Graduating In A Pandemic

Looking back over my final year as a student, I could never have imagined that my last remaining months would have been cut short. As I left, I felt a profound lack of closure to the most amazing four years of my life. I had always imagined post-university life to be filled with excitement and adventure whether it was traveling the world, meeting new people or starting a career in a new city. However, for the majority of graduates this year, the reality is far more daunting and uncertain than we had ever anticipated. Due to the emotional and economic devastation caused by the coronavirus, many graduates, who had already received offers, had them withdrawn. As a result, the class of 2020 was left to face an unprecedented and very challenging time.

While the UK was in lockdown, I was focused on completing my assignments, therefore I didn’t leave much time to think about my plans after university. It wasn’t until I submitted my last assignment, that the reality sunk in. I realized quickly that pursuing my career abroad with the current state of the economy was going to be extremely difficult if not impossible. After many job applications and careful consideration, I decided to stay in my home town for a year and gain some valuable experience in digital marketing. I was very fortunate to be offered a marketing role in the family business. This role entails digital marketing for the Medical and Cosmetic sector. This was an industry I had not planned on pursuing a career in, although I decided to look at this as a challenge and make the best out of a great opportunity.

Throughout the next 12 months, I decided that my best course of action is to be prepared and informed when dealing with the new ways of communicating online. This has led to me spending a lot of time on improving my skillset by participating in online social media workshops via zoom and other platforms. These workshops have given me the tools that I needed to perform my role efficiently as a developing marketing manager. One thing I have also found beneficial during this unsettling period is staying in touch with friends or colleagues who may be sharing the same experience or difficulties caused by the pandemic. It has been helpful teaming up with some of my old classmates to develop our CV’s and share ideas in preparation for future plans.

I believe that its imperative to remain positive in a world where everything keeps changing. Taking time to reflect over my life and my plans may prove to yield a lot more benefits than I anticipated. The advice I would give to those who have graduated is to not get discouraged by what life throws at you but to look outside the box. We have the ability to bring fresh motivation and ideas to the world and passion to drive ourselves and those around us to succeed. We must look at every setback as a challenge were we can grow, learn, adapt and flourish.

“It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.”

— Carlton Fisk

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