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 second interviewee to talk about #FinalYearFear is Ellie Foster, who spent her placement year working in PR for Beauty SEEN, London. Ellie had an amazing time and even got to work on the launch of Fenty Beauty in the UK – yes, she was in the same room as Rihanna!
Ellie is in her final year of the BA (Hons) Public Relations course at Bournemouth University. To find out about her placement year, you can find her Placement Profile here.
Orlagh: Hello stranger, how are things with you? How are you finding final year at the minute?
Ellie: Omg stressss, it is so, so much work but I’m slowly getting there!
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?
Ellie: There is definitely more pressure, with it being 70% of my final grade, I am probably putting too much pressure on myself at times. The first two years were way more relaxed, but then again I am finding the content this year so much more interesting due to being able to pick my modules, so that’s motivating me!
I am probably going out even more than first and second year! I think having a placement year has made me want to make the most of my final year at university so I’m definitely still balancing going out, uni work and a part-time job to get some money together.
How have you found transitioning back to university life after placement?
Ellie: At first I found it quite difficult. On placement, you feel like an adult and then you’re suddenly in your student bubble again, but now I’m scared to go back to the real world! I found that I matured in some aspects a lot over placement year, becoming way more organised and focused, so that has actually helped me a lot to transition back to uni life as I’m more organised with my work and deadlines etc.
Now that you’ve experienced life in the corporate world, are you excited to go back or sad to leave university behind?
Ellie: I think a mix of the two. I’m sad that I’ll never be able to come back to uni, being so close to my friends and with the most random nights out etc. But then I am kind of excited to start working, but definitely want to travel beforehand to make the most of it!
THE ‘D’ WORD
Have you had to write a dissertation this year? How’s that going?
Ellie: Yes. It is very interesting, I just wish I had more time! I picked a topic I was really interested in which has made it a lot easier to motivate me, but it is a lot of work and tonnes of reading. But I am finding it quite fun, in a nerdy way.
Do you think you could have approached it better? Any advice for those going into final year of when they should start their project or how they should approach it?
Ellie: Find a topic you are really, really interested in because your dissertation will be taking up a lot of your time and try to enjoy it! The best piece of advice I can give is: do not panic when your friend starts talking about something you had no clue about, every advisor likes different things, so only listen to your dissertation advisor – they’re the ones marking it!
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?
Ellie: I’m travelling until graduation in November, then planning to start looking for a job! I am currently not looking as I want to finish university first, enjoy other cultures and go from there.
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 straight away?
Ellie: I am definitely taking a more relaxed approach – I have my whole life to work! I want to travel, explore the world for a bit and then settle down late this year.
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?
Ellie: I hope that I will have achieved a 1st class degree, just for my own achievement! I hope that I would be in a career that I love, working with great colleagues and have a dog haha.
What’s the number one highlight of your entire university experience and why?
Ellie: I would say meeting people from different backgrounds and getting to know myself as cringey as that is. I feel like I have changed a lot at university and know better what I am good at and not so good at. I just think it has been an amazing learning experience with lots of ups and downs!
What’s one thing you’re looking forward to after graduating?
Ellie: Travelling and eventually having some actual money!
What’s one thing you’re fearing about life after graduation?
Ellie: Being in the real world and working 9-5 I reckon. I do like the freedom of university, but it’s time to grow up!