Guest Article: My journey as a Languages graduate

Posted on: 08 Feb 2018

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My name is Alisa Walker and I’m a BA (Hons) Applied Languages alumna who graduated in 2013. After initially pursuing my career in the UK I more recently moved abroad. Here are six tips for when you’re thinking about what to do next.

Think ahead

After returning from studying abroad, you’ll probably be reminiscing on how much fun you had. Although it was almost certainly the best year of your life, it’s also important to focus on the next year of your life. The job market is competitive, so get the ball rolling as early as possible.

Filter your choices

As a language student, you’ll know that your degree provides you with an unlimited amount of career opportunities. This is amazing, but it can be nerve-racking when deciding what you actually want to do. Keep an eye on the job boards and make a note of the different tasks that stand out to you. This way you’ll know what tasks and skills to look out for, even if you don’t know exactly what job role you’re after.


I know what it’s like when you’re not really sure if you’re going into the right field. The best way to have any idea about this is to engage, network and learn as much as possible. You can contact the University's Careers and Employability Service (remember you can use them for five years after graduation!), read and also keep an eye out for any events that are relevant to your field of interest. Don’t be afraid to approach professionals to ask about the company culture and specific departments.

Be determined

If you do know what you want to do after uni, then be determined throughout your job hunt. This of course may mean that it takes a bit longer, but I knew what field I wanted to work in after graduating so I focused on gaining relevant experience to get me there. I did a three month internship straight after uni, which helped loads in getting my first permanent position.

It’s ok if your first job isn’t your dream job 

The most significant thing I’ve learnt since graduating is that the career path, really is a path, which means you may have to take a few stepping stones along the way. My first job following my internship wasn’t my dream job, but I enjoyed the field I was working in and gained essential skills for my next role.

Don’t lose your language

After doing a degree and studying abroad you’ll know how easy it is to pick up a language… and also how easy it is to forget a few words. Once uni is over it really is up to you to maintain your language skills. Read blogs in foreign languages, watch Netflix in foreign languages and Whats’app your Erasmus friends in foreign languages. Having a language adds heaps of value to your CV so keep up what you’ve learnt and ensure it’s part of your future.

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I hope the above has given you some guidance for starting your career! After working in London for 3 years, I relocated to Frankfurt, Germany in 2016. This was a huge stepping stone in my career and as you can imagine, I’ve had uncountable new experiences since permanently moving abroad. For more on living and working abroad after your studies, feel free to check out my blog.