Where to locate yourself after graduation – one graduate’s experience

HK skyline

“Location, location, location” were the famous words the British real estate tycoon Lord Harold Samuel used when describing the three most important attributes of real estate.

In today’s globalised world, you would have thought that this phrase would have started to lose it’s validity. Instead, this quote is even more applicable now than ever before.

Due to the openness of the world we live in, people now have an extra challenge to make – they have the opportunity to choose where to locate themselves in the world. While this decision is most certainly not final, and can be changed at any point, most people tend to take it just after they finish their education or begin building up a career.

Positioning yourself correctly can have great benefits both in a personal and professional aspect.

Emil - London view

From a personal point of view, you have to do your best to live where you feel most at home. This means being comfortable with what the village/city/county/country/union provides. This includes everything from everyday necessities like transport, social interaction or local cuisine all the way to culture, healthcare, politics and living standards.

On the other hand, from a professional point of view, you can also consider basing yourself where it can benefit your career most. This idea derives from Michael Porter (a renowned Harvard economist) who introduced the concept of important aspects of businesses, like suppliers, local knowledge, infrastructure etc. tending to group together in a specific location to form so called ‘clusters’. Think Silicon Valley software or Hollywood films. Locations like these attract people that want to follow a career in the cluster’s respective industries because they offer the best opportunities.

There is, however, a third way in which to approach a big move – balance the two points. Because both are very important. A good way to go about deciding where to build your life would be to find the balance between enjoying your everyday life, and having an opportunity to grow professionally. Look for a place that provides you with exactly what you want from life and work.

And if no such place exists? Find the right balance that works for you. Or if you have to, you can always cover your eyes, get a dart and aim at a map!


And keep in mind, plans change depending on the environment. When I first visited the UK when I was about 15, I loved it. I made it my aim to move there, and started by moving to study in England, with plans to immediately start my career there after. This was very much the plan until something that I would not have even considered possible happened just between my final exam and my graduation day. This unexpected occurrence is now better known as “Brexit”. I was not sure how this would affect the country both economically or socially. Therefore, I’m now back in my home country – gathering experience and waiting to see what the future holds for the UK.

Remember that the Essex alumni network is made up of over 95,000 graduates across 130 countries – keep an eye on our events calendar for upcoming events near you so that you are able to utilise your network wherever in the world you are!



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