Are you ready for life after graduation? Start to prepare for that day now. Photo courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.

Monday and Wednesday, I discussed ways to help you prepare for life after graduation. Just thinking about what to do after college can be fairly terrifying, but by planning ahead, you can help save yourself stress and worrying. Today’s post discusses things you can do in the nine months that you are actually in your last year of college. For younger college students, this post will let you know what you should be expecting to do in a few years from now.

Set Goals

This is probably one of the most helpful and important thing you can do during your senior year. At this point in your undergraduate career, you should have a pretty good idea of where you want to go. If you don’t, see “Seek Advice” from Monday’s post.

 

Setting goals for yourself is helpful because it really helps you visualize where you see your life going after you graduate. It will hopefully help you become more realistic in what you want and should expect. For instance, you’re probably not going to be getting a managing job straight out of school. However, if that’s your goal, put it on your timeline for several years down the road. Set your sights on an entry-level job and plan how you’d like to move on from there.

 

Some other goals you should be looking at could be when to send in all your job applications, when to take the GRE, when to visit graduate schools, when to visit companies you want to work for, etc, etc. Put these all out on a timeline to help make this whole process a little less overwhelming for when March and April really do roll around the corner.

 

Perfect Your Interview Skills

Now that you’ve polished your resume, it’s time to really perfect your interview skills since an interview can truly make or break a job opportunity. Seek help from your college guidance counselors who will often times put on events or seminars on gook interview techniques. Ask your current or past boss and coworkers on what makes a memorable interviewee. Learn from them because they are the industry professionals who may be hiring you someday.

 

Practice on your friends or organize a mock interview event with your college guidance department to help other seniors in your position. Take your time to craft answers to those hard to answer questions. Check out my article from last week on this subject. Be aware of what questions are going to be asked and prepare yourself with the best possible answers. The more you prepare, the better off you’ll be. However, make sure that your answers are natural enough that you don’t come off as cold and impersonal.

 

Set Up Informational Interviews

In addition to doing research on your desired field of interest about various companies you would like to work for, it could be beneficial for you to set up a sort of informational interview with leading people within the companies you are interested. This informational interview, in which you ask questions about the company, could help you in your future career or educational path for several reasons.

Firstly, these will help you get a better idea of the individual company policies and goals, to help you better determine which companies you’d rather work for. Secondly, talking to people in these companies will also help you understand what you need to do in order to get to the job you want. It can also help you network with important people in your industry which can help you get your dream job or dream graduate school.

Informational interviews can be very helpful for you, but they can be difficult to set up. Important people in the industry can be hard to set up a meeting with. However, talk to your university’s career services to see if they can help you get in contact with someone who can help you.

What tips do you have for students entering their senior year to prepare for life after graduation? Let us know in the comments!