Opportunities for New Graduates
What have earlier graduates done?
"Obtaining a degree does not represent a final career choice; one can find employment in various fields with a basic qualification. Many people could not even imagine just how many work in business life as trainers, HR managers, in business service centres, as head-hunters, or career consultants with degrees in humanities."
We should not be enslaved by our favourite subject when we choose our major, and having graduated let's not think about following traditional career paths, suggests the career consultant Andrea Juhos, who herself dropped into the world of business as an English major graduate. Previously, she has selected leaders in business life as a head-hunter and she has been helping managers as a career consultant and coach for ten years. She thinks the career choices of young people may be improved through a nationwide graduate career tracking system.
Andrea Juhos graduated with majors in English and Portuguese from Eötvös Loránd University and also completed her PhD studies there. After graduation she taught English at the English Department of the College of International Management and Business Studies, ELTE, and then she worked at the Press Department of the Embassy of the USA in Budapest. In 1997 she thought she would try her luck in the private sphere and applied for a job at the largest company in the head-hunter market at that time, and she was taken on. She dealt with the selection of middle and top managers for three years before founding her own company where-amongst other things-she helps top managers who have been made redundant to find employment again. This service, known as ‘outplacement', is provided by companies to employees they have made redundant, and is termed ‘humane dismissal'. The outplacement consultant helps unemployed top managers find employment again, and all this is financed by their former employer.
Excellent Command of English: May be Worth an Admission
The biggest change in her career took place when she switched from the public to the competitive sphere. From a press contact she found herself in the world of middle and top managers as a head-hunter. Talking about her entry into the competitive sphere, Andrea Juhos says, "when I applied to the Accord Group for a job I wasn't familiar with the profession. I was probably employed for my good command of English and my personal competencies." This proved to be a useful career step for her; since it was there that she learned about the way business life works.
She adds the thought that the way many university and college students neglect the development of foreign language skills is a major problem, since this is one of the most important factors for both international and increasing numbers of Hungarian companies, too. Improving personal skills and obtaining work experience are also important. Employment of students is easier if they taste the world of work as much as they can, and if they try things out abroad as well-for example on the Erasmus programme-she explains. Personal skills such as communication, presentation, persuasion, organisation and assertiveness can be improved by initiatives such as organising events at the college, participating in student union work, voluntary work, and getting a good internship at a reputed company.
Graduate career tracking: A wrong career choice can be prevented
The career consultant thinks that the development of a central Graduate Career Tracking System is useful and resolves deficiencies (Educatio Public Services Nonprofit LLC is working on this) inasmuch as it will provide information about where the graduates of a given study programme have been employed, what they could utilise of the material studied at school, what competencies they had to acquire later and what kind of living they could make for themselves.
"With these pieces of information, more conscious decisions could be made when choosing a major. Obtaining a degree is a million forint investment just for parents, even without tuition fees and the state contribution. Decisions made on the basis of entrance exam subjects are unfortunately still very common in career choices today. Many wrong choices could be prevented if we all sized up our own interests and the knowledge and competencies required for a successful career launch" she explains.