I can’t believe how quick these past three years have gone and that I will actually be graduating in July! Soon, a new chapter of my life will begin, but I have a few things I need to do before I finish – completing my research project, assignments and exams means a lot of preparation needs to be done!
This term I have 3 exams, 2 written exams and 1 interview/viva, and by the end of May I will finish Uni. This is one of the busiest and most stressful time of the year but I have said it so many times – although I am finding it difficult now, I know I’ll miss Uni when I leave.
The next steps
I am lucky that my course is vocational, so I have a pretty clear idea of the kind of career I want, and my course has fully prepared me for what I’ll encounter. As part of my degree I also have to complete the Portfolio of Professional Practice (PPP) that requires me to do 25 reports on different aspects of Environmental Health (food safety, housing etc.), and pass a professional interview in order to work as an Environmental Health Officer and to become a full member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).
It feels almost like I will need to do an extra year of Uni, just not going to lectures. To do this, there are placements available in different local authorities across the country, but I have secured a placement at Caerphilly County Borough Council starting at the end of this year. I would like to specialise in Health and Safety, so I could alternatively complete a different professional development portfolio called the Initial Professional Development (IPD) with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). This would require me completing 7 projects in order to become a Chartered Member.
The 5 year plan
The scariest part about leaving the comfort of Uni is having to apply the theory work you have done in to practice, and get a real job and work towards a career. I have been slightly ridiculed by some friends but I do have a “5-year plan” – it may sound crazy but this is probably the first time in my life that I know what I want to do.
First I want to complete my PPP and the IPD, to become a Chartered consultant in Health and Safety, which hopefully will help me secure a job in my chosen sector. Following this, I would like to start a masters course in Health and Safety. One day I hope to own my own Health and Safety Consultancy business, and I know that doing these additional qualifications is a vital part in achieving my goal!
Saying good bye to University
When I leave Uni this year I know I will have so many mixed feelings. I am moving back in with my parents for the time being while I figure out how to be a proper grown up and buy my own house; part of me is really looking forward to not having to pay bills or worry about buying food – but after living independently for the past 3 years I have a feeling the transition isn’t going to be easy. To give me some extra motivation, I have booked a holiday this summer as a little reward for completing these past three years and to celebrate my 21st birthday in style!
If you take anything from this blog, make it my advice to really enjoy the time you spend at Uni because even though you will get to the point where you can’t wait to leave and finish your assignments, you will miss it when it’s gone.