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Graduating during a Global Pandemic? - don't panic!

By Victoria Fellows


Graduating from University need not feel like drawing the short straw. 

Since 2019, there have been over 2 million graduates in the UK alone. Graduating should be a proud and momentous occasion marking the completion of an academic achievement. However, the events of 2020 and 2021 so far, have made many graduates feel like their lives are on hold. 

It is understandable to feel disheartened with the current situation, and that your future plans and prospects have become disrupted, but we are here to support and reassure all students that the market is incredibly busy and needs YOU. 

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, you may have struggled with work placements being cancelled, campuses emptied, and barren and graduation ceremonies scrapped resulting in a period of isolation after learning being switched to online. 

However, economists have estimated that the graduate job market is coping better than the wider job market, and that many universities and employers have adapted to the global changes. 

Specifically, leaders in the Semiconductor industry are revising their long-term plans to accommodate for the growing demand. With society shifting into an age of home working, studying and communicating, video conferencing and other technologies are on the rise. This could have a long-lasting impact on existing services, and open new possibilities for the faster development of emerging technologies. 

In a pulse survey on ‘the impact of COVID-19 on the semiconductor industry’ conducted by KPMG and the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), they concluded that industry leaders feel that the global pandemic will have a positive impact on the growth, investment and adoption of 5G, artificial intelligence and IoT.

Malcolm Penn (CEO Future Horizons) has forecast that in 2021, the chip industry will grow by 18% to reach a market size of $520.6 billion. As the industry undergoes a period of high demand, there is an even more passionate drive for new minds and ideas. The industry is focused on developing the next generation of Analog IC Design Engineers, to compete in the age of innovation and create the next technological breakthrough. 

Our top tips on how to survive the pandemic as Analog IC Graduate:

STAY POSITIVE - the uncertain times that we are living in can be unsettling but staying positive is key to getting through the transition from student to employee. By channelling your energy into finding the right   opportunity for you, you are actively making steps in the right direction. If you are feeling exhausted or stressed, try stepping away from the situation for a short while to exercise, meditate, call a friend or whatever helps you to realign and refocus. 

SHARPEN UP YOUR CV - Employers within the semiconductor industry are looking for an in-depth technical understanding of what you have studied at university and how this is relevant to the role that you are applying for. Use your CV to showcase your technical knowledge and the transferable skills that you already have. During the pandemic you have a unique opportunity to develop your remote working skills, which are highly desirable to employers due to the current climate. 

If you need more help with CV writing, advice and feedback please see our blog here: HOW TO WRITE THE PERFECT CV

NETWORK - Start to build up your professional network. Now you have updated your CV, use these skills and experience to update your LinkedIn profile. Being stuck at home in the pandemic offers you the opportunity to reconnect and connect with individuals to build up your network. 

ALIGN YOURSELF WITH A RECRUITER IN YOUR INDUSTRY - Finding a recruiter who you can trust and who has the best opportunities for you can help you to get in front of the best companies as quickly as possible. 

LEARN HOW TO PERFORM IN INTERVIEWS - Learning how to perform in virtual interviews is another way to get ahead of the curve. You can practise the skills you will need for a video interview by:

  • Video yourself answering interview questions
  • Practise looking into the camera while speaking 
  • Check your audio and video settings to make sure you can be seen and heard clearly
  • Make sure you have an appropriate background that is uncluttered

Congratulate yourself! You did it. You should be so proud of yourself. Remember that you need to be kind to yourself. University is challenging at the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic which has been the catalyst to the new social norms of the virtual world. Be patient when applying for roles, but do not be afraid to follow up to show that you are committed to the opportunity.

What is the next step for you?

No matter where you are in your journey transitioning from university to a career, we are here to help you. Why not reach out for a confidential chat about the market and to assess your next steps. 

You may see on social media that friends from university are posting about their career development, but it is so important to not compare yourself to the things you see on social media. The semiconductor industry is very different to many others. 

Spend your time wisely by reading Analog IC and RF IC books, solving as many problems as you can. You can also access CAD tools and start practising online. There are many free IC Design and Layout tools online.  

We also have a supportive LinkedIn group that is dedicated to Analog IC Design Engineer Graduates. This group is a great place to meet new people, create connections and get advice and support. 

Remember you are not alone, and we are here to help.

Contact me for more information or an informal chat on +44 (0)118 976 9306

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