There are a lot of question one asks him/herself when approaching the end of their undergraduate year of college. So, when the pressure is on, will you be ready? Do not panic! This is time to get organized, focused, and busy. As a graduate you have a lot of reasons to be cheerful, because you are about to embark on a remarkable journey. Here is some advice from a few faculty members on what to do when feeling the pressure.
1. What advice do you have for students who are about to graduate in terms of the pressure they feel going through the job searching process (including but not limited to resume/cover letter writing, interviewing, salary negotiation, etc.)?
What advice do you have for students who are about to graduate in terms of the pressure they feel going through the job searching process (including but not limited to resume/cover letter writing, interviewing, salary negotiation, etc.)?
Harry Peterson: Demonstrate what you can do for the company, by using past examples of your experience where possible. Problem – action – results where they have experience. And as for salary negotiation leave that till the end of the interview, but take into consideration the cost of living (for example it costs more money to live in Chicago compared to living in Lake Crystal).
Giovanna Walters: Be prepared to get rejected more than you get accepted. Being rejected after working so hard to earn your degree can be emotionally draining, but it’s part of the process. Most of the time, you will have no idea why you got rejected. That’s challenging too. You just have to remain confident that the job you finally do receive will be worth all the rejections. Focus on experiences, not positions. This is especially true at the interviewing stage. People are not necessarily interested in which clubs or organizations you were involved in on campus; rather, they are interested in what you learned from that experience and how you can use that knowledge or those skills in the company or organization.
What advice do you have and would like to share with students who are in the process of pursuing their field of interest?
Adriana Gordillo: Talk to people in your field, they may be able to give you a new perspective on what you think the field is about. Find a range of professionals within your area and see what other types of activities you can do with your major to open up your possibilities.
Maurita Christensen: Conduct informational interviews with several professionals. This will allow you to have contacts in the desired profession and understand how the work differs from the foundational and ideal situations taught in college.
Harry Peterson: Seek a field that excites you, and not the one that pays you more – you will always do better if you love your job. Network with practitioners in different jobs which you are looking at. Answer the question, “What would you like to be doing in 10 years?” Try to get an internship to try out a field if you can. And remember, your first job or field may not be your last.
Julie Ann Dittrich: Consider taking general education courses and you will likely find something of interest. There are also tests you can take to assess your skills, so I would also recommend doing that. Talk to your college advisor as well.
Giovanna Walters: Be vulnerable, albeit in a different way than my answer to #2. Take courses and find experiences that put you completely outside of your comfort zone. Engage with cultures that you have never previously experienced. Job shadow people in potential fields of study. The best way to know if you’re going to like a field of interest is to actually expose yourself to it in the real world. Pursue a degree in something you love and enjoy. Your major does not determine your future job title. You can learn a lot of skills and have a lot of experiences by studying English, History, Philosophy, Business, etc. that can apply to many different job positions.
Do not be afraid to tackle the question “what’s next?” after graduation. It is an exciting one and a long-distance journey one must take. Do not be afraid to change track, or even come to a dead end because you never know where certain opportunities may lead.