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How do I choose a career? Reflections of an Oxford graduate

[Becky Dellar was one of the Just Love, Oxford originals, long time committee member and all round legend. Having finished her degree in Geography from Mansfield last year, she now works for Christians Against Poverty. Here’s her advice on career choices after University.]

So I left Oxford with a degree in Geography, and some pretty amazing memories. This proved that I could study well. I could write essays. I could have a good time. But I left with something more. I left passionate about seeing people’s lives transformed. I was passionate about seeing people lifted out of poverty. I was passionate about Jesus Christ, and seeing lives literally turned on their head by the unconditional love he has shown for us.

My experiences at Oxford have been central in shaping the person I am today. Whilst I was in Oxford, I was on the Just Love committee. I had the opportunity to really examine and put into practice that desire to see lives transformed, organising events to equip and enable others to do this. I realised in this time that my time at university was going to be beyond my academic results. My tutors were telling me to work more to ensure that I would come out with a first #oxfordproblems. But at that point I knew in my heart that God was calling me to put him above my results. My time was not going to be completely consumed by my work, but it was going to be spent learning about faith, investing in others, and so much more.

In the summer after my second year, I spent a lot of time in and with people from foodbanks across Bristol as part of my dissertation research. But I couldn’t help thinking there was something more that needed doing. This was a problem that needed sorting at the root. As far as I could see foodbanks were only a sticking plaster. In that summer I also spent four weeks volunteering at Christians Against Poverty. I saw an organisation at work, seeking to serve the poor, and save the lost, through the church, across the nation. CAP reaches right to the heart of poverty, working to tackle debt, unemployment, addictions and a lack of life skills. But ultimately CAP exists to make Jesus’ name known.

Fast forward seven months, and what a privilege it is to be halfway through my year working at Christians Against Poverty on their leadership and management programme. Whilst maybe I didn’t see it at the time, God has upheld me every step of the way. It was a step out onto the waters moving away from family and friends up to Bradford, but he has definitely brought me to this place for a reason. I think only looking back can I see how God has used all my experiences and all the gifts that he has given me for his purposes.

I don’t know where or what I’m doing next, but I am learning to trust, to take hold of the hand stretching out before me. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

My advice to you would be to take the opportunities before you, to learn what particular passions God has given you. Also, don’t compromise who you are to be who others want you to be. God does have a plan for each of us, and it is not the same for all of us. God will use you and your unique capabilities to do something special for him whether that’s in business, in an organisation like CAP or somewhere completely different.

Check out CAP’s website if you want to know more. And if you want to know more about the Lead internship click here https://capuk.org/get-involved/you/lead-programme.