Summary: Languages graduate Yasmin returned to Leeds for an alumni careers event and shared her experiences with current students.
I grew up in Greater Manchester, attended comprehensive state schools and none of my family had studied beyond compulsory education. I was always very self-motivated and driven to succeed academically, as well being into a wide range of sports.
I chose Leeds because I really liked the fact that its a campus university and also that, when studying more than one language, you can spend both a term and a year in different places as part of your residence abroad, rather than just 6 months in two places like at many other universities. I spent my term abroad at the Universidad de Granada and taught English in Germany for a year. Both periods gave me invaluable life experience and helped turn me into a much more globally-minded person.
In my final year I really enjoyed the selection of modules that were available. I felt I could chose to focus on what I was truly interested in and I had a lot of scope within each module to explore topics in more depth than I had before.
Im now a Business Support and Change Officer at Oldham Council, working within a project team that is dedicated to developing and implementing a new HR, Payroll and Finance system for all Council staff to use. My role is to support the business manage this change; I work closely with workstream leads to ensure tasks are completed on time and are well-documented. I am required to work flexibly across a wide range of mini-projects, such as: collating information for Board and Steering Group meetings, handling the projects change control process, assisting with the cutover plan to move from the old system to the new one and then more administrative tasks such as organising and taking minutes for meetings.
It sounds like a cliché as these seem to be buzzwords when talking about employability, but the skills I learned at University that have proven to be the most valuable are organisational, analytical and time-management. Being organised and able to manage your time well are crucial to being able to plan your workload effectively, and are especially useful when your workload is hectic and potentially stressful as these skills allow you to approach challenging situations with a logical mindset. Along with organisation and time-management, strong analytical skills help you to be able to prioritise tasks; you can assess a project brief, for example, and decipher what the course of action and outcome should be. Being analytical also means you can work through problems by figuring out their root cause and providing a solution, rather than simply identifying the issue in the first place.