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Earlier today, my friend and I were messaging each other over Facebook about what our University timetable would be. He noted that I had Fridays off so that clearly meant that I had "a long weekend every week," right?
Actually, no. I, like 8 out 10 students in the UK (according to the Telegraph in 2015) am working a part-time job while at University. So, instead of having a long weekend, I'm working to pay my bills—which, while being a stay at home student are smaller than those paying for a flat, are still existent.
As far as I could tell from his reaction, he could not understand why I hadn't just taken a student loan out like he does every year, while also being a stay at home student. This, inevitably, lead to an argument.
Nowadays, having stellar grades aren't everything. For example, medical students (both human and veterinary), while needing all As to be considered for the course, also need experience. Whether this is working in a care-home or volunteering at a rescue shelter for debilitated gerbils doesn't overall matter (paid and volunteer work are still, after all, experience). The important thing is that the students have an idea what they are going to face and have some first hand, background knowledge coming into the course.
This is the same for the world of work. If your CV is literally "look at my hard work in the University of X studying Y" and nothing else... well, you may not be accepted for any jobs, especially if you have never held a job before in any place of work. What employers are now looking for is experience—and this experience doesn't always have to be from the same job sector as you are applying for. In fact, 93% of UK business leaders "want compulsory work experience reinstated in schools,"(Huffingtonpost, 2017). If this doesn't show the importance that experience has on the job market, I don't know want would. I've heard my friends say that they got through to an interview but were rejected because there was someone else with more experience.
Take me for example. I want to go into teaching History at a Secondary level. If I had decided that right now, my application for the PGDE would be rather empty. But, since this was not an, "oh dear lord, what do I do with a history degree??? I know, I'll teach!" I have work experience in schools, experience around children, a part time nannying job and I have been asked in other jobs to train new people. I have experience in education and with children in general. Basically, I just need to write the damn application and I should be accepted somewhere.
It's people like my friend that annoy me. He says summer is for chill time, not working. That he doesn't have time during university—although weekend jobs are a thing. And even then, he also states that if he had a job, he wouldn't be able to visit his family elsewhere in the country—once again, you get holidays and you are generally paid while taking them.
These were excuses. Excuses that I was quite happy to point out and be shot at for being the messenger for.
As expected, he didn't take it well.
Not that I did expect anything less but hopefully this "conversation" has planted the seed of doubt in his mind regarding job security and weather his CV (or lack there of) are going to be anything other than exam results grouped together on one page, maybe less.
For more information regarding the change in the world of work and ideas on how to make your CV work for you , please look at these websites: