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Career coaching: Tiffany

Name: Tiffany Sarfo

Degree: BEng Electronic Engineering with Nanotechnology

You graduated in 2021, can you tell us a bit more about what you are doing now (career related)?

I have been offered an unconditional offer to do an MSc by Research in Electronic Engineering which starts in January at the University of York. I am currently working part-time in order to raise funds to financially support myself during my masters degree. 

Where were you in relation to your career planning/making applications before you graduated?

Before graduating, I was unsure of what I wanted to do as a career. I was mostly focusing on passing my exams so had put career planning to the back of my mind. After exams, I started thinking about options and knew that I did not want to have a traditional electronic engineering job but was at a loss of what to do next.  

We hear you have engaged in career coaching; what did you do, and how did it help? 

I contacted the career coaching a few months before graduating because I was at a loss of what to do career wise after graduating. I thought that I would just get a little bit of help on my CV in order to improve it. This led to us talking about my career prospects in general; I enjoyed the nanotechnology module of my degree and wanted to arrange some work experience. My career coach encouraged me to contact my professor to talk about the possibility of arranging some as well as finding out more about his research area.  

I successfully arranged some experience and when it was over, I realised that further study and research was something I wanted to do. Coaching helped because it made me realise how important networking, and just putting yourself out there is. I didn’t expect to get as much help from careers coaching because I was so unsure of my career paths but the coaching was invaluable in helping apply for my masters which was something I never seriously considered before the sessions. 

Thanks to the career coaching, I can confidently say my long term career goal is to become a researcher in the nanoelectronics field, with a specialisation in thin film fabrication and characterisation.  

Would you recommend career coaching to other students and graduates? 

I was initially hesitant about contacting the career coaching because I thought it would be a brutal process where you were expected to know what you wanted to do and just needed help with how. However, this wasn’t the case at all. I was completely unsure of what path to take, and the careers coaching helped me consider all my options and gave me the confidence to pursue one. My overall experience has been extremely positive so I would definitely recommend career coaching to everyone who has access to it.