Hey seniors, as graduates of the 2010 class, we remember being in your shoes this time last year. One of us had gotten a job offer and was looking forward to spending her last term surrounded by friends. The other one was applying for any and every position that interested her. However, neither one of us thought about what actually happens once “real life” begins.
To be honest, it was hard. We both moved away from home, to a brand new city where we had little experience. We started entry level jobs in unknown environments and felt like we only knew each other in a city of over five million people. Four years had taught us the ins and outs of Carleton and now we were expected to adapt instantly to a completely different system. We were unsure of ourselves despite how well-prepared we felt last June. We assumed that our experience was an isolated one. Surely other recent grads were having the time of their lives! We imagined them instantly making friends and partying every night without having any work hanging over their heads. Sounds pretty ideal, right? That’s what we thought.
After talking to old and new friends, we realized that many of us were having similar feelings about post-grad life. It seems to be a phase that almost everyone experiences but that no one really talks about. Think that’s weird? So do we. We hope that a more honest conversation about the realities of reality will better prepare students for the transition from college to whatever is next.
Don’t let us freak you out though, it definitely gets better over time. You’ll start to form a network of friends, work is never as scary as it was on day one, and that brand new city will start to feel like home. However, we’re betting that your number one concern right now is figuring out what it is you’ll be doing in a couple of months. So, we wanted to share some good advice that we received during our own job search:
1.) Have confidence in your resume - Having a good resume on file cuts out a lot of hassle that can prevent you from applying for positions. When you reach out to contacts or alums, they may ask for your resume and it’s nice to be able to respond immediately with a polished one attached. Not feeling great about your resume or don’t have one? The Career Center is just in the basement of Sayles. Don’t be scared and stop by.
2.)Transferable skills, got them? - YES! Sometimes going to a liberal arts school can make you think that you don’t have concrete skills that fit nicely into a job description. This isn’t true. If a PR firm requires a Marketing major with 1 year of professional work experience, highlight your outreach efforts on campus, ability to write well, and think creatively. Don’t discount yourself just because you don’t fit perfectly into their box.
3.) Don’t rule out internships - You may be so focused on finding a job that you’re bypassing other opportunities. Paid internships do exist and companies often hire interns as full-time employees down the road. Internships are a great way to continue exploring your interests without signing onto a long term commitment. You’ll get your foot in the door - and that’s what it’s all about.