So you’ve finally made it to graduation. The big day is upon us, and for graduating seniors all we can think of is leaving academia and entering the “real world.” But before you leave the white halls and stately columns of your university, make sure to do a few things that I guarantee will save you a headache later.
Get your transcripts:
Whether it is to secure a summer internship or even a job, many places will ask you for your college transcripts. Even a few years down the line you may be asked to provide them to your future employer.
If you have moved far away from your alma mater, getting your transcripts can be a time consuming effort; going through your registrar and then waiting for them to come in through snail mail can eat up valuable time. So before you leave, make sure to head to your registrar’s office and grab a few copies of that transcript!
It WILL save you time down the road.
The all important recommendation:
Before you can even get an interview with many employers you sometimes have to submit a letter of recommendation. While this could be from a past employer, sometimes you are required to have a previous professor vouch for you.
Don’t wait until an application deadline to ask for this recommendation – do it now while your professor still knows how great you are. And while you are with your professor, make sure to cultivate your relationship.
When you graduate don’t just become a former student, keep up a friendship with them. Send them an email, go for coffee. You never know, they might be able to help you get a job.
Turn in your keys and pay those fines:
No one wants to go to graduation and find that their diploma is being withheld because they didn’t pay a fine. Make sure you have paid your library fees and turned in your keys.
Double and triple check that you don’t have any academic holds on your file that could prevent you from getting that coveted diploma! Believe me, this happens more often than you think.
Visit your career center:
Whether you have a job secured or not post-graduation, it can’t hurt to check out your career services department. It’s their job to help you become a more attractive candidate while job hunting and they are more than happy to critique your resume.
Also make sure to sign up for their job bank. At my university, we have an extensive George Mason University students and alum only job bank that is free if you sign up for while you are a student.
Once you graduate they charge you a nominal fee, but let’s be honest, we need to save all the money we can.
Utilize social media:
One of the best things you can do while in college is brand yourself and have a strong online presence. Whether is it through Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn you need to be visible online.
Before you graduate make sure you get a Twitter if you don’t have one, and sign up for LinkedIn. Many employers post jobs on LinkedIn, giving you a heads up.
Besides that, you can join university-specific groups and network with fellow students and alum. Don’t wait a few years after you graduate to connect with your classmates.
Did we miss anything? What are you doing to get ready for graduation day?
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