By Will Alsagoff, MEng Electronic Engineering, Department of Informatics
If you’ve read my last article, you’ll remember that I highlighted how your life in uni will be different from those of your friends. This article continues that notion, especially when you think about your current situation and prospective career options. When you’re at King’s, it’s good to know where your qualification might lead you, and how you can make the most of it. But one thing’s for sure: just because you’re doing CompSci, it doesn’t mean you’ll be dealing with computing your whole life; likewise, for engineering, and any course, really.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this term a lot: millennials. It’s a word which dominates today’s world, and implies rapid technological advancements, profound diversity, dynamic progressions… all these big words which you wouldn’t hear a lot in the last century. It sounds like a lot to take in, but believe it or not, most of us will have already been subconsciously adapted to the times. In this city of nearly 8.9 million people (or world of 7-ish billion people), competition is a thing of the past. Companies will be looking at your USP – unique selling proposition – when you want to get on board. Simply put, what distinguishes yourself from others; you find that, you harness it, then you ‘sell’ it to others.
At an early stage, one might think that they still have a lot of time before they should think about adult-ing. However, I personally think it depends on what has been invoking your curiosity. Is it the trains you take when you travel across the continent? Maybe you’re wondering how financial institutions operate, or perhaps you frequent the airport and find airport security sluggish. There’ll always be something out there which will affect you in a way that makes you want to do something about it. So, what’s been on your mind lately?
When that’s done, it’ll be nice to know about the people who are behind whatever marvel you’ve been thinking about. Read more about the company and look out for any career-related events that they might organise. Even networking sessions or corporate skills seminars; there will be ways companies reach out to recruit new talent. Throughout my corporate experience, I see that companies will know if you’re a try-hard or not, so I suggest letting everything flow naturally. You mightn’t be the brightest in the room but if you have what the company needs, then it may happen.
How does being in King’s help in all of this? Accreditation. You might have plans to pursue chartered status (things like CEng, CITP, or CSci); it’s proof to others and yourself that you’re a qualified professional. These are usually regulated by a professional body, like the IET. Additionally, you may also think about continuing to postgrad, which is fine. My opinion is that you have a taste of the workforce first, see what being out there has in store for you. Even if it’s not for you, you will have a better CV, showing that you have actual work experience.
If it all gets too overwhelming for you, or if you’re feeling unsure about this, I think it helps if you speak to your personal tutor. King’s has Advice and Well-being services which can help if you need someone to talk to in a professional environment. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for you to talk things out, especially at this point in your life. So, I genuinely hope you do just that.
All in all, again, it doesn’t matter if your dreams are big or small. Something may just pop up in the middle of your building your qualifications. The future is uncertain, but that shouldn’t keep you from moving on.