As we embark on a brand new academic year, The Saint felt that the time had come to launch our brand new page. The careers section makes its print début today, and the timing has never been more important. Graduate employment rates remain the focus of much of the business and education media, with a reported 20.4% of students who graduated from UK universities in 2010 finding themselves without a job. The wider economy continues to suffer the after effects of the largest financial crisis since the great depression, with the UK remaining in the midst of a second recession in three years, and headwinds from the Euro crisis blowing consistently over the green shoots of recovery that our politicians are so hoping for.

Amongst such consistent doom and gloom, you could be forgiven for assuming that embarking upon a job search would be difficult at best, and futile at worst. However, to do so would be disregarding the ace up your sleeve; you attend a top university. The University of St Andrews has been consistently rated amongst the top five UK institutions by the Guardian’s University League table. Such prestige is why you worked so hard to gain a place here, and now the hunt for a job or internship is on, it’s time to cash in on that hard work. St Andrews’ graduates enjoy, statistically, far better prospects than the vast majority of their UK counterparts. Careers centre data from 2010 shows that only 6.4% of St Andrews graduates were still seeking work twelve months later, far less than the 20.4% UK average.

So, whilst undoubtedly the message for the overall jobs market remains “it’s tough out there,” as a student at St Andrews you remain at the top of the shopping list for many graduate employers. Of course, that’s not to say that you have the automatic right to a job. Certain skills may still need to be honed, whether it is CV writing, applications or interview and assessment centre technique. The Saint aims to bring the best in the way of advice, hints and tips and first-hand experience directly to you in this section. Each issue, we’ll attempt to share the success stories of graduates now working in a variety of different industries, starting with journalism (where else?). We are also looking forward to your response to our new “unusual job of the week” feature, which will highlight that not everyone has to work for a traditional graduate recruiter once they leave the bubble.

All that remains to be said is that we hope you enjoy, and find useful, the new feature over the coming year. The Saint wishes you the best of luck in your quest to find employment, whether it be permanent or an internship, and we look forward to hearing about your success stories as the application season gets underway.

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