Hello and welcome to a new series! Yes, another one. If you’ve been around for a while, you may remember I interviewed a lot of students on various placements around this time last year. Now that they’re all back at university and almost ready to face the big, bad world of life after graduation, I thought it a good idea to check back in with them.
This series is going to re-visit the past interviewees and see how they’re getting on, their thoughts on final year, plans for the future and what they make of the Diss.
What I’m most hoping for is that they’re all as clueless as I am when it comes to plans for the future – but that may not be the case. So stay tuned for further interviews with all of the final years and in the mean time, you can check out their placement interviews here.
My third interviewee to talk about #FinalYearFear is Abby Griffiths, who I started and will be ending my university experience with. I am incredibly proud of Abby and everything she has overcame this year, and I couldn’t be prouder that she’ll be standing next to me on the stage at graduation this July. You are a true inspiration my gal!
Abby is in her final year of the BA (Hons) Business with Public Relations course at Liverpool John Moores University. To find out about her placement year, you can find her Placement Profile here.
Orlagh: Hey gal, how are things with you? How are you finding final year at the minute?
Abby: Final year is good! It’s obviously a complete contrast to last year being on placement but I’ve actually quite enjoyed being back in Liverpool!
Have you noticed much of a difference between final year and your first two years at uni? Is there a lot more pressure and work to do?
Abby: I don’t really know how to describe it other than final year almost feels so much more real than the start of uni. Everything is in reaching distance now – dissertation, graduation etc. so I can actually see myself finishing, whereas four years ago it was just a blur!
How have you found transitioning back to university life after placement?
Abby: The biggest transition was definitely moving back into a student house. As my placement year was in driving distance from my family home, I could live back with my parents. Moving back into a mess-prone house is… great, haha!
Besides that, I think getting back into the swing of assignment writing (especially referencing) was super difficult at the start and I don’t think tutors expected it.
Now that you’ve experienced life in the corporate world, are you excited to go back or sad to leave university behind?
Abby: One thing I said consistently when leaving my placement year was that ‘I can do 9-5 for the rest of my life, don’t rush into it’. I loved working, having disposable income and the feeling of being useful, but I have my whole life to fall back into the corporate world and I’m really quite enjoying my final months as a student!
“I can do 9-5 for the rest of my life, don’t rush into it.”
THE ‘D’ WORD
Have you had to write a dissertation this year? How’s that going?
Abby: Eh, yeah – I’ll get it done! Maybe not as soon as I hoped but I’m getting there!
Do you think you could have approached it better? Any advice for those going into final year; when they should start their project or how they should approach it?
Abby: 100%! The most difficult stage I felt was collecting my data and I would recommend doing this way before Christmas! Also, when people tell you to start writing before January, I’d recommend doing so… but I wish I knew what that felt like! I don’t think you can ever be prepared to write 10,000 words.
THE FUTURE AWAITS
What are your plans for the future? Have you secured a job/grad scheme? Are you planning to travel/take time off?
Abby: I had a super rocky end to last year and it has taught me to take every day as it comes. By July, I’ll have my degree and over a years’ experience in the industry, so I won’t be jumping into anything. If I want to travel, I feel like graduation will signal the right time to do so but I’m just not sure if it’s ‘me’ just yet!
Are you worried that you have nothing planned for after graduating? Or are you taking a relaxed approach and not looking to rush into anything?
Abby: Definitely the latter! I’ve had too much going on to have set time aside to put 100% into grad job applications. I always said if my dream job came up, I’d jump at the chance, but for now, I’ll be quite happy just taking some time out.
Where do you see yourself in 12 months time? What do you hope to have achieved by then and where would you like to be?
Abby: I hope to have graduated with a first and *maybe* about to start my dream job (I currently don’t know what this is haha). Maybe 12 months out of education and the corporate world would be long enough, but as long as I’m happy with where I’m at and what I’m doing, I’ll be fine!
What’s the number one highlight of your entire university experience and why?
Abby: Meeting so many new people who will definitely be friends for life! I’m such a people person and have loved meeting so many new faces who have really helped me over the last four years!
One highlight during my final year was definitely blagging a purposeful trip to Amsterdam with my Events Management module! That’s one for the memory book. (You can read about our time in Amsterdam here.)
What’s one thing you’re looking forward to after graduating?
Abby: Saying ‘I did it!!!!!’. I just want to be able to look back over the last year and know I tried my absolute hardest through a really tough time and hopefully that’s mirrored in my results! I find giving credit to myself super difficult, so I’m hoping my grade after graduation will give me that self-recognition that I did it to be proud of what I achieved.
What’s one thing you’re fearing about life after graduation?
Abby: The ‘what next?’ stage. Although my placement year gave me an insight into working life, I have been in the safety net of education since coming out of the womb! Who knows what will happen?! Even the thought of saving enough money to move out (for real) and buy my first house is daunting. I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself though – everything will fall into place!