Graduating from college is both an exciting and scary time. Whether you will be entering the workforce for the first time or going to graduate school, there are many challenges to face and much learning ahead.
We reached out to some of our Golden Key alumni to give advice to students who will soon be entering the workforce or going to graduate school. These professionals and graduate students work and study in a variety of fields and industries.
In part 1, we will share some of the best responses:
It is very important to remain grounded and try to see the whole picture, and by whole picture I mean your life goals and dreams. It is very important to make goals and to keep in mind that things don’t always go smoothly, for one reason or another. First off, remember your self-worth, there is only one of each of us and that in itself makes you special. Secondly, do not make graduate school or work an indicator of your abilities or value. Finally, the third thing is to have your plan, being moving in the direction you want, and do the best you are capable of. Do not let bumps in the road take your eyes off the big picture.
Graduated with a Masters degree from Texas Tech University in 2011
My advice to undergraduates entering the workforce, especially the field of education, would be to find a mentor. Whether your job provides ones for you or not, partner up with a veteran in the field and learn all that you can. Also, stay abreast of the lastest trends in your fields by joining blogs, reading articles and attending conferences. Lastly, with everybody getting advanced degrees, to be able to move up the ladder you have to network and make your presence known, so people will know your name and face. Always do your job so well that they will have a difficult time replacing you and let your work precede you.
–Hope Solomon Frye
Albany State University
B.S. Early Childhood Education 2002
M.Ed. Early Childhood Education 2011
For students who are entering the workforce, my advice is for them to develop a firm self-discipline. College provides you a host of tools that will be useful in your career, but most of the things that will keep you successful is something that you have to learn on the job, or something that you have to be creative enough to make it to your own. You must always be willing to go the extra mile and have the attitude to allow yourself to flourish in a team environment.
For those going to graduate school, the main thing is to develop a good routine that will balance a rewarding life and success within your studies. Be imaginative and explore new ways to do things. In addition, try to build a relationship with your classmates and the faculty because a lot of the learning can be through interaction and mentorship.
DePaul University, MBA 2011
Since you will be joining the workforce soon, I recommend that you:
1. Start a portfolio of your work that includes projects, papers, pictures, your resume and your awards and accomplishments.
2. Join a professional organization in your field.
3. If you have a specific company that you want to work for, call them and ask for an informational interview or volunteer a couple hours in the week now so when you land that interview with them, they will already know you and how good you are.
–Denise M. Joseph
University of Maryland, College Park
I would recommend that all students getting ready for grad school begin the process of evaluating what their strengths and weaknesses are, so that when they begin their graduate studies, they are fully prepared to start eliminating their weaknesses, therefore making them more well rounded professionals that are capable of appealing to a larger market. For those students getting ready to enter the workforce, remember that you have spent several years investing in studies. Do not undersell yourselves; rather, develop a doctrine of equitability in your business ventures. Do not accept something that you will forever regret; instead, make sure it is the right decision in the long term, resulting in an equitable arrangement for everyone involved.
Stay tuned to the blog for more advice.