It is often expected that we should know about our career plans and future goals when we are in school or university – I, however, completely disagree with this. We might have an idea about the field we wish to venture into, but this is never known until it’s explored. Being an anxious and an indecisive person, I was obviously confused in making a choice between the science and business stream in school, and even now that I’m studying Biotechnology, I’m still uncertain about my future plans. Don’t get me wrong – I am fascinated to learn about genes. But there are lack of opportunities to carry out research in my home town, and the expensive education system does not make it any better.
It is important to understand that education does not merely have to be a direct means to anyone’s career. It might be in some career opportunities – like that of medicine or engineering – but, more generally, it has a much greater role to play. Education has enabled me to have my say, given me the ability to think wisely and critically and, last but not the least, to learn every day.
The United Kingdom is one of the most highly developed countries in the world and so is its education system, providing students the opportunity to work closely with supervisors of their choice and explore they’re passionate about or even completely different ones. Each student gets to make their own choice and learn what is best for them to do in the future. Some might feel very passionate about research and would consider it best to get a PhD in their respective fields – as did one of The University of Manchester’s most reputed and respected alumni, Brian Cox, in the field of Physics, or the famously known Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch, in the field of Drama. These and many more have made history with their constant determination and hard work to excel in what they feel the most passionate about.
Although it is important to choose the university for you, there are plenty of opportunities to explore during your studies, meaning that decisions about our future career paths can change or perhaps strengthen. Coming to Manchester as an International student and adapting to a completely different lifestyle has meant that I have also developed other interests, such as digital marketing. I would love to combine this with my education instead of following the conventional pathway of getting a job or pursuing further education.
Some of our own alumni are great examples who I look up to as people who have changed their career paths after university. Parineeti Chopra is one of the most influential leading actresses in India who studied Business at the University. However, she is now loved for her acting skills in Bollywood. Her education did not define her career but does play a role in shaping her as an individual. Being a Business student, her studies perhaps help her remain informed about how the industrial market works, or what she could accept when signing deal with brands. It’s not just her – even the famous Instagram influencer Eleanor Jane Calder, who is admired for her fashion sense, studied Sociology from The University of Manchester. These are just some of the many examples that, thus prove it is completely normal to shift gears in life.
University has a bigger role in shaping an individual’s personality rather than just defining their career paths. The skills we learn through societies, volunteering and other extra curricula activities can be as important as your degree when it comes to some graduate jobs. We all must understand the importance of shaping ourselves as people by doing what we enjoy 😊