small lessons you learn are invaluable. Even if the first job you take after university isn’t your dream job or the job you really want, it’s a small step to that bigger goal. Take it, learn from it and move on when new opportunities and development arise. 

Hayley Chadwick, BSc (Hons) Sports Development, 2017

That the future might lead me to places unexpected; that my occupation might not be directly connected with the course that I finished. It's for the best though. It can be even better than your wildest dreams. 

Aleksei Gorskov, BSc (Hons) Music and Sound Technology, 2015

The Careers team at University of Portsmouth are absolutely amazing and will help you every step of the way to get your job prospects starting.

Robin Louise Brighty, BA (Hons) American Studies, 2018

Shaena Sinclair smiling to camera during graduation wearing cap and gown

Don’t settle! Use this time to explore and figure out what it is you really want. Try not to let other people's opinions stop you doing what you want to do. If you want to take a break, take a break! And don’t be afraid to take chances.

Shaena Sinclair, BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2018

Networking is so important, reach out to as many relevant companies as possible, seek advice and experience wherever you can to get your first step on the ladder. Even getting small, temporary experience, is a great opportunity to build your portfolio. 

Christopher Jones, BSc (Hons) Software Engineering, 2018

I wish I'd known how useful LinkedIn is as a tool for finding a job, and networking. It’s never too early to start trying to network.

James Tyson, BEng (Hons) Engineering Geology and Geotechnics, 2014

You might not do everything at the same speed as everyone else. Try not to panic - if you work hard it WILL pay off, even if it doesn’t happen as fast as others. Also, huge firms are not the only option available…and that doesn’t mean that your achievements aren’t just as exciting. 

Sian Meredith, LLB (Hons) Law, 2015

Don’t worry if it takes you a while get your career going once you leave - I had multiple rejections for about 6 months once I graduated, don’t get disheartened. The role meant for you will come along! 

Robert Burbery, BSc (Hons) Pharmacology, 2016

That there is no pressure to get an industry job immediately. You need to find what suits you, there is no race in when you have to have a job by. Doing volunteer work and experiences is not a step backward, it will help you in the long run.

Katie Barton, BA (Hons) Film Production, 2017