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A honest letter from a recent graduate

My name is George and I am half Greek half Cypriot. I am a recent graduate with a Master degree.

I came to the United Kingdom in 2010 when I finished my International Baccalaureate in Italy. I did my Bachelors and my Masters as well in the UK and I have finished the masters in September with a merit. You are probably thinking that after having these degrees I have a full time job. Well I wish that was true, and this is the reason why I am writing this testimonial, to explain to the people who are reading this that no one should underestimate the power of internships, student projects and overall extracurricular activities during the studies.

I want to share with you my story regarding internships particularly. When I was in university my parents always use to stress the fact that during the summers when I would finish my university exams I would have to undertake three months internships to get work experience and make it easier for me to find a full time job when I finish my degree.
However, like any other teenager my mind was always on having the best time of my life when exams were over. Little did I know that this world will become so competitive and that finding a job will become more and more difficult as the years go by. With the economic recession, I understood that employees would be looking for candidates with a minimum of 1 year experience as well as university qualifications and not for someone who has university qualifications but was “chilling” during the summer. Companies cannot afford the time to train candidates, as training is money, they assume that candidates have already gained working experience and know what has to be done within an organization.
Additionally, there are millions of other graduates with a degree. A degree became something everyone has it today, something that it’s ok to have it but I understood that it’s far from enough.

After experiencing these problems, I decided it was time for me to apply for internships which in most cases meant working for free but gaining a lot of experience that will become handy in the future. Applying for jobs, now that I have completed twointernships I feel like employees are starting to take my applications into consideration while being reassured that if they hire me I will be ready to tackle all sort of problems and be an asset to the company due to the working experience that I have gained through the internships.
Imagine if I figure this out while I still was a student? Then it would be much more easy to take unpaid internship, than now. But better than never!

You might not really care for what I have to say and I am fine with that, I am just writing this mini blog to give our generation an advice, that undertaking an internship, even if its not paid, is always a plus, never a minus.  Try to do it, from the very first moment you step in University (and even from a High School if you can, at least something);

It’s better to understand it now, then after you graduate.

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