What did you do?
I went to the University of Portsmouth in 2017 and majored in Journalism with a minor in English Literature. Then I did an internship for one year as my church’s Multimedia Intern and in my second year of interning at church also did a Master’s in Digital Marketing which I would have graduated in 2020 for but finished in September 2019.
What was graduation like for you?
The day really went by in a blur. It was such a genuine buzz though – we’d just spent three years trying to conquer this degree, search out who we were aside from our families and live in a complete different place. You meet friends for life and you walk alongside different people from different backgrounds.
I absolutely loved that all of those spectacular events accumulated up to this very moment. I remember waiting in the wings of the stage taking deep breaths as I tried to remember how to walk in heels. I found myself praying that they would say my name right! When your name is called you walk and you stride, you shake hands and try not to let the huge amount of people distract you. And then it’s over. You walk over to your seat again and watch the same moment happen to everyone else.
After you go outside you try to locate your parents and you’re searching for quite a while. My parents are divorced and my brother attended mine alongside my mum, her partner and my dad. Family dynamics were a little awkward BUT WE GOT THROUGH IT (can I get an amen?!). The rest of the day passed in a blur as well, I ate dinner with my dad, older brother, younger brother and nephew and had my best friends going away party straight after! I would definitely encourage myself to R E L A X. Enjoy the fruits of your labour (as it were) you worked hard for this!
What one thing would you travel back in time and tell yourself ahead of your graduation?
I would tell myself you DO NOT need to fear the future. Don’t give it that power. God’s Word is true.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.”Isaiah 43:1
Ultimately, things work out. Trust that the Lord’s moving even if you’re hella confused by the direction/route He’s taking you. It’s okay if your future doesn’t look like how you planned it to be. Invite God into all conversations in your life, ask for His will to be done, don’t be afraid to ask for specifics, God is the Creator of the universe, He comes in close and cares about what’s on your heart: whether it’s fear, confusion, uncertainty the whole shebang. Pray for His will to be done.
What role does church/community play in supporting students in their transition from uni to work?
For me, a VERY IMPORTANT role. I love being around church community! Around 2 years ago though, my close friend Mollie and I saw a real gap in our church community of those who transition out of university into working life. That weren’t students and weren’t married. instead of waiting for it to happen we approached our leadership team with the idea to have a small group for this age range so we had a bunch of millennial weirdos that loved Jesus and were navigating working life. From there we were all able to navigate working life together and the new challenges it brought with that. Now, we’ve multiplied and hopefully will continue multiplying! My church have always been so great in seeing potential in people and letting people thrive in their gifting and callings.
If you already have a young adult community of workers trying to navigate the 9-5 that’s amazing, get plugged in, serve, show up. Alternatively if you see a gap, why not create a solution for the gap?
My church have always been so great in seeing potential in people and letting people thrive in their gifting and callings.
We never realised just how many people were also craving community for that age range/life stage and we’re so glad God told us to take a leap of faith.
How can students be getting themselves ready for the working world?
Spiritually: Just continue to go deeper with Jesus. Your everyday rhythms might change but Jesus is constant be seeking out inventive ways you can walk with Jesus everyday, for me for example, I’m so awful at getting ready in the mornings. As a student you’ll have a two hour gap, one hour class and then the rest of the day off. Now, I give my 45 minute bus ride to work over to Jesus through a podcast, Bible plan or conversation.
Practically: Get ready to get a real hands on experience, it’s like Aladdin said, a whole new world. Have grace for yourself, it’s ok if learning things take a while, some things you’ll get instantly, others may take some getting used to but always ALWAYS ask a ton of questions if you don’t understand, people don’t expect you to know everything, and that’ s actually kind of freeing!
Have grace for yourself
What are some of the major differences between work and uni?
When you’re a student at university, you kind of take pride in that. It’s all: I’m studying, I’m part of the student community, the world is my oyster, I can do anything I like. It’s true in some part, you do feel like you can do anything. When you get to the working world, sometimes that attitude is looked down upon, in the sense that for majority of the people in your place of work – they’ve been in the game for a good few years more than you have and while that plucky, wide eyed and bushy tailed demeanour is needed in the workplace I think there’s definitely a place for that- people won’t always understand that, but that’s ok.
Stay true to yourself, don’t be discouraged, work hard, work for the Lord, learn learn learn, develop and work on your people skills, speak up. Your life rhythms might change but remind yourself who you’re working for. You work hard because you’re doing it for God – let every day be glory to God.
Stay true to yourself, don’t be discouraged, work hard, work for the Lord, learn learn learn, develop and work on your people skills, speak up.
Are there any books/podcasts/other bits of media you’d recommend to students graduating this summer?
God at Work by Ken Costa, it’s all about finding purpose at work by a guy who used to be an investment banker and financial advisor in London for over thirty five years. there’s a bunch of YouVersion bible plans about work too that you can go through in preparation. Podcast wise, for the ladies I listened to: She podcast by Jordan Lee Dooley and Girls Night with Stephanie May Wilson who both have people join their podcast that talk all about working life etc.