Hearing four final year undergraduate Geography students talking candidly with a group of first and second year students, with a wisdom beyond their tender years, prompted me to share their insights with a wider audience. Whether a student of Mathematics, Anthropology, Economics, Government, Sociology or any of the other undergraduate courses on offer here at the LSE, their advice holds true as you navigate the options, decisions, challenges and joys of thinking about your future career. Here are their top 10 tips:
- Don’t feel pressured to follow the crowd. Only apply for spring weeks and internships if it is what YOU want.
- Treat every application as a learning process – you’ll be finding out more about the company and importantly more about yourself and what you want.
- Don’t stress and panic. Getting an internship is difficult and there simply aren’t enough to go round. Everyone gets rejected so don’t take it personally. There are options and alternatives out there.
- Make yourself interesting. Do things outside your course and really get involved. You’ll get asked about this much more than your course.
- Don’t take the first thing you are offered and panic but also don’t hold out for the ‘ideal’, you’ll end up missing out!
- Don’t be fooled (or scared) into thinking it’s all about banking, finance and consultancy. It’s not! Talk to people outside your course, in LSE Careers and in societies to explore other options.
- Go outside of your comfort zone and really stretch yourself – do an internship or volunteer overseas. During interviews employers asked loads of questions about these things!
- Follow your interests and think creatively how this might be applied to your career.
- Do extra-curricular activities around things you are passionate and build your network. Who knows where it might lead!
Keep your options open and go into things with an open mind. Try different things. You never know what you might enjoy until you try it!
Thanks to Glendon, Julia, Hemang and Radiya from Geography and Environment for their insights.