Being Stepping Stone Smart


This blog is dedicated to careers development of GRADUATES (or graduates to be) from post-graduate taught (Masters) and research degrees (PhDs), who often are on the move, crossing different countries, potentially multiple Higher and Further Education registry offices, away from their home countries, pursuing SOMETHING SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Sometimes you know clearly what THAT SOMETHING is. At other times the glaring distant object has moved far beyond the horizon, leaving you with no direction, or ANY DIRECTION to face towards.

This blog aims to bring together the community of graduates  in support of one another’s life missions or just simply BEING.

In this blog I will supply fresh ideas, support and guidance to your doorstep.

These will vary from personal experiences of transitioning across geographical, social and personal spaces in my post-PhD life in the UK and ELSEWHERE…

…to research based – aka what other styles of “swimming in the open ocean” graduates like to try out…


What can you find here?

  • TIPS & RESOURCES for your professional and personal life transitioning across countries and careers

  • Latest news on graduate labour market situation in post-Brexit UK and beyond (oh Canada, Justin Trudeau and recent intensive PRO-immigration politics…)

  • You can share your migration |career directions here – HOW you got to where you are, risks you took and fears you faced, ups and downs…

  • Contact me to receive my personal support and guidance in your migration, mobilities and careers whereabouts

  • …you can also just say hello!


…this SPACE IS YOURS TOO…please please please…do mark YOUR STEPS across it…

…who knows where your steps could take you and others to…




How it all started

I was on this space once before, just after I completed my doctorate in Human Geography, titled: “Stepping-stone migration: Polish graduates in the UK”. 

The aim of my doctoral research was to deepen the understanding of what happens to individuals who graduate in their home country and move to another, within the the post-2004 EU on the example of Polish graduates who migrated to England.

The research was undertaken in 2011 and is based on 40 in-depth interviews with Polish graduates of their home country universities and aged between 22-35 years old. In general terms – Millennials on the move across Europe and beyond and diverse HE institutions along the way.

The study shows that graduate migration to another country leads to differing approaches to career and life trajectory development after migration.

Although, graduates’ transitions from university to employment are individualised, it was possible to identify patterns in the ways in which they approached and negotiated their career progression.

I conceptualise (Szewczyk, 2013) these using the following typology: ‘Continuers’, ‘Switchers’, and ‘Late Awakeners’  with dynamism and slippage across the groupings. Such typology may have wider resonance to other graduate migrant cohorts in Europe and beyond.

My recent research work focuses on photography graduates’ careers and mobilities in Bristol, the UK. Soon more on that in my posts…

Szewczyk, A. (2015) ‘European Generation of Migration’: Change and Agency in the post-2004 Polish graduates’ migratory experience’, Geoforum.

Szewczyk, A. (2014) Polish Graduates and British Citizenship: Amplification of the Potential Mobility Dynamics beyond Europe, Mobilities.

Szewczyk, A. (2013) Continuation or Switching? Career patterns of Polish graduates in England, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Szewczyk, A. (2013), Stepping-stone migration. Polish graduate migrants in England. Doctoral thesis at Loughborough University

Szewczyk, A. (2012), New and Old Middle Class Polish Graduates’ ‘Brain Training’ in England, Studia Migracyjne – Przegląd Polonijny, PAN, z.3 (145), 151-166


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