I graduated in 2011 with a degree in Accounting from the University of Manchester. At the beginning of my final year, I started applying for graduate schemes with large organisations. I knew that it would be difficult to find a job due to the recession but when graduation arrived ten months later I still had no plans. I had made the decision to stay in Manchester rather than go home to Stoke-on-Trent, as I thought there would be more opportunities here and I enjoy living in the city.
I began applying for graduate internships with local companies through a scheme run by the university. This was quite a difficult process as my experiences with various companies varied so much. In some I progressed to the second interview stage, in others I never even heard back after attending an interview. I also applied for jobs other than accounting despite the fact that I knew I wanted to train as a management accountant. When the media talks about graduate unemployment, it doesn't really discuss what it's like to be in the position of the graduate. It was great that I was invited to so many interviews - but it was difficult to deal with all the rejection that came afterwards.
In October 2011 I was offered a job as a proofreader, and while it was not my ideal job I was grateful for the opportunity and it was good experience. It involved travelling to Bolton by train every day and working long hours. I didn't really enjoy the work as it was quite repetitive. I didn't find it challenging enough so I continued looking for a job in accounting.
At the beginning of 2012 I decided that my new year's resolutions would be to cook more, learn French, and find a job that I enjoyed. Luckily in January 2012 I applied for an Accounts Assistant job at Sellick Partnership and was invited to an interview the next day. I felt that it went well and the people I met were really friendly. Later that week I was offered the job and started the following Monday! I think that having struggled to find the right job for so long made it much more worthwhile when I did start at Sellick Partnership, because I appreciated that a small team environment was better suited to me.
So, did things turn out the way I expected at the beginning of my final year? Not really! It was hard not knowing exactly what I would be doing for what felt like a very long time, but now I enjoy my job and the responsibilities it brings.