It is approximately 7 weeks left for the long awaited graduation season. A lot of graduates have already done their graduation attire shopping. Everyone is excited for the big day; where their hard work will finally pay off. At this point almost all the graduation prospects are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel beaming in brighter and brighter! Well, after graduation then what? Do you really know what you want to do or what to do after graduation? Has anyone provided you with the blueprint to the next destination yet? Correct me if I am wrong, but many of you are starting to scratch your heads trying to answer these unanswered questions. There is no doubt graduating from USG is one of the many accomplishments a student can ever have. However, we will all need a road map to navigate the steeper road ahead. I say steeper not because I anticipate hardships in the future but because I know that we are poised to rise to the top, therefore we will need to rise and shine.
Let there be no doubt, the road maps will differ from one graduate to the other but the destination will be the same. Like the famous Chinese saying goes, ‘’there are many ways to the top of the mountain but the view is always the same’’. As someone who has accumulated numerous hours of talking to people from all walks of life, done employment and academic interviews, explored a lot of career opportunities, and enjoys to motivate others achieve their goals and become successful, I will lay out what I think is the road map every graduate will need after graduation. I am going to offer you several routes on this future roadmap. I do that because I do not believe in a silver bullet one solution to a multifaceted world that presents itself in unique ways from one person to the other. If you are not that one lucky person out of millions of people, then you need to listen carefully to the directions.
For those who want to continue to their next degree, by all means go ahead and start preparing on applying to potential schools, taking the GRE-exam, and hon in on what you want to focus on. For those who are looking forward to getting employed in the field of their study, I will provide you with an all- hands- on- deck road map that you will need to accomplish that goal.
First of all, search for the jobs that you want to apply for and start building a resume that is tailored for that specific job. Again, I think that gone are the days of submitting an employment application online and sit back and relax to wait for employers to call you back. Nowadays you will need to have your resume in hand, ready to present your case in person, laying out what skills you have and what knowledge you bring for the benefit of the company. Employers need to see your passion on the job, they need to know who you are and you need to give them that face to face interaction. The best way to start out after graduation is by offering to volunteer at your company of choice by providing free services. This gives you the opportunity to show the employer that you are willing to sacrifice your time to do the job you love. This also gives employers the opportunity to evaluate your performance before they hire you. This is the point where you will need to shine. Showcasing your skills and proving why they should hire you as an employee and not keep you as a volunteer. I call this strategy, ’getting your foot through the door first’’.
If that does not work, this next strategy will help you built partnerships and strengthen your connections. You will need to start networking with potential employers or even other students who are already employed or volunteering at different companies. This is the part where most of you always say,’’ it’s all about who you know’’. Indeed, you are correct!
Finally, you will need to be self-driven to achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve in life. Be bold and go for what you believe you want. You can never achieve anything if you do not see it in your mind. You will need to dream big and see success in your mind. Imagine yourself in that good position you want. See yourself being the director of that company you want to work for. For those who are like me, the big dreamers, who set no limits to their world and do not anticipate any bad luck in their life, this is the part you may want to start your own business. Heck! Who said you have to work for someone. Maybe you want to make people work for you. Have you ever thought of it that way?