Graduation season is coming to a close, and now it's time to find a job! Our staff jotted down some words of wisdom for the Class of 2018.
"Don't be afraid to 'call in favors' to get a foot in the door. You've worked hard for your networks and connections — use them! I got my first internship through a family connection and my boss there helped me get an interview with Mueller, and I've been here ever since!" - Elizabeth Hummitzsch, University of Wisconsin-Madison '08
"Don't be dismayed if your first job opportunity out of college isn't your 'dream job.' You have to start somewhere and must pay your dues. Be sure to learn all you can in that first job, both about the company you work for, but also about how to operate in a professional environment. I promise there will be valuable things you learn that will help prepare you for the next stage of your career and help you build towards eventually landing that 'dream job.'"
- Catherine Knipstein, Sewanee: University of the South '02, John Hopkins University '15
"Be prepared to ask a future employer hard questions too: explore workplace culture and expectations to find the best fit from a skills and culture perspective. If you are lucky enough to have multiple offers to choose from, consider more than just comp: Will you love the work? Will this opportunity challenge you to grow in your skills and career? Will you enjoy the people you are surrounded with? These are all important components of your day-to-day satisfaction." - Lori Richards, Marquette University '02
"Don't put so much pressure on this first job — it can be a launching point in your career to something you couldn't have planned for. Allow yourself to stay curious and remain a student even after you're handed a diploma." - Elyise Brigman, Marquette University '12
Don't just jump into working full time. If you can, take some time to spend with your family and friends and maybe even go on vacation! De-stress and unwind to help prevent burnout later! - Jennifer Morton, Carthage College '16
"You don't need to have a 'five-year plan' set in place, but you should have a clear, thought-out vision of what type of job you're seeking. Know what you as a candidate bring to the table and prepare an 'elevator speech' to communicate that clearly!" - Rachel Kern, Marquette University '15
"Never stop learning and educating yourself. So many people grow stagnant upon their first role out of college; they get comfortable in just having a full-time job. But if you truly want to grow, you must continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Find someone you admire and take them out for coffee. Attend a lecture or workshop. Watch TED Talks and other inspirational content. Find a new area of interest and teach yourself the ropes. It is up to you to keep the ball moving toward success — don't wait for it to come to you. Hopefully, you'll land somewhere where professional development is valued — but if you don't — take the reins into your own hands. You'll be surprised how far you can go." -Sorrina Beecher, Marquette University '12
"As you determine your next step in life and start your professional career remember the importance of leveraging and growing your personal network. This is a great time to set up informational interviews over coffee and ask for the opportunity to shadow someone in the office for a few hours. Don’t be afraid to ask your contacts to make introductions and connect you to new people. Your college education has prepared you with the necessary skills but it’s not always easy to see how they translate into the workplace. Throughout my career I’ve found that maintaining the relationships I’ve made along the way have helped me to move from one position to the next. Congratulations and good luck!" - Natalie Verette, Fordham University '02
"Be open to trying new things, and lend a hand wherever one is needed. You never know what you might learn!" - Mia Tripi, Marquette University '17