Cultural Experience | California

3 Things to Do Before You Graduate

 

Graduating this year? You might want to consider these tips.

 By Angela Strohbeck, San Diego State University

 College Tourist West Coast Ambassador

 

We are incredibly close to the end of the 2013 school year! For those of us who are moving on to the “real world”, time is running low to finish our pre-graduation to-do list. Here are three things that you should consider doing before you graduate.

Do some soul searching

Knowing what you want is probably the most important aspect of generating success. It is helpful if you know exactly what you want but don’t worry if you are not certain. It is not a black and white, “either or” situation. You may have an idea of what industries look interesting to you but you may not know the job title or exact career path is right for you. As long as you are always keeping an eye out for potential careers and working to define specific career goals, not knowing the exact path you should be on at this point is totally okay!

I highly suggest taking some time to evaluate your interests and activities. When you reflect on what you have already accomplished, you may notice a pattern of interests that you never noticed before. While you might want to try something new, seeing these connections could help you find a way to combine your skills and interests and transition into a future career that you will love.

Arrange some informational interviews with people in careers of interest

Many successful people were able to achieve their success by reaching out to others and learning from mentors. If you can make a connection and request an informational interview, most professionals are more than happy to help students who show initiative, curiosity, and promise.

A couple weeks before spring break, I began to do some research on particular industries that I might want to work in someday. It took a little bit of time but I was able to gather some names and contact information of people who currently hold jobs I might want to explore. By the time spring break came around, I had made contact with a few very prominent professionals and scheduled to meet with them for informational interviews about their careers. I was very lucky that the people I reached out to responded very quickly. If you reach out to someone for an informational interview, do not be discouraged if they do not reply right away. Give them at least a week or two and then reach out to them again.

Explore a place you might want to move to after graduation

I have always loved the romanticized idea of moving to a hustling, bustling city like New York or Los Angeles after graduation. The vision I had in my head mirrored what I had seen on television and in movies. After visiting both cities multiple times, I realized some aspects of media can come fairly close while others are ignored or incredibly exaggerated, both positively and negatively. At the end of the day, nothing compares to actually visiting a city and spending some time exploring it. It is also good to keep in mind where you might actually live and explore those neighborhoods, rather than solely visiting the tourist attractions.

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Angela Strohbeck

San Diego State | 29 stories

Angela recently graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Communication. She loves to travel, experience live music, and make videos. Angela studied abroad in Europe with the SDSU School of Communication in 2012. During the trip, she studied organizational communication and the rhetoric of tourism in Prague, Munich, Luxembourg, Grindelwald, and Paris. She studied Spanish for six years and is currently learning German. Her favorite quote is, "first seek to understand, then be understood." Her favorite movies are American Beauty and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.


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