5 things every university senior needs to know
Graduation! Such an exciting time for any university senior. We go to the rehearsal, have our cap and gown photos taken, and listen to the same commencement address about the professional and fruitful life we are about to lead and the bright future our university has helped shape.
But most speeches given in commencement ceremonies fail to tackle a crucial point: Get ready for one bumpy ride, because it won’t be as smooth as expected.
So here are some pieces of advice for every soon-to-be college graduate, hoping it would render the transition easier and smoother.
1. It’s going to take some time. The truth is, jobs won’t be lining up for you as soon as you graduate. Recruitment processes have become very long and tedious. It would take 3 weeks for the firm to send an email, another week to send the assessment, 2 other weeks to get a call for an interview and another and another. Then the firm would ask for documents you probably never knew existed before giving you the final offer. So, hang in there and be patient!
2. Online assessments: where dreams are made and crushed. If you check any job post on LinkedIn, you can view how many applicants it already has. As such, to deal with the immense number of job applicants, firms use online assessments, mostly numerical and reasoning, to eliminate candidates and keep only those they deemed suitable for the job. In all honesty, the tests are no walk in the park. They require a lot of practice to get familiar with the format and gain the speed and accuracy based on which you are tested. So even if you had a 3.8 GPA, make sure you acquaint yourself with the tests.
3. Intern as much as possible. Many of my friends majored in Finance because they didn’t know what else to do; the same friends started working at banks because they believed that the typical path would entail that. But, my advice would be for you to jump around from one internship to another in different sectors and fields just to get an idea of what working at that particular firm would really be like. Having all the knowledge with no practical experience means little today.
4. Go for exposure and growth. No matter what you do, don’t settle for the job with the high pay. When you’re starting out, salary shouldn’t be the only deal-breaker. Truth is, as a fresh graduate with a lot of potential, you need to choose a job that provides you room to grow and develop; a job that doesn’t only limit you to one particular task, but rather offers exposure to different departments, industries, and sectors; thus, giving you an edge over others.
5. If you’re not sure about it, take some time off. You don’t need to start working right away; you have a lifetime ahead of you to do that. Transitioning into this phase can be very scary and is a huge responsibility. So if you’re feeling you need some time off to clear your mind and figure out what it is you truly want to do, then do that; the last you want is settling for a job and getting stuck there. Try different jobs, ask your employed friends about theirs, and intern as well just to get an idea of what you are passionate for. Go travel and explore, you might end up wanting to relocate. The main point is, don’t go for anything if you’re not sure of it. Give yourself time.
Your life is what you make of it, so put the time and effort needed. Don’t worry if you make a mistake now and then, you’re bound to really. No one has life figured out and everyone keeps learning along the way, so cut yourself some slack and enjoy your senior year and all those that would follow!
Cover photo credit: Oncoursetocollege.com