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A thread for parents of DCs going into final year in non vocational subjects

(33 Posts)
BasiliskStare Fri 11-Aug-17 11:21:14

Well I think that says it.

Look , I know there will be loads of people who will say , well he / she's 20 / 21 their choice. Of course it is. But in this family we discuss things and this is the spirit in which I have opened this thread.

For context, DS is 20 - History - going into final year - unsure about post university. Has some ideas.

Anyone else in a similar position ?

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BasiliskStare Fri 11-Aug-17 11:37:08

Should have said though - nothing sorted out - so degrees of stress of finals and no definite end goal. Is this unusual?

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LoniceraJaponica Fri 11-Aug-17 11:43:41

DD is 17 so we are just looking at universities now. At the university talks we went to we were told that history is a transferable skill and that many employers would be happy to have a history graduate. So this doesn't mean that your son has to be a museum curator/archeologist/history teacher.

If he wants to do accountancy or law or something completely different I'm sure his degree will open several doors.

LittleHo Fri 11-Aug-17 11:52:09

Yes. dd going into final year of a history degree too and getting great grades. York has an amazing careers service.

I've decided not to worry about it too much as she is my super organised one and has lots of ideas. She has decided to apply for multiple things (on the basis that some will reject her) and is lining up Teach First too. She has volunteered in a local school throughout her degree and would make a great teacher.

BertrandRussell Fri 11-Aug-17 11:55:58

Yep.dd is 21 and going into her final year of Theology. She is in a mixture of denial and panic. Has decided that the Careers service will be unable to help her because Theology. No idea at all what she wants to do..

goodbyestranger Fri 11-Aug-17 12:36:47

Well Basilisk as you know I have a DS in an identical position at the same uni. I didn't want to not post but your DS is in very good company. However, I am under pressure to get out into the Scottish rain (boo) and anyway I'm actually not sure I have any answers.... How did the internship go and was it in an area of work he might like to pursue? My eldest DD would say take his time, no hurry, really give it some thought and above all don't get dispirited by rejections: lots of people at the same uni get lots of rejections but very few end up without something very interesting at the end of the process. I'll post again soon. Cheer up though Basilisk DS!

BasiliskStare Fri 11-Aug-17 12:59:28

Bertrand - DS briefly flirted with the idea of Theology. He went to an Open Day ( I think Cambridge) where they opened with - what can you do with Theology? - sure enough - hand up " be a priest" - at which point they put up a slide which was chock a block with journalists , actors , lawyers , management consultants etc ( i.e. pretty much anything which requires a bit of thinking - my list is not exhaustive btw ) , Probably doesn't help your DD but it was quite funny the way they did it.

"slide" - how old am I grin - you know what I mean, a big screen presentation thing.

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BasiliskStare Fri 11-Aug-17 13:05:29

Little Ho - I think she was a musketeer - but - I bet she has a plan !

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BertrandRussell Fri 11-Aug-17 13:06:37

Basilisk-that's what I keep telling her- but she's got herself into a negative mindset at the moment, so I think I'll back off for a bit.

Otherwise I'll end up shaking her till her teeth rattle

BasiliskStare Fri 11-Aug-17 13:09:15

So DS is thinking of Law conversion or similar - but nothing concrete at the mo. Also thinking of plan B ( plan B is very very Hazy grin )

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LittleHo Fri 11-Aug-17 13:26:31

Yes - she was and still is a musketeer smile and she does have multiple plans. Not worried about dd2 as she tends to do ok.

More concentrated on GCSE and A Level results for younger dc next week and the week after!

Needmoresleep Fri 11-Aug-17 13:52:11

Despite your request on a previous thread, I cant really help as both mine have taken/are taking quite vocational degrees, as are many of their friends.

That said one of their friends (Oxford humanities) is in a similar position and thinking of trying Civil Service Fast Stream. DS is one of those rare lucky children who knew what he wanted to do aged 12, though internships, University and peer knowledge have refined his ambitions. DD, in contrast, is slightly more ambivalent despite opting for medicine, and has a number of Plan Bs, including biomedical engineering or science teaching. (Actually her real vocation might be being a ski bum...) But also has a range of other interests, including cooking and dyslexia, which could well influence what she does, either in medicine or allied to it.

So...Civil Service (or similar like the FCA, National Trust, British Council, Local Government, NHS admin etc), teaching (Teach First is obvious, or perhaps similar experience in a boarding school, or even starting with a gap year with TEFL and picking up a second language), law, accountancy, management consultancy. Are there any sectors he is interested in: hospitality, tourism, property...

How about a really good career consultancy. DD did some computer tests organised by her school which provided an interesting profile of aptitudes and interests. It seemed pretty accurate, and what was also interesting was the big list of careers, depending on whether you were a people person, a practical person, good at detail, strategic and so on. Your DS could look at what was proposed and then decide which appeal.

Stopyourhavering Fri 11-Aug-17 18:43:46

Dd did Philosophy, graduated last year and just finishing MSc in TESOL, off to teach English in China for a year or two then come back and do PhD in Linguistics!!.... not bad for a girl who was told she'd be lucky to get a few GCSEs

BasiliskStare Fri 11-Aug-17 18:54:19

Need more - good idea - DS went to meet a friend of his today and there are a fair number considering Civil Service Fast stream ( from SOAS - but I would think that has something of an advantage for e.g. FO) . Just at the moment he doesn't think it is for him.

Ds's Uncle worked in IT / Big business / consultancy and did a TEFL course in Japanese - he now lives there with his Japanese wife and two half english / half japanese daughters.

Good for your DD Halfhavering

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BasiliskStare Fri 11-Aug-17 19:09:08

Just to say thanks all - it feels better just to say it.

On paper DS is lovely perfect MN DC - great GCSE grades , great A level grades , good university ( of course behind the scenes not all perfect ) but this is where I think we may hit the wall - appreciate other's advice or experience.

& of course to reiterate - it must be his choice.

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BertrandRussell Fri 11-Aug-17 20:38:40

I was a Civil Service fast streamer back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. I would be a bit wary now- the Civil Service seems to have become simultaneously politicized and emasculated, and a lot of the good bits are being done by political appointees. But that's just my impression- I could be completely wrong.

goodbyestranger Fri 11-Aug-17 22:53:25

DD1s partner is in the Civil Service Fast Stream doing incredibly interesting work Bert. He read Law at Oxford, declined his Magic Circle Training Contract offer to go into the Fast Stream and is very happy with his decision. No regrets whatsoever.

BackforGood Fri 11-Aug-17 23:52:06

My ds is 21, History, just graduated, but has no idea what he wants to do.
tbf, it seems to not be unusual amongst loads of graduates - not just his friends, but the dc of my friends too.

He has got a job / income (continuation of what he was working as alongside his studies) and has only really ruled out 'more academic study'. Fair enough.

scaryteacher Sat 12-Aug-17 09:48:53

Ds has just graduated with a First in History at RHUL. He is returning next month to do an MA in Public History, which should hopefully lead to a job. FCO firmly ruled out as not being his thing, which is a shame.

BasiliskStare Sat 12-Aug-17 15:48:48

Thank you all.

I am feeling somewhat happier in that DS seems a bit happier. He got up early this morning to get a train to go and see some university friends - some have a clear idea of what they want to do , some don't ( as you say Backforgood) . I found this out because when he looked a bit stressed the other day my rather simplistic answer was - let's go and walk the dogs in the fresh air and have an early night. Not brilliant but he is beyond what I can sensibly advise on , whether jobs or university work. Those two things plus making sure the printer has paper and meals are my Master Plan.

It is interesting to hear about DD1's partner Goodbye. I think DS wants some work which is interesting - I will tell him to do some investigation. Bertrand - DS is interested in politics but I think you are giving me a steer to check that is not the same thing - Thank you. I am adding to my fresh air and early night list - try to compartmentalise things in that some days are doing academic work days and others are thinking about job days. ( And even as I have the smile on my face - I know I would be rubbish at that. )

Needmore - I think thinking through Plan Bs is very sage advice.

DH - who is less of a natural born worrier than me , came back from a work trip yesterday & said - "he's at a decent university - if he works well , disasters aside he will get a decent degree albeit maybe not the best one. He'll be fine & we aren't going to leap into action when he has done his finals and rent his room out" grin

Thank you all. It's just a stressful time isn't it. I may be accused of being over invested in my son - I probably am. But he is my son so I think I can be allowed smile Scary - congratulations to your son.

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BasiliskStare Sat 12-Aug-17 15:52:06

Oh and Goodbye and Bertrand - just to slough off my self absorption for a moment - I wish both of your DCs in the same boat the very best.

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goodbyestranger Sun 13-Aug-17 10:17:17

Thank you Basilisk you're always outstandingly courteous. I have to say I haven't got a clue what my second year History DS is thinking and I'm leaving well alone on the subject but I'm taking (and have always taken) your own DHs approach almost exactly. I would say that your DS is extremely well placed in terms of post uni accommodation if he needs a bed - we live in a silly place which is far more of a come down after uni if needs ever be (very beautiful but not the centre of the universe by any means and excessively quiet in winter). Second year History DS was momentarily fazed by the third year History DS emerging with a First so I hope he doesn't feel he needs to match up - that's a horrible pressure. There's no obvious competition since they all seem to regard each other as dimwits but nevertheless it must be somewhere there in the back of his mind. If it helps, but as you know, I've seen several previous cohorts go through the process from the same place including in particular lots of students with History and English degrees and I can't now think of a single friend of the DC who hasn't now found their way into an interesting line of work even though for some there have been some meanders along the way, and certainly multiple, often surprising (to me) rejections. I'm certain your DS will be fine as I hope mine will be too - and the others here too, of course.

LittleHo Sun 13-Aug-17 11:41:08

It does make a huge difference where you live. Having a house in London must be a major advantage with jobs. I dread to think what the rents are like.

Needmoresleep Sun 13-Aug-17 11:47:30

LittleHo, This is a MN perennial. Usually from people outside London. Plenty of rent a room sites. Or share. You save money by not running a car, and wages, even starting wages, are higher. If need be there is lots of scope for weekend bar jobs. Rents are quite soft at the moment and young people in employment are in a good position.

Spending a few years working in London and building a career is a rite of passage. The City is now full of young people from across Europe doing much the same. You do have to work hard, but I think it would be a pity not to try. Even to decide staying in the long term is not for you.

LittleHo Sun 13-Aug-17 12:01:19

That is such a relief to hear. What are the best room sites to search for a room to rent? I know it must vary hugely but what would a normal rent be in a normal part of London?

I applied to a job in London from the sticks and spent two happy years in London renting a room so I'm glad to hear it is still possible.

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