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The Independent Online
Katie Joy Harris, 21, graduated this year from South Bank University with a BSc Hons (2.1) Sociology. She is working as an operator on the helpdesk of Natwest Bank's stock broking service, Brokerline.

"I had done bar work and some factory work for Sharwood's - on the production line of their curry sauces - during my time at university because I needed to get some more money. I'd taken out all the student loans and had a little money from my parents, but it wasn't enough to cover all my costs.

"After I finished my exams, I joined Manpower. They arranged an interview for me at Natwest Bank's share dealing service. I was offered a job, starting four days after graduating. There's a 50/50 split in the people here: half are graduates in the same position as me, half have been here for years.

"It is a temping job, but I have been offered the chance to make it permanent soon. The pay is low, around pounds 14,500, but they provide vouchers for lunch and so on. Thebenefits for a temp are poor - lack of holiday time, sick pay, that sort of thing. But at least it pays!

"I have been doing this for nearly six months. I had only intended to do the job for six months to tide me over while I sorted myself out, but I might stay on. I would love to do something more creative - this job is all about facts and figures. I will probably start looking in the new year through meeting people and trying to make contacts which seems the best way of getting your foot in the door."