What To Do Before You Graduate From College

By Ariella Coombs

With graduation right around the corner, you’re probably (hopefully) reflecting on your last few years at school, as well as preparing for your future.

However, if you’re not quite sure what you should be doing at this point, here are some must-dos before you collect your diploma:

Take advantage of your resources while you have them. Right now, you have access to so many resources as a student. So, before you leave school, it’s important to take a close look at everything you have access to now and figure out how you can leverage those things. You might not necessarily have that support after you graduate. What do you have access to now that you won’t necessarily have after school? (Thankfully, Longwood University offers its career services to both students AND alums, but you should still take advantage of those services while you’re still on campus!)

Build relationships with professionals in your industry. Networking is one of the highest payoff activities you can do, whether you’re looking for a job, trying to earn a promotion, or trying to change careers. Having someone advocate for you or make an introduction can be the difference between winning an opportunity and not. However, it takes time to build relationships with people and gain their trust. That’s why you need to start networking as soon as possible. Who can help you succeed after school?

Identify your skill gaps. As you’re preparing your resume and applying to jobs, it’s important to take an inventory of the skill sets you’ve acquired over the last few years during your work study jobs, summer jobs, and internships. When you do this, you can identify what skills you need to gain in order to make yourself more valuable to employers. Understanding this, and even taking steps to gain those skills, will give you a huge leg up in the hiring process. What skills do you need to learn in order to succeed in your field?

Thank the people who didn’t let you quit. You’ve worked hard over the last few years, but you probably didn’t do it alone. You very likely had the support of family members, friends, mentors, professors, and others. So, take the time to thank them for being there for you. Who pushed you and supported you through the challenging times of school and how can you show your appreciation?

If you need more help understanding how to prepare for life after college, book an appointment with Longwood University Career Services and work with a career coach.

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