How has your time at Royal Holloway prepared you for what comes next in your life? Blog post 1, by Reema Chandarana

How has your time at Royal Holloway prepared you for what comes next in your life? Blog post 1, by Reema Chandarana

Year 3 students were asked to answer this question: “How has your time at Royal Holloway prepared you for what comes next in your life?”

The best blog was written by Reema Chandarana. Reema wrote about the importance of networking. Congratulations! 

Nothing can ever completely prepare you for what life after graduation brings – but you can sure get a good nudge in the right direction. My nudge was Royal Holloway. From since I can remember, I have always genuinely convinced myself that I could avoid ‘networking’ forever. I absolutely hated the idea of walking into a room of well-achieving strangers, emerging myself into their view and bothering them to ask questions about how I could become someone like them. I couldn’t imagine anything worse if I tried. But simultaneously, I also knew networking was this magical and insightful key that I saw my friends using to get from one place to the other.

Royal Holloway runs an annual psychology networking event called ‘Meet the Grads’, whereby the sparkling alumni of the university who have gone on to achieve a wide variety of things come back to campus for an evening, accompanied with wine and pizza, to impart some of their wisdom to us wide-eyed students. I, however, did not go to this event in first year, nor second year. I wanted to make sure, however, that in my third and last year, I took advantage of being a student in a University that provides multiple opportunities. One of those opportunities included this annual event.

When I arrived, I realised the night was a lot more casual than I thought – and a lot less scary than imagined. The night consisted of all the alumni giving a ten-minute presentation about everything that went on from the moment they graduated to that very evening. They touched upon their gruelling job-search experiences, what their first jobs were and how they used their skills from their old modules to sell themselves during the interview process. They were all so candid about their experiences at university, the good, the bad and the ugly. This made the audience (most of us on our fifth coffee of the day trying to keep up with the never-ending workload) have hope that we too could make it in the real world. The alumni’s presentations, most importantly, also opened up my eyes to the limitless career routes you can take after a Psychology degree.

It was after the ‘Meet the Grads’ event that I truly realised how many options I could take after graduation. This networking event taught me to stop putting myself into a box and that I had more career options available to me aside from the one I told myself I’d pursue for the past two years. It’s because of Royal Holloway and their persistence in getting students to try new things, that I had the opportunity to attend this event. I’m truly happy that I did, because now I realise it’s only the first step that is always the hardest – for networking and all other things. I broke out of my comfort zone and now I know whatever comes next, attending Royal Holloway has prepared me to overcome the fear of trying.