A Grad’s guide to life after University!
Calling all graduates! 📢
Thinking about life after graduating? Dreaming of landing your first perfect job? Wish you had a mystic meg ball to see where you’ll be at this time next year? 🔮
We’re no mystic meg, but we will be talking to two of our newest grads about the jump from University to starting your career. They’ll share a transparent insight on how to get your foot in the door, their own experiences through the job hunting process, and their feelings about the reality of life after graduating.
Even if graduating seems like miles away right now, the transition from being a student, to job hunting, to then working life will soon be here for you, like it was for them. Here at StrawberryToo, we have built a unique agency concept made especially for newly graduated creatives.
Over to you Sasha and Alex…
Leaving University was one of the most daunting, disorientating experiences I have been through. After the ceremony had ended and all the celebrations came to a close, I realised the choices I now made would be solely my own.
Desperate to find myself a good job that would be fun, but also challenging, ended up being more difficult than I could imagine. As an English and Media major, I've always been interested in Marketing; from producing creative copy, to content creation, to even graphic design - I really wanted to put my three years of education to use. I've always believed that hard work will pay off, however, the reality of the job market and the job process was a complete shock to my system.
I remember the amount of time, money and effort I spent on just travelling to interviews alone and ironing outfits 😴. 9 times out of 10 not getting the job came down to lack of experience which was a little frustrating - I felt so stuck. 😣 But, then out of nowhere I landed an interview for something totally different, something that on first appearance looked super inspiring, fun and creative - StrawberryToo.
I applied for the Graduate Marketing Executive role. The fact it was based ‘up North’ 😉 made me even more determined to land the job! The whole interview experience was so refreshing. I didn’t have to prepare a generic task or pitch a creative concept, but just turn up with a portfolio of any work I wanted to share with them and have a good old chat. It was great that someone was genuinely interested in finding out about me as a person, as well as my past work experience. Whatever the outcome, I left the office feeling positive and empowered for the first time ever. When I received the news I had landed the role, I kid you not this was my exact reaction ---> 😱💃
As a creative agency, StrawberryToo offers graduates an opportunity to take the lead on projects and develop your skills. Now I’m settling into studio life, I thought I’d share some personal advice on how to land your dream job straight out of education!
3 Tips by Sasha:
The world is your oyster 🙏🏻
You're young and free with nothing holding you back so never give up or become disheartened. Keep a positive mind set, keep applying for new opportunities and put in every effort you can - something good will come and you don’t know what is just around the corner.
Preparation is key!
Even at University I pre-planned a lot - keep it up when it comes to job interviews, it will make you stand out of the crowd. Use your time wisely to learn, research and make a plan of action.
Make work a home, away from home… 🏡
The people you work with are the people you spend the most time with. The key to enjoying work is to make it feel like home - whether that’s your desk layout or what you choose to do in your lunch break. Get to know your teammates too, go to socials, join in with the group chats and office banter.
When I finished uni, I was so stressed! 😵 I had very good self discipline and a positive mentality towards my processes though, which I think is what helped me in landing my new role. I was always working on improving myself in some way, all day, everyday, ask my family on that one. 😉
Everywhere I applied to just seemed impossible because I either wasn’t a student able to do an internship or had very little ‘experience’. 😑It’s very hard to understand this, but there are ways to help, Such as short work experience periods are something I would recommend because it helps show enthusiasm, which looks good on your CV to employers. I still have some friends at University, and I am advising them to do something alongside their studies to help them stand out amongst all the applications when they leave. I did a ‘study abroad’ placement, which I think helped me massively. Take advantage, they can be unforgettable experiences too as well as helping shape your future.
I believe that if you put in the work, you will get some reward in the end, I didn’t know if this would happen for me until it actually did! At least if you’re working really hard for something, you know you’re doing everything you can! ☺️ You don’t need experience, you just have to have the right attitude and personality.
StrawberryToo has a lot of my respect because they are accommodating and understanding to a graduate’s situation and they deserve some recognition in the graduate world. This business model is 100% something that other companies should develop for different industries. So thank you to Too - I am now super happy in my first grad job, learning everything I need to know to take forward with me.👌StrawberryToo does offer work experience and has a really good system in place, so take advantage of these types of opportunities too! 👊
3 Tips by Alex:
As Rihanna said… Work, work, work, work, work! 🎵
Take it serious, be disciplined, apply a positive attitude and a whole load of enthusiasm! Show how keen you are by being on the ball.
Find a way to gain some advantage over others - it’s dog eat dog! 🔥
No experience? Find a self initiated project to give yourself some credit, improve your portfolio of skills, your knowledge and experience with working with people. For Marketing, take advantage of social media, create a page for an interest or experiment with different techniques… it’s free, so why not give it a go?
Make use of your contacts 📞 Call your people!
I don’t have many contacts related to my industry, but I tried to make the most of what I had. From my viewpoint, this is just as important as experience. I don’t believe I would have been considered if I didn’t use them and wouldn’t have found the right route into applications.
As a Design and Marketing agency created just for graduates, StrawberryToo are the perfect agency to kick-start your career. We not only challenge our graduates, but keep an active approach. From day one you will be ‘doing’, not watching. You’ll get stuck in and take the lead on your own client projects. When the year’s up, there can be opportunities to be offered full time positions at big sister agency, Strawberry, but the main aim is to supply inspired creatives back into the local design and digital scenes. Cool, right?
So what do StrawberryToo look for in a graduate?
-Good sense of humour is key for our office! 😂
-Confident in their own skin
-Willingness to learn and develop
-Not scared to do things differently to everyone else
-Good team player 👌🏻
-Ability to think on their own feet
-Can take constructive criticism on the chin
-Good appetite for fat fridays! 😉
If you have any further questions for us after reading our blog post, shoot us an email. 📩✏️We wish you guys all the best of luck and welcome your applications, we’re always on the lookout for budding creatives! ☺️🙏
Sasha & Alex 👋🏻