graduating students

Photo by: Brooke Powell ’21

For us seniors, graduation is less than a week away and I don’t know about you–but that’s a crazy thought for me to process. I can’t believe how fast college went by and I’m still processing the fact I’ll be in the “adult-ing” world soon.

I know you are all sick of the question, “What are you doing after graduation?” Especially when you’re not quite sure yet. Well this blog might give you some advice about how to prepare for graduation and help you find some calmness in the unknowns.

Here are a few things that put me at peace in this hectic last semester of college:

1. Get on LinkedIn

Not every major is required to be on LinkedIn, but it’s a fantastic way to network and find jobs in your field. It’s not the only way to find job openings, but it is a great thing to have so you have a presence online with your academic and work accomplishments.

The first thing my boss told me when I got a public relations internship in Minneapolis was to get on LinkedIn. Throughout the summer I built my connections with other interns and other professionals I met through working at CenterPoint Energy. To this day I’m still building my network and use it as a way to find career advice, interesting articles and see what my friends are doing in their career field.

2. Have a positive attitude

It might sound kind of cliche, but I promise the right mindset goes a long way. I don’t have a job lined up for after graduation, but I’ve actively been looking and applying.

I still have to tell myself it’s going to be okay that I don’t know where I’ll be yet because I know I’m going to find a job. Negativity and stressing never helps anyone.

Your mind can quickly go to comparing yourself with others who already have a job lined up, but not everyone’s timeline with finding a job is the same. Just go after the jobs you want with a positive attitude, strong work ethic and determination and you never know, you could land an incredible first job out of graduation.

3. Write out your goals

For me personally there are several different jobs I know that could be a great fit and know I’d be happy in, but sometimes you need to write out the pros and cons of your options. I know location and work environments are huge factors in my decisions.

For my field, Public Relations, it’s broad enough where I could do a lot of things. I could work in PR for a corporation like my past summer internship I had, for a creative agency or doing for promotional work for a theater that fits closely with my passion for the arts and dance.

4. Don’t forget what you’ve accomplished

You made it through four stressful, busy, and full years of college. I know I learned so many lessons about life and discovered several passions that fit my field of studies here at WSU. It’s crazy to think this journey will soon be over.

I know I’ll miss Winona, but I’m thrilled for what’s to come next in my career and life. Seniors remember that you worked so hard for your degree. Be proud of yourself! You’re going places and  you just need to put yourself out there, apply to jobs and keep pressing on towards your goals.

Maybe you’re a senior with a job lined up or maybe you want to just travel before you settle into the real world. Go for it! We’re all on different paths and are just trying to figure it out. There’s nothing wrong with that and we all should be proud of what we’ve done here at college.

To my fellow graduates, best of luck to you. You’ll do great things. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I’d love to see where you land.

Graduation and big decisions can bring with it many emotions and even stress or anxiety and Counseling & Wellness Services in IWC 222 can help. Talk to a confidential trained staff for a variety of services. Visit their website for more information or call 507.457.5330. For information regarding advising resources visit the website or The Warrior Hub in Maxwell 222.