Who they are:
  • Graduates in transition from university to labour markets whose education and work trajectories undergo drastic changes that are not part of a ‘grand master plan’ before migration
  • Acknowledge the changeable nature of life, and the main opportunities that lay in the routes to where they want to be and what they want to do
  • Highly flexible, believing that the routes that take them off the track can still deliver similar results, but from a different angle
  • Have a broad scope of potential occupations that they want to do in the future, which could be described as plans A, B, C and so on
  • Often undertook employment during studies and after graduation in their home countries that is not related to their field of study, predominantly basic skilled jobs (hospitality, data entry)
  • Aware of timing – try to work at their own pace and not to rush things

What graduates say:

“You need to allow yourself to be flexible, a little bit, not sort of flexible that will blow you of the course totally; but when you are blown a little bit, you bend, and come back […] the route that you choose to pursue, the thing that I wasn’t meant to do, might not be necessarily the route that is the easiest for you, there might be another route, which I do not know about yet, so you need to be flexible, use different routes to get to the centre” (Grad. 3).

“So maybe I can predict, plan my career, but then I think, maybe my personal life will change, and then I will change my professional drive accordingly […] I think I’d rather stay open, and of course I have my own goals and ideas, which I will try to realise. But the point is, if my life changes, I am perfectly open to behave accordingly” (Grad. 4).


What they do after migration:
  • Strong agency in re-designing their career paths after migration with varied time-scale
  • Undertaking additional studies and other training that is not directly related to their higher education obtained at home country institution
  • Often the newly obtained education is linked with their past/current employment or interests developed after migration
  • Often choose subjects that ‘they had always wanted to study’, but realised this at the later stages of higher education in a home country
  • Working and living experiences in the destination country have a strong influence on new career paths

What graduates say:

 “I did have it in my head that I kind of wanted to do a degree, but obviously the degree that I chose the idea of it came a bit later when I started work, and the work gave a bit more different experiences, and at work somebody actually suggested to me, ‘oh you are doing this one now, you will be good in social work!” – so that’s how I kind of started thinking of this degree” (Grad. 23)

“I was doing interpreting since the day I came here. I was helping with opening people’s bank accounts, I was responding to police calls in the middle of the night…well it wasn’t interpreting because nobody paid for it, but then I thought – why not? […] the potentialities there are, I’m going to be an interpreter, I want to do that, I want to work as an interpreter” (Grad. 25)


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