My worries about my plans after Essex University
In December of 2021 I lied awake and felt a growing anxiety inside of me. I realized that I only had six months left of my undergraduate program, which meant leaving the bubble of comfort and figure out what to do after university and my plans after Essex University
Then I opened my laptop and scanned my resumé. I still had my degree to finish, but I also felt that there were things I expected myself to have done already. I began to worry if I had done enough for what the next step might require. Then I did what I always do when I feel uneasy about my future: I researched. I began to frenetically google volunteering opportunities relating to my fields of interest. I also scheduled a meeting with my personal tutor. Finally, I told him about my worries and he assured me that I have done more than I think I have and that I should just keep doing what I am doing. Opportunities will eventually come my way if I keep doing and applying.
What I did to overcome my worries about my plans after Essex University
In February I applied to a research assistant position in terrorism proscription at the university. It was a remote role with plenty of responsibility. I filled out the form online and a week later I received an email stating that they had proceeded with other candidates. However, only 30 minutes later I received a new email inviting me for an interview since one of the candidates had already received a position in another role. I was thrilled to be invited.
I made sure they understood my true passion for the project and I used the knowledge from the supervisor’s modules the year prior to really boost my interview. It seemed to have worked and a few days later I was given the position. I went from being rejected to finally landing the role. It was not only a great addition to my resume, it also taught me to take initiative and figure out how to make certain tasks more efficient.
Looking into applying for a masters
Applying for a Master’s felt like the last thing I wanted to do. Fellow students had handed in their applications already by February, while I had barely taken a look thorough any catalogue. I knew I didn’t want to stay and study in the UK, I needed a change after handing in my final dissertation. I had an idea of going to the Netherlands and I thought I’d look into some programs there as a back up plan. Then I found Maastricht University. A quite young university in the very South of the Netherlands, with close ties to the EU bubble in Brussels.
Finding a masters programme
I found a Master’s program called European Public Affairs, which offered the development of practical skills, including negotiation and lobbying. It also included an internship which would take place at the end of the program. This would become the foundation of the final thesis. The practical aspects was right up my alley. If you want to gain access into the EU bubble. Then this program may become your golden ticket if you are willing to work hard. However, only 30 students were admitted into the EU bubble each year. I knew that I wanted to apply, but I didn’t know if my application or grades would make the cut. I applied for several programs. But I also knew that I wasn’t interested in them the way I was interested in this program. The insecurities that creeped up almost made me not hand in my application. But I’m happy I did in the end.
I wrote a personal statement, emphasizing my interest in the specific program and related my extra curricular activities, as well as chosen modules to the program. Then I argued passionately why I would be a perfect fit. Finally, I handed in the application and then promised myself to not put myself down in case I wouldn’t get accepted. While on holiday in Spain, I received a response from the university. I held my breath as I opened the email. They congratulated me for being admitted to their program and they were delighted to have me. I couldn’t believe it. I had to read the email over and over to make sure I didn’t get it wrong. They chose me out of the sea of applicants.
Why passion is important when applying yourself to something
When I was admitted to Maastricht and chosen for the research position it taught me something valuable. It does not matter how many brilliant people apply to an attractive program or job. If you are convinced that the role would fit you perfectly then you have very little to lose from applying. Passion is something that does not go unnoticed and people have gotten jobs they were unqualified for. This is by by simply showing a genuine interest and the readiness to learn. It matters more than you may think. I therefore urge all of you students, or soon to be students, to apply for things you feel you may not get. Give it a try and see what happens. You may need to invest your time and effort. But investing it in something you really want pays off in the end.
Looking back on my worries about my plans after Essex University
As I look back at December, I can’t help but shrug at the discomfort I felt about not knowing what I was going to do next. I know I am not alone, I think many young people struggle with this. We blindly believe that the successful people around us knew already from the start where they wanted to end up. However, most often than not, people change their interests and goals along the way.
This makes them end up in places they never thought they’d go, nor doing things they never thought they’d do. Knowing that fact, can perhaps make the uncertainty feel less intimidating and more exciting! I did not plan to join a Master’s right after university. But when I found a program that fit my goals so well, I decided to give it a go. Because at the end of the day, all you have to do is keep trying.
If applying to a masters degree interests you then get in touch now