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What I Went Through as a Fresh Graduate - Part 3 of 6

Hi there, I am Agnes Goh, a recent graduate of NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communications and Information and University Scholars Programme. Through my 6-part sequel, I will like to share my personal stories during my university education and post-graduation. Following my first two articles where I shared about my experiences as an undergraduate, I will be sharing some of the personal struggles I faced as a fresh graduate in my third article. Trust that you are not alone in your journey, enjoy the article. 



Fears of a Fresh Graduate

Closer to graduation, I asked myself if I’ve achieved “Success”. 

And what are indications of success? 


I didn’t get a first-class honours, neither have I secured a good-paying job before graduation.

These are not strict indications of success. 

But it’s hard to get them out of my head sometimes. 

Perhaps it’s societal expectations that are associated with an university degree. 

Or, simply my own expectations.


As a result, I felt the pressure of having to secure a job nearer to my final semester. 

I’ve heard so much about peers who landed good-paying jobs (especially in the banking and finance industry), and fellow scholar friends who had already secured jobs as part of their bond. 

I became more and more worried about my career prospects.


Food for Thought: Do You Feel the Same Way as I Did? 


The Reality of Job Search

Nevertheless, I still remained hopeful. Hopeful of exciting opportunities ahead. 

As a communications graduate, I wasn’t expecting an impressive starting pay as compared to other professional degree holders. As cliche as I may sound, I wanted a job which I would enjoy and earn a decent income. 


With that in mind, I started searching for jobs around April when I was close to finishing my final year project. I came by a few good opportunities but they were immediate hires which I could not commit to. I went full-force into my job search in end May, applying to marketing/social media/events related roles. 



I wasn’t extremely particular about industries, but job search wasn’t smooth sailing. 

I spent a significant amount of time each day, filtering job options and applying for them. 

I submitted applications after applications, went interviews after interviews, in hope of landing a suitable opportunity. This went on for a month.  


Food for Thought: How Have Your Job Search Been? 


Dilemmas I’ve Had in Accepting Job Offers

It took a while before the first offer came in. And eventually, I received several job offers. 

But I didn’t manage to secure my top few choices. 

Among the roles that I really wanted, they preferred experienced hires (with at least 2-3 working years) over fresh graduates. While I had several internships, certain companies didn’t regard them as real working experiences. In the event that they did accept fresh graduates, the roles were mostly temporary hires, trainees or contract-based. 



Among the offers that I had gotten, I assessed based on personal interest, job scope and learning prospects. I rejected those that were a mismatch for my interests and learning prospects. Eventually, I narrowed down to two options - a digital marketing role at a MNC versus a marketing & sales role at a startup. 


It appeared as if the decision was easy to make. 


The marketing role offered financial stability and very attractive benefits, it was obviously the ‘sensible’ decision to make. Yet the startup offered an ideal combination of offline and online marketing opportunities in an industry of my interest (but with a very humble intern pay). 


At that point, I was caught in between. 



As a fresh graduate full of drive and passion, I was intrigued by the immerse possibilities in a startup culture. What’s more, my family was not undergoing much financial stress at that point in time. After much deliberation, I seeked my parents’ support and decided to pursue the startup path. 


Food For Thought: If You Were Me, Which Option Would You Have Chosen?


End of Part 3: Career Guidance for Fresh Graduate