Life of a Graduate: 6 Months on…

It’s been a crazy 6 months since I clutched my degree certificate, threw my hat in the air and graduated from the University of York. 3 years flew by so quickly, and throughout my last year the fear of the ‘real world’ started to kick in, big time.

You’re probably thinking “this isn’t ‘your humble opinion’ on a fascinating or current topic! This is just a boring insight into your life” – yeah, I know.

So the reason I wanted to write this post was to say a big thank you to everyone who has got me as far as I’ve come now. I’ve done a lot in the last year, especially in the last 6 months and as such I owe a lot of thanks to a lot of people for allowing me to achieve as much as I have.

Where do I begin? Ok, let’s start with my last year of uni. I decided at this time that I wanted to go into marketing, and started applying to numerous grad schemes etc. but to no avail. Typical reason really – not enough experience. Fair enough, I’ll go get some. And I did. I stumbled on a voluntary position with a fantastic social enterprise called Kigali Crafts, who I am still with today. The company MD Amy took me under her wing and showed me the ropes, training me up in everything social media, blogging and even a touch of SEO. This really opened my eyes to the wonder that is digital marketing, and I instantly knew I’d found what I wanted to do for a living. Kigali Crafts are a fantastic company, selling fair trade crafts made by Rwandan genocide survivors to help support their wellbeing. I’ll be sure to write a more detailed blog bigging them up because they truly deserve it! I can’t thank Amy enough for all her help and for basically kick-starting my career.

After getting excited about digital marketing I decided to start blogging as a way of getting hands on experience in this area, whilst boosting my online profile. It’s also a whole load of fun! I created Joe Blogs, my own little space of the web for blogging about social media, SEO, pretty much anything related to what I want to do. Seeing the page views add up and comments role in (or rather, trickle in) is incredible rewarding, and really makes you feel like you’ve adding value to someone’s day. A friend from uni blogged for grads.co.uk, and suggested I do the same. And so I did. I got excited about blogging and encouraged some of my friends to start their own blogs, which they did. And after a moment of epiphany over lunch, Jack and I decided we should join forces and create a super blog (kinda like when the Power Rangers all merge their weapons together to form some sort of super weapon). We got Ian involved, along with a few other friends, and soon after ‘Our Humble Opinions’ was born! And I guess the rest in history.

So onto the more recent months since graduation. Again more unsuccessful interviews and job hunting let to the conclusion that I still needed a whole load more experience. And it was in November that I started working for Clicky Media; a wonderful Full Service Digital Marketing Agency who graciously allowed me to come in and gain some experience in this field. Since working for them I’ve learned an awful lot in the way of SEO, particularly the off-page, link-building side of things, among other areas – and my CV looks a whole lot better for it! Again I can’t thank these guys enough for the opportunity they’ve given me and all the training they’ve provided!

My resolution for the New Year was to be more organised, but 2012 was certainly the year for organising my CV! The last 6 months since graduation have been crazy, and I’ve really found a new level of work ethic – not working for dosh, but purely for the hope that my future will be better off for it.

So thank you to Kigali Crafts, thank you to Clicky Media, and most of all thank you to my family and friends. You’ve stuck by me, supported my decisions, even humoured my enthusiasm for digital marketing – something I know is boring to a lot of you (much like this post), and I’m extremely grateful for that.

I’m hoping the next 6 months are just as productive and successful as the last, and hopefully by then I’ll have the ability to write more interesting blogs!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Joe
@joetopliffe

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2 comments

  1. It’s great to read a graduate success story for a change! It gives hope to other graduates that they can find work. Well except for art graduates like me…Would you like fries with your blog?

    1. Thanks for your comment! I guess the most important thing for us graduates is to make the best of a bad situation. Its hard enough to get a job these days, let alone when there are none out there to get!

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