Life as a graduate // Ashurst
Ashurst is a leading global law firm with a rich history spanning almost 200 years. With the Firm, Jo and Lauren are primarily responsible for managing the clerkship and graduate programs.
They know as well as we do, how daunting the prospect of graduating from University, finding a job and starting a whole new role can be. So they had a chat to the graduates in their team about questions that will give you some insight into what to expect once you graduate and what they’ve learned so far.
One // What has been the biggest challenge in your transition from university to full-time work?
Having a general lack of downtime – it’s not so much being busy at work that is stress-inducing, it’s more so that everything you could get done during the week with spare afternoons/days off etc, now has to fit in around work. When I started fulltime I just took some time to get as organised as possible with everything else in life – social events with family and friends, rent/bills, gym, etc.
Getting to know new co-workers and learning how to get along with a wide range of people on a daily basis. As a graduate you should watch and listen to see how people interact in your workplace. You may find that after work activities are a great way to continue to develop these relationships with your co-workers.
Maintaining a balanced lifestyle. The flexible lifestyle of university enabled me to study and work while also undertaking enjoying quality time with my family and friends. However, the hours of full-time work are much more demanding. As a result of undertaking challenging tasks and working alongside talented and experienced people, I have developed several soft skills that I would not have otherwise learned at university, such as strong communication skills and the importance of personal branding.
“As a graduate you should watch and listen to see how people interact in your workplace.”
Two // What did you wish you knew (about being a graduate/working full-time/etc.) when you were applying?
That you are not expected to know everything from day one. As a graduate you just need to show that you are enthusiastic, hardworking, and that you genuinely want to learn new things.
Try to get an understanding of the places you are applying for. The people and the culture of where you work will greatly impact your experience.
That full-time work is just as much about getting the job done, as it is about developing internal networks with your colleagues. Your future employers and colleagues will be interested in finding out about your skills and interests, and what your personality can bring to the firm’s culture.
Helen & Jordan, ACT
“The people and the culture of where you work will greatly impact your experience.”
Three // If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your first-year self?
Focus on getting your GPA/WAM up while the subjects are relatively easy in first year. It will make your final years less stressful when you’re battling with some really difficult subjects; having the pressure of needing 6’s and 7’s in subjects that are hard enough just to pass is not a fun position to be in.
Get involved with as many opportunities as a possible. Whether that be entering student competitions, writing an article for the student paper or joining a student society. The more you do, the more you know.
Be as involved and as active as you can with the activities that your university and student societies have to offer. Not only will you gain wonderful opportunities and experiences that can help you develop the crucial skills (including communications, time management and networking skills), but you will also slowly build up a resume that sets you apart from all the other students. These activities could also connect you to like-minded people that you may work alongside in your future career.
“Get involved with as many opportunities as a possible.”
Do you want to ensure you’re in the best possible position to secure a job when you graduate?
Attend one of your local generationYOU Live Events to be inspired by our speakers, learn soft skills your degree may not teach you and walk away knowing you’ve made an investment for yourself and your future endeavours.