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Suzy joined ROAST as an SEO Account Executive after graduating from our 2019 January Academy.

I’d watched it approach for years, but when the day of graduation came and went, I felt totally unprepared for life after university and the transition to work.

I studied German literature, so without a distinct career path, my options felt dauntingly open. It took me over half a year to get myself together and apply some gusto to the job hunt. Although I didn’t realise clearly at the time, I just had substantial worries about taking the first step. What field did I want to work in, what city, what type of company, would I enjoy my job, would I be any good at it? Six weeks into my role as SEO Account Executive, those fears seem a world away.

Part of the difficulty in transitioning from education to the workplace stems from expectations. It turns out that I couldn’t have predicted what life would be like working at ROAST, so my only advice would be to get stuck into your first job as soon as you can! The time I spent after university considering my options, while not wasted, could have been used to form concrete opinions and accurate understanding of the workplace much faster by diving in.

For example, elements of work that I’d anticipated to be critically awful – the 9-5, repeating largely similar tasks, sitting down all day – turn out to be completely manageable (as should have been indicated by the majority of the working population managing, every day), and on the other hand, there are great sides to work of which I’d had no idea.

Firstly, setting out to learn something new again has been an enjoyable return to education that I hadn’t expected from starting work. Learning the ropes of SEO is a huge task, and looking at the way the rest of the department are continually reading and attending conferences, it’s apparent that the learning doesn’t stop!

Secondly, through starting a job I’ve met a much more diverse range of people than at university, something I appreciate every day. Working with people from different backgrounds, who are five years into their career or thirty, who originally come from different countries or just the other end of London – all this contributes to a much more varied experience than that of uni ‘bubble’. The feeling of being part of a collective effort is one of my favourite aspects of work.

Lastly, it’s been incredibly rewarding to embrace the changes that are part of transitioning from university to the workplace. I learn more about the working world each day, as well as what I can contribute to it. It’s been fun becoming part of a team and, particularly after the isolated focus of final year, it feels good to work towards a common goal.

If I could offer any words to someone about to graduate, it would be to face the challenge head on – there are untold riches on the other side!

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