Like every other clueless graduate, I had no specific idea what I wanted to do after graduation. I spent my final year at university half-heartedly applying for engineering jobs because that’s what I was expected to do, but what I really needed after the intensity of a 4 year M.Eng course was the space to evaluate my future direction. It wasn’t until after graduation that I realised that the world was my oyster and it was down to me to go chasing for life-changing opportunities, so that’s exactly what I did.
An ambition of mine was always to live in another country for a year and because I didn’t get the opportunity to study abroad at university, I decided to pursue a working holiday visa in Canada – a country I had always been eager to explore. A working holiday visa is a short-term visa, typically 12-24 months, open to people from 18-30 which gives you the opportunity to experience working in a different country. With this on the horizon, I embarked on temporary employment at the University of Manchester whilst I was waiting for the visa to come through. Immediately, I came across the opportunity to attend Mandarin evening classes and I jumped at it because another ambition of mine was to learn a second language – again something I wasn’t able to do at university. Learning Mandarin Chinese was a fascinating project for me, I had been so eager to fill the void left behind after completing my studies. I attacked it with full intent and within six weeks, I found myself to be progressing very competently.
When I left for Canada, my attitude towards learning Mandarin never dampened and I still managed to keep up with the vigorous intent I had when I started. I arrived in Toronto and found myself in a completely new country with no job and no place to live. It sounds scary but it’s actually very liberating to have a fresh start in a new place. Rather than be bogged down with the hunt for a job and a place to live, I embarked on a long expedition travelling around Canada and the US, leaving for New York soon after. I went on to visit so many recognisable cities such as Boston, LA, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver. During my travels, I came up with a plan for what I wanted to achieve in Canada – I wanted to get a summer job within the beautiful Rocky Mountain region and then move to a big city and find professional work. So that’s exactly what I did having achieved many unforgettable things in the process such as; seeing the northern lights; going to the top of a New York skyscraper; walking along the Hollywood Walk of Fame; kayaking in the remote wilderness of Vancouver Island; hiking in the Rocky Mountains and relaxing by crystal-clear turquoise coloured lakes.
Hopefully after reading about my adventures, you have discovered something about my mindset after graduating from university. My mindset is to live life to the full and to always go chasing the opportunities to fulfil my ambitions, very much with my eye to the future. It is with this firmly in my mind that, in September I’ll be going to China this year to teach English and further advance my Mandarin speaking ability – a perfect skill for a nuclear engineer in the 21st century.
When Charlotte began her two-month internship in August 2017 with a brand new soft drinks start-up based in London called Fiovana, she did not expect to be there over half a year later as the company’s first permanent employee. Impressing those she worked with, as well as those she met along the way, Charlotte went from strength to strength in her role and gained valuable experience from two ex-innocent drinks employees and food industry experts. Charlotte was soon offered the role of Operations Executive and continues to navigate such an exciting time within the food and drink industry in the capital city. From selling product in Harrods, to coordinating production plans with the producers of the biggest names in food and drink, no two days are the same for Charlotte.
After completing her second year at the University of Edinburgh, Maisie Palmer has been offered a place to study at Sciences Po in Paris to continue her degree in Political Science. Edinburgh opens up third year exchanges to all students and Maisie was one of 8 who got nominated by the School of Social and Political Sciences to go to the highly-selective Parisian University. The nomination was based on her first-year grades and a personal statement which proved her to be an appropriate candidate. She hopes to make the most of her time at Sciences Po and return to Edinburgh for the final year of her degree inspired by this excellent
For the third year running Rebecca Long-Bailey, MP for Salford and Eccles and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has joined DCET Scholars to meet with the current intake over a mince pie and to hear their stories of how they have overcome significant barriers to their education and gained a place at University.
Rebecca Long-Bailey, MP for Salford and Eccles and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, had been so impressed with DCET Scholars that she invited Angela Rayner, Shadow Secretary of State for Education to meet at our annual get together to discuss the problems faced by those brought up in areas of disadvantage and their access to higher education.
Whilst she was there Angela was pleased to present Jasmine Nisic with her Peter Collier Scholarship for 'outstanding attainment at degree level'. Charlotte Harrison was presented with her award for gaining a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics and Theology from The University of Exeter and becoming the first graduate ambassador for the City of Salford. Nazma Begum was presented an award for gaining a First Class Honours degree in Politics and International Relations from The University of Sheffield.