What were your initial career plans for life after University?
When I began university, I was so sure that I wanted to pursue a career within the police, tackling crime and protecting the community in one of the most respected uniforms. This was my plan as I had real adrenaline watching the police do what they do best. There has always been a part of me that loves to help people, whether it is something minor or making a real change. As the years went on and the course modules seemed endless, I began to realise that maybe being on the frontline was no longer what I was interested in. Investigation into major crime is what I started to love, including the process and strategies behind it. I believe that you will always find a path for you and this has definitely happened to me. I now have a real passion in the investigations that happen behind closed doors which is what I am now working towards! After finishing my dissertation and graduating from Policing and Criminal Investigation, I applied for a Master’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and this is the next step that I am taking to get to my dream career.
How did you find the experience of graduating?
After graduating, it felt strange. The realisation of ‘what now?’ and ‘am I doing the right thing?’ ran through my mind a million times. Even though I know that I have a Master’s approaching in September, everyone else is sharing that they have been accepted for their dream career, but there is me going back to University. I am extremely excited to go back and continue my studies, however, there has been times where I have been very jealous of my friends for being accepted into their new jobs – I was wishing that I was doing the same. Although, I know that will be me next year. I will have expanded my knowledge and I will get to where I want to be!
Were there any hurdles you had to overcome getting to the point you are at now?
Living so far away from home was a difficult hurdle to acknowledge. I am a person who loves to be at home and the thought of moving 200 miles away was very daunting – I never thought it would be something that I would do. However, I quickly grew to love it. It became clear that it is so nice to travel the country, to see new places; places that I never thought would be just up the road. Living in the New Forest to then living in Staffordshire was a huge change. If I did not make the jump, I would still be stuck back home. I now feel more confident than ever to move anywhere!
What aspects of your University experience have helped you reach the point you are at today?
The friends I made at university helped me massively to get to the point that I am at now. These friends have been my support system and guidance throughout my whole university experience. As well as providing each other with the motivation when it was most needed, it was so nice to have time out and enjoy being with new people in a completely different place. I would never have the confidence to talk to new people and apply for amazing opportunities without them.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing at the start of university, knowing what you know now, what would you say?
At the start of my journey through university I wish that I had told myself to take every opportunity that comes along – it is so important. Even just slightly stepping out of your comfort zone, as if you do not like it, you can always stop and go back. These opportunities allow you to meet new people that can help you and it can provide the stepping stones to reach the career you wish to take. It is so important to put yourself out there and step away from what you are used to – you will become the better version of yourself and will reach where you wish to be.
Do you have any advice to graduates who would want to go down a similar pathway?
- Do not get frustrated if things do not go exactly how you wanted them to. Everything will fall into place. If you put the work in, you will get to where you want to be in life. Most importantly, you will be happy!
- Planning is key. If you plan every step of the way and know exactly how you are going to get there, you will.
- Failure is not always negative. Take anything which may be negative and put it into a positive. This is something that I have personally realised over the past 3 years. Just because it did not go the way you wanted it to this time, you can still get there.
- Meeting new people and expanding your contacts of those already in the profession is vital! These people can help you and provide guidance. Even though you still must put 100% in, these key contacts can make you feel so much more at ease, as well as meeting some incredible people!