By Michaella Lesieur, Staff Writer
Seniors, it’s about that time in the semester, where we have to start thinking about life after undergrad.
Whether that be entering the job force, volunteering, taking a gap year or applying to grad school each one comes with its lofty check list of goals to accomplish.
The number one golden rule I feel all seniors should take when applying to graduate schools, is to apply EARLY! You want to make sure that you are not waiting till last minute, the day of, to submit your applications. Obtaining your master’s degree is a commitment, you are focusing on furthering yourself in your major to strengthen your abilities for the job force.
Next, make sure you meet with your advisor prior, to talk about each option that is made available to you. This will allow you to draw an outline of all the programs and schools that fall into your interests. Take the time to go on a campus tour if you have never been to. This way, you have an idea of what the school is like.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask professors and other students who are living in the shoes you hope to be. This will allow you to get a feel for the major and if it is something that you can picture yourself doing next year.
Once your application is in, make sure to plan your backup plans. Being able to plan ahead and what you will do if you can’t go with your first choice will make your decision far easier. By doing it in this fashion you are alleviating unnecessary stress during the waiting period.
After you have heard back from all your schools, now it is time to make your decision! Follow your heart and see where it leads you. Congrats on your acceptance!
Even if you do not get into the major on the first try, don’t give up, keep trying and you can get there!
THE JOB FORCE:
The job force is waiting for many seniors as businesses, organizations and companies are looking for new talent. Although, I know looking for a job is hard, you want to find one that will be the best fit for you. But no need to fear; there are tools made available to help. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get this first offer, there will be one out there for you.
Career Development on campus loves meeting with students and helping them prepare for the job force, and in just thirty minutes, they can help steer you in the right direction. Other tools include simple searches on websites such as Indeed to find out what is out there.
LinkedIn is a wonderful tool. To me, the resource acts as your personal assistant. All you have to do is plug in your information and it is basically a walking portfolio/resume that you can access from anywhere at any time.
However, life after college doesn’t mean it has to strictly abide to start graduate school right after, many people often take a gap year. And that is totally okay. Maybe you are interested in traveling and seeing more of what is out in the world before settling on in.
Many students actually will take time off to travel, before life starts to get busy. In college, there is not enough time to see and do all that traveling on your bucket list. So now is the best time to embark on a new adventure.
When taking a gap year, joining an organization or the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps will allow you to volunteer and give back to society. Not only will you be inspiring others to take action, but you will be making a difference in the lives of others.
Whether you are heading off to grad school, packing your bags for a new adventure, volunteering or stepping into the job force, never forget that you can do it! There are so many possibilities available at our fingertips, so take advantage!