The story of an unemployed graduate.

I graduated from the University of Sunderland in July 2010 with a degree in Media Writing. Graduation was an amazing day, we were told that anything was possible, we were told that this would set us apart from the rest; we were graduates. We all left with egos as big as Kanye West (well almost) I had a degree, I was now Ashleigh Baines BA.


The day after graduation could not have been more different, it was my first visit to the Job Centre. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had a degree surely they should get the red carpet out? No. Nothing like that, not even carpet.


My first mission as a graduate was to choose 3 ‘job goals’, now considering I left University wanting to be a Comedy Writer, I wasn’t going to tell her that, she’d have fell off her seat laughing and I know I want to make people laugh, but not like that. So the lady poked and prodded my almost deflated ego trying to get my 3 ‘job goals’, I managed to choose 2 and she chose the last, I could tell she’d had enough of my lack of commitment to the conversation and she would have done anything within her powers to remove me from the vicinity.


So once I’d vacated the job centre, I dragged myself home, started applying for jobs and sat back waiting for the job offers to role in, because I had a degree. Employers should be falling over themselves offering me a job. I sat, I waited, I applied for a few more, I got numerous emails saying: “Unfortunately we’re not taking your application any further”. I played on the PS3 a little bit (quite a lot), applied for more jobs, got told “I need experience”. The million pound question: How do I get experience if no one will give me a job? I’ve  just spent 3 years at University doing a degree. I’m a Bachelor of the Arts. But as the vicious circle of apply, wait, PS3, declined, apply, wait, declined, bake a cake, apply, declined, goes on and on it get’s a bit repetitive.


As the months go on I began to wonder why I can’t get a job, I’ve been told that having a degree scares employers. I’m not sure what that means, I’d imagine the employer reads a CV with a degree on, screams and has to be sectioned. But it’s terribly annoying to be told that the past 3 years of trying to better myself has been a waste of time. The thought that employers would rather employ lesser educated people because they’re scared of people with degrees is a worrying one. Thousands of people go to university to better themselves but employers don’t see it that way.


Seven long months on I’m still applying for everything and trying to get experience another way than an actual job. I don’t mean for this to be depressing for current students, but to be prepared for when you graduate get a good baking recipe book, it passes the time wonderfully. Proper advice for future graduates, get as much experience as you can and don’t expect to walk from graduation into an amazing job (or even a job).


Calling all graduates! What employment experiences have you had since graduating?

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