As a final year undergraduate, the question of ‘what to do next?’ proved to be one of my biggest challenges.
Despite the large workload given over the Christmas break, I couldn’t focus on my degree. As well as juggling assignments and my dissertation, my mind raced with questions of post-university. I was aware of the looming presence of my future, and what I should be doing when I graduate. I poured over the list of graduate jobs advertised on Careerhub, still unclear of what my path should be. As a humanities student you can often be shoehorned into teaching or further education. As a young graduate I did not feel I had enough experience of life outside of education. Thus, the Catalyst Team Member role intrigued me to an opportunity in another world.
Having worked in many different student jobs; from ambassador, tutor, customer assistant and research assistant, I had enjoyed aspects of many jobs. When I came across the Catalyst Team Member advert, I couldn’t believe I could combine all that enjoyment into one, all-encompassing role. The advert professed a chance to find my interests, push past my comfort zone and support businesses in their success. I applied, unsure of the what and the how of these promises.
When I came to interview, both Simon and Eva emitted the positivity and promise of a job at Catalyst. The opportunity to work in many different roles with different clients seemed tangible, made possible by the guidance and expertise of the team assigning us the roles that speak to our interests and experience. I was lucky enough to be offered a job in the Catalyst team, which brings me to my first day.
As this is my first full-time job and a new chapter in my life, the anticipation and nerves were overwhelming in the days before I started. On the Friday before my first day, Simon and Eva invited me to a team picnic and rounders session. A semi-first day if you like, this gave me the opportunity to get to know some of the team before I officially started in the office. Under the blazing sun in Preston Park, my worries seemed to melt away. Now in the office and having secured my place as a Catalyst Team Member, I feel both grounded and free. I no longer have the ‘what to do next?’ question looming in my mind in a negative way. The team around me have been welcoming and friendly, an office ice-cream run breaking up my day of introductions. Past these first day jitters, I am free to expand my skills, experience and interests and support the varying but equally interesting work of our clients.
I am now looking at my previously looming question in a different light. Excited for my future with Catalyst, I now ask ‘what to do next?’.