Finishing Uni: Starting to Panic


Photo: The wall of my old student digs in North Acton, covered in disposable camera pictures from my first year in London.

I was dreading finishing my Bachelors degree, even before two spontaneous lung collapses were thrown into the mix! The early on-set of post-graduate panic is apparent in today's students who start scrabbling for internships and graduate schemes as early as September of their last year, secure only in the knowledge of a 'survival of the fittest,' scenario for jobs at the end of the tunnel and probably having to move back in with their parents. Oh, and don't forget applying for a credit card because the Topshop sale was irresistible and suddenly without the student loan coming in twice a year they have forgotten how money works.

Initially my plan was to come back to Brussels and start a digital communications MA at ECS, a private business and comms university based in Uccle. As it happens, my degree is in Fashion Photography, so they agreed to let me on the course if I completed one academic year of Business Administration. The catch? it's 70% taught in french, and no allowances are made for non native french speakers. This meant that my minimum commitment was a 2 year one, and if LCF has taught me anything, is that two years is a bloody long time if you regret the decision you make.

Now, for a girl who hasn't done formal exams of any kind for 3 years, nor spoken french on a regular basis for 3 years, suddenly plunging into a Masters degree in which all the other students have a full undergraduate qualification in Business Administration is not only daunting, it actually seems rather ill-advised. Especially when alternatives are available where I'm on more of a level playing field to other students.

I applied to some universities in the UK and I am waiting to hear back from most of them - I have had one rejection from Reading and one conditional offer from Winchester. Staying in the UK is not really want I want to do long-term (Europe is where the heart is) but for a further 12 months, a masters degree in my mother tongue in a subject that is more closely suited to my goal of creative entrepreneurship, seems like a sensible option!

On the topic of 'why bother doing a masters at all?'

1. I have the option to - I am, forgive my use of this terrible phrase, blessed, to have the option to continue my education. I love learning and being a student (and frankly being a student appeals to me far more than working in an office, at least for now!) so why would I stop now?!

2. The course content is more tailored to what I want - Over these past three years I have had so much time to consider what my next step should be. I have come to the conclusion that creative entrepreneurship in the field of art, culture and fashion is the way I want to go. So many MAs in the UK teach specifically for these fields, whilst Belgian education is typically far more traditional and less 'with the times.'

3. I believe it will make me more employable - It can't hurt to have on a CV. Sure, every year you aren't working you're missing out on experience you can put on your CV, but now that almost everyone in the service industry has a Bachelors degree, any further way you can differentiate yourself is probably a bonus.

What are you doing after Uni? Have you made any plans yet? What do you think of Masters degrees as an option?

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