The prospect of graduating can be frightening. You spend three or more years in the safety net of your undergraduate degree and then suddenly realise you have to move on, either to get a job or go into further study.
Like many students, I chose my undergraduate course based on what I enjoyed and what I was good at in school. I went to the University of Leeds to study French and Spanish because I was passionate about languages and wanted to follow a career in that area…or so I thought!
Interests and goals change over time, and during my second year of university, I fell in love with film after taking a French Cinema module. By the time my final year rolled around, I was certain that writing about film was what I wanted to do as a career, and so I looked at how I could pursue it after graduating.
I decided to apply for the MA Journalism (Arts) course at Lincoln because I lacked a lot of key journalistic skills, even though I had already written some film reviews online. I knew that I would have struggled to get an internship because I had little experience and no formal training, so postgraduate study immediately appealed to me.
Although I would have loved to have done an MA in Film Studies, I realised that picking a more vocational course would be the most beneficial option to improve my employability. By picking the Arts course, I knew that I would be able to continue building on my film criticism skills while learning about other aspects of journalism and having the opportunity to do a work placement.
Adapting to a new discipline and way of learning has been difficult at times, but I’m glad that I chose this postgraduate course. I’ve developed many new skills and learnt a lot about the industry, and I feel much more prepared for entering the world of work than I did at the end of my undergraduate degree.
My advice to anybody considering postgraduate study is to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Don’t just do it to put off getting a job for another year! Pick a course you are genuinely passionate about which will equip you with the skills you need to excel in whatever you want to do in life. It’s a huge undertaking that requires a lot of commitment, so be sure that it’s the best option for you.
For more advice, take a look at Emily’s article on things you should consider before applying for a postgraduate course.