This was one of my main questions when I was about to finish my studies. Turns out that there is no simple answer and it will vary from person to person, but let’s be honest – life changes. Thus, in this post I will describe the biggest changes for me personally. Specifically I will point out three things that changed – Income, responsibility and environment.
- Income – The first one is self-explanatory, going from SU to a full time salary gives you a certain financial flexibility, but it comes with a price which takes me directly to the second point.
- Responsibility – Being a student, you are more or less only responsible for yourself, your own goals, your own interests, your own results. This changes when getting the employee card – you immediately become more mature. Being an employee, you are hired to do a job, meet expectations, meet interests and most importantly – other people rely on you. This is exactly why the application process for the graduate programme is so thorough – simply because WDH wants to ensure that you fit in and people can rely on you.
- Environment – The last change is the environment. The people you are surrounded by and work with changes significantly compared to your student life. You will work with various people and so far I have been working with people in an age span of 20 – 60 years old, all with various backgrounds.
So how do these changes affect your everyday life?
Well actually not much. I have a 40-50 hour workweek with core working hours from 9-15 – a time span that I normally would study in during my student life. The main difference is what you do – there is an actual need for what you are developing and it will most likely be implemented – you are partly responsible for that as well.
Do I miss my student life then?
Both yes and no.
Yes – I miss the spontaneous moments from my student life – something that does not go so well with responsibility and a fixed workweek. That being said, working hours are flexible and so far my manager has accepted any request I may have had related to my calendar – But you need to plan in advance.
No – I really enjoy working with responsible people that you can trust and rely on. Actually, I think I learn more each day in this programme than during my studies simply because the people you work with have so much knowledge/experience. In addition, you never feel that what you are working on is a waste of time since the need is real. Regarding the social life during work hours – this is where the graduate programme really comes into play! As a graduate, you will experience working alone so the social aspect of the graduate programme really makes a big difference. It is great to have the opportunity to spar with other people of the same age and mindset as yourself and someone to be more down-to-earth with.
Is working life better than student life? In some ways yes, in some ways no – It is up to you to discover.
Gustav Nordahl Jacobsen