Now the title is a little misleading, for I am not in my final year of study. I am currently in my third year of University – with only a semester worth of full time study left before I decide whether I want to pursue some postgraduate qualifications or enter that scary world that surrounds on the campus from all sides. Things I have thought much about, but alas no conclusion has been reached quite yet. As I sit, on the floor of a room, which within a matter of weeks will no longer be mine, I am fretting about what could possibly be next.
A couple of months ago I approached CDES (Careers Development and Employability Services) enquiring about potential internship opportunities for a humble Global Studies student wishing to get some work experience. I had wanted to try my luck at going overseas but also if there was something on home soil, I wouldn’t be opposed. An internship seemed to be a good option. Many of my friends seemed to be doing some sort of work experience that was relevant to their degree, in fairness these were predominantly Law and Engineering students who take up Clerkships or have to fulfill compulsory hours (Engineers). Nevertheless, I wanted to do something productive with my time as I knew that I could easily spend the first semester of 2020 working rather than studying due to lack of papers left to complete.
One of the careers advisers at CDES concluded that I could be a good candidate for the Prime Ministers’ Scholarship for Asia (PMSA). The programme was set up to allow NZ students to pursue opportunities in Asia by assisting them financially. The hope is that they will act as Brand Ambassadors for New Zealand and its tertiary sector, as well as building stronger relations with Asia partners. I just needed to find a programme that I felt would help me achieve these goals as well as my personal priorities. So after going through the application process with them, I sit and wait. I’ve also started the process of gaining an internship in Taipei, Taiwan for 3 – 6 months. So I’m working towards my next step after finishing up as an Resident Adviser here in the Halls.
Now, I may not even get the scholarship, or may fail to obtain that internship in Taiwan. But I’m just moving in some sort of direction in the hopes that by doing so, I can find out sooner rather than later what on earth I am going to be doing for the next year. I think that’s the hard thing about getting to the stage that I am in at University. When you don’t have a set path, eg, another full year’s worth of study or a graduate job, you find yourself in a bit of limbo. So I’m knocking on many different doors exploring whether they may be my next step. This can be a daunting experience, especially looking at the people who I work with who are so used to just applying for all these different scholarships or opportunities because they know they have nothing to lose. It makes me nervous but inspired. I want their confidence and boldness.
Here I wait, wait on the confirmation of whether this venture will eventuate or fall through. Whatever happens, I will be ready to take the next step on this uncertain journey. I am beginning to sympathise with students in their final year. Hopefully this will all be useful experience for when I need to choose my future career!