This student life: A plan for the real world
What exactly is everybody getting a degree for?; Spring term, week 5 at the Manchester Student House
Tuesday 09 February 1999
Which is why most of these students have taken up vocational degrees, or at least have a clear idea of what they want to do when they leave university. Dani wants to work as an environmental biologist; Ian is planning on being an air traffic controller; Robbie is interested in the City; Alistair and Dave hope to be more entrepreneurial. Only Rachael, Tasha and Rosie seem less sure of their future.
Rachael, who's studying art history, doesn't have a definite career plan in mind. Her approach is more fluid than that of some of the boys in her house. "When you're at college you can try out different things that you wouldn't necessarily have the time to do if you were working. I'm thinking of going to singing lessons with Leona, Tasha and Rosie, and I've just got a job with Pop, the student magazine, doing fashion illustration."
But she doesn't want to be an illustrator when she leaves college. "I want to find something I really am going to enjoy," she continues. "That means you can't just sit around watching TV all day."
This is a far cry from the Rachael whose plans for putting a band together were put on hold, while she sat about for four months doing nothing but watch TV.
Conversely, Ian is far more organised about his career and isn't leaving anything to chance. "I am somebody who likes to plan ahead," he says. "I'm doing geography, because it was the course most relevant to what I want to do, which is air traffic control. I reckon employers will want experience in team work and management skills."
Ian is a no-nonsense lad who can't understand wishy-washy people who make arbitrary choices for their degrees. "I'm an odd case," he says. "I've asked lots of people why they are at university and they don't know. I find it quite disconcerting." Today they've got no excuse: Ucas offers courses in everything from psychology to boxing studies.
``My management course teaches you how to market things, and how the economy works," Dave says. "We're also taught to work well in groups. I suppose I really came to college just to improve my social skills - in management, one of the most important attributes is the ability to communicate well."
So has it worked? Well, Dave has developed from a painfully shy boy from Sunderland to an extrovert of epic proportions. "I've met such a vast diversity of people," he explains. "I had a nice breakthrough in the first year, when I moved into a really cool flat with group of three lads and we all had a good laugh."
But isn't the real motivation for studying management just a basic desire to make money? "It's not the money that motivates me to do the promotions," argues Dave. "It's really all about building up experience. I used to want money so that I could have a big house and a flash car. These days, I don't think that's so important. If I had money now, I would go travelling and expand my mind. That's what it's all about - life experiences."
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
James Blunt finally admits the truth: 'You're Beautiful' is annoying
Doctor Who, Flatline - review: Clara isn’t half bad as the Time Lord
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments