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Language Gaps for new graduates

From a blog for The Cool Graduate http://www.thecoolgraduate.com/

The path less travelled

As graduation looms, students feel the pressure. You’ve had your fun, spent all the money, and now it’s time to be responsible and get a job. There is no doubt that you will need to do something that really counts and looks good on your CV. It doesn’t have to be a corporate training programme, however.

Think about it: you have spent the past few years trying to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Graduates have incredible skills, and yet so many companies don’t have any idea how to use your abilities. They are often more interested in moulding you to fit their specifications. There was a banking ad campaign that said something like “we think it’s easier to turn nice people into bankers than it is turning bankers into nice people”. That seems like a real waste of nice people! We could all get out there and do something different, but it’s hard to know where to start.

Using your existing skills

The Language Gap is passionate about finding overseas experiences and jobs that are out of the ordinary. Successful university applicants all have a talent that they have brought up to a high standard to distinguish themselves from the other students in the pile of applications. There are so many amazing things that students have achieved before they even arrive at university, and, sadly, these may never be used again. Grade 8 music? Mountain Leader? Dinghy Instructor qualifications? Lifeguard certification? Years of ballet exams and training? These extra curricular qualifications and experiences are your ticket to working, living and doing what you love abroad, and, most importantly, to connecting with people who love doing those things too.

The result

Spending time abroad doing something interesting, useful or unusual is guaranteed to have a positive impact on your future employment. Above all, you are obviously a resourceful and imaginative person to have got out there in the first place. Having a good level of fluency in one or more foreign languages will obviously make you much more employable.

Who is behind The Language Gap?

Emily Lusty, founder of The Language Gap, modern languages graduate, traveller, teacher, and mother of 3. I had the idea of combining hobbies and skills with language learning because of my own experiences: learning to windsurf in French as a teenager, spending a year in Ecuador and playing the ‘cello in the Ecuadorian National Symphony Orchestra, nannying in Spain in university holidays, singing in a choir in while working as a Language Assistant in the Canary Islands, and teaching languages all over the world. These are the experiences that I enjoyed above all, and where I learned the most. This is the way to learn, connect and make friends: doing what you love while you learn. I have contacts all over the world, and I make use of this great network to set my clients up with amazing and unique experiences overseas.

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