Why London is a graduate’s paradise
Finding a paid internship in London is the first choice for over a fifth of graduates looking for their dream career. They flock to the capital in droves following their last exam, searching for that London lifestyle complete with cool graduate job, smart flat and nights out that don’t end up in a kebab shop. We can’t promise it is exactly like that – the smart flat might have to wait a bit and chicken shops in London can often take the place of a greasy kebab, but a great graduate job is definitely within reach. There is a reason why graduates seem to think that London is the place to be post-university and that’s because it is a city geared towards catering for young professionals (and tourists, but when you actually live in London you won’t see them much). All the attractions and pop-ups that happen throughout the week in the capital are created with the young adult population in mind, knowing they live a fast lifestyle and want to spend their salary as quickly as they earn it.
If you are moving to London from a uni-centric city such as Manchester or Leeds then you will probably feel a bit lost when it comes to the moving date. Housing is often the first thing that comes to mind – namely, wondering how on earth you will be able to find somewhere remotely within budget. Don’t despair just yet, because there are a few areas around that will leave you with pocket-money for drinks after work, you just need to find them. London is more like a collection of towns than one huge city, meaning it is full of smaller neighbourhoods outside of Zone 1 with great places to eat, drink and generally live without the crowds. Have a look around the typical graduate focus points of Clapham and Balham or move out towards the latest hipster spot in East London, but just remember to leave enough time for it. You will find somewhere to live, you just need to be diligent and do your research.
Once you are earning a graduate salary you will belong to London’s reckless young professional crowd. Look forward to throwing your money at London’s social life and don’t be afraid to enjoy it either. Much of the capital city is centred around playful pop-ups that keep the nightlife and weekends eclectic and exciting. Nothing is ever the same month on month so you can forget about heading to the same student union bar every Friday. If you came to London to ramp up your social life, then you won’t be disappointed.
The arts scene in London is also immense and it never seems to stop. There is a carousel of exhibitions that happen around the year at the vast multitude of museums and galleries that the capital boasts. Internationally renowned artefacts are brought in from all over the world on tour, so if you ever wanted to broaden your horizons without taking more than a few hours out of your day, then you have moved to the right place.
One part of the graduate life that seems to be gaining more and more traction in London are the brunches. There seems to be a correlation between the influx of young professionals and the rise of elaborate brunches. Where at university maybe you headed to a greasy spoon to soak up a heavy hangover, in London prepare to smarten up and sit down for eggs benedict or waffles and fresh berries. You can go one step further if you require a little hair of the dog and book yourself in for a bottomless brunch – unlimited Prosecco or Bloody Marys are now a common sight on menus around the city. Here’s a list of a few favourites if you need any inspiration!
London is an incredibly diverse city, which can only be a good thing. Get excited about being surrounded by a mix of different cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities. Sure, everyone still might ignore you on the tube, but at least you will be amidst countless delicious eateries inspired by cuisine from all over the world, and be able to go to music gigs that celebrate a history of eclectic sound from jazz to electronic. Embrace the melting pot of ethnic diversity that is London and endeavour to make the most of it.
Finally, if you are moving to the capital in search of new opportunities, then aim high. Any one street is likely to contain vast quantities of offices full of companies looking for bright graduates fresh from university. BrighterBox works with startups that are building their businesses from scratch and want people ready to jump on board. If you aim high enough then you will be in for an exciting time as the workplace culture in London is competitive in more ways than one. You are likely to be swept up with the ambition and drive present in many new companies aiming to be the next big thing. Each new startup wants to appear more quirky and fun than the last – and offer company cultures designed to encourage creativity and exploration.
If you do decide to head to London after graduation give us at BrighterBox a shout and we can help you get on track with your career at a startup!