Friday, 3 January 2014

On Future Plans.

As I'm graduating in less than a year, I figured it's about time I considered what to do with my life after uni. Most of us that have gone to university will admit that we studied our degrees mainly to delay going out into the real world and finding a 'proper' job, and by 'proper' I mean something that doesn't involve sitting behind the tills at Marks and Sparks. My years at uni have flown by because I've knuckled down to my work and barely made any friends, so I'm anticipating this final year will disappear in a flash also. Admittedly, I've had the strangest experience where I've befriended my lecturers because university is a drastically different environment to school - you address lecturers by their first names and there's no pretence that they live and sleep in the staff room, they're just fellow humans, there to help you on a more hands-on level than school.
But what do I do once they shut the prison doors behind me and refuse to let me back in? What if I don't want to leave? Well here are my options, if you're at all interested...

Plan A: Study for an MA.
This is my most realistic option, but also one of the hardest to achieve. To study postgrad, I'll be needing a lot of money to fund the tuition which is no longer paid by Student Finance. Money I certainly don't have. If by chance I marry a wealthy businessman in the next year, this would be my definite plan. I'd love to study things more in-depth than I have at undergrad, and I'm considering going into research as a career anyway, so the more studying, the better. If I want to think further ahead, I could even go on to study for a doctorate and eventually lecture at universities, but maybe that's one dream too big?

Plan B: A museum apprenticeship.
As I've volunteered at my city's museums, I've become attached to the museum environment and would love to build a credible career in the field. My History degree will help me here, but apprenticeships at the most prestigious museums in the country are the most worthwhile, for example the British Museum. Would I really move to London, the big scary city, and shake off my country bumpkin phobia of trains? Again, money is an issue here, because apprenticeships aren't well known for paying you enough to even live off, so I'd have to be sure I wanted a career in museums for life before putting myself through the value noodle lifestyle.

Plan C: Start off in music management.
Despite never studying business, I have a good head for organisation and an undying dedication to music. It pains me when up-and-coming bands are visibly managed poorly, if they're not getting the social media coverage they deserve, I cringe and think to myself, 'I could've done that better'. Bands I'm passionate about should be raised as high as they can possibly go, and to hell with the obstacles along the way. Music is a lifelong passion of mine, so making a career out of it would be an absolute dream. And that's probably where it'll stay - a dream that's unattainable for someone who doesn't have a business qualification.

Plan D: Start my own business.
I love music. I love festivals. I love makeup. I also love looking good at a festival, but it's not so easy in a microscopic compact mirror and if you've forgotten to bring your eyeliner, you might as well hide under a bin bag for the weekend. I had a fantastic brainwave (in the shower, of course, where else would I do my thinking?) that one day I could run a tent at a festival with makeup artists ready to do your hair and makeup for you in the morning. Or if you prefer doing your own, there would be full length mirrors and magnifying mirrors to help you out. Ideally there would be a corner where guys could have a proper shave and style their hair with warm, clean water to hand - festivalgoers will know how much of a blessing hot water would be. But again, I'm not business-savvy, so even if it were to happen, it would take a long time to work.

Plan E: McDonalds.
They say students are more likely to end up in McDonalds than their dream job. Problem is, I applied to McDonalds during the desperation of my gap year and didn't even get so much as a response, so I don't even hold out much hope for this one.

All things considered, it's going to be a bumpy ride once I leave university, but I've got this far knowing full well that nothing comes handed to you on a plate, so I'm more than prepared, just slowly excreting myself at the thought of working for a living.

What do you think I should do after university?

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  1. An MA is a good way to try academic life without too much time commitment (ignoring the huge expense), but if you're not leaning that way already at this point maybe its not the way to go. It is always something you can come back to in the future.

    I just wanted to offer a word of advice on the museum apprenticeship. I come from the world of science centres which is somewhat similar to museums and without a qualification in museum studies/management there is a bit of a glass ceiling until you can gather a LOT of experience. If you're considering an MA and a route into museum work, maybe an MA in something like that would be a good option?

    I know nothing about the music business or etc. so I can't be of much help there.

    Good luck anyway!

  2. Best of luck! I'm heading off to Uni come October for history and English purely because I love the subjects - I don't think it will actually help me at all!

    If you've got the confidence and self assurance to go for it, just go for what you really want to! A friend of mine works in museums and I know that his experience as an archivist at a school and a library was really useful for that.

    I'm sure you'll succeed in whatever you want to - I find the best way for me is to not look to far ahead and think of how the things I'm doing now will help eventually rather than how I'm not doing what I want to right now.

    Katy xx

  3. In all honesty, that is a really good business plan! Trying to apply eyeliner evenly in a mirror the size of your palm is destined to fail - I know from trying haha! I'm can definitely relate to the life indecisions you're having, currently stuck between finding a practical post-uni income and chasing my more creative dreams!


  4. My advice is to do the MA. I wanted to do one but I went straight into work and now I think it's going to be really difficult to go back to uni. Once you get used to full-time wages, it's VERY difficult to go back. I definitely think you should go straight into it. You're also going to be used to writing essays etc.

    In terms of your festival business plan, a big problem would be that it's seasonal. You'd need to make enough money at the 8 or so festivals in the summer to last you through the whole year. Also, I know a lot of people like to look good at festivals but I think the majority of people just don't care if they look a state. I know I don't! There's also the fact that most festivals have hot showers. There's a bit of a line for them, of course, but they're free. When I went to Download last, they even had hair straighteners, hairdryers and mirrors there. Quite a few people are getting into the festival make up thing too, like Vanity Van, so there'd be a lot of competition for very few clients.

    Sorry, I don't mean to be pessimistic and I don't want to shoot down your idea. I'm just thinking out loud really.

  5. Good luck! If you can find a sponsored MA [which is what my PhD is] then it's best of both worlds, as your fees get paid for you. Whatever happens I wish you the best of luck. And hey, McDonalds didn't want me either! Clearly we're too cool for them

  6. Good luck babe! If you need a partner to start that business, you know where I am :) xox


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