- What am I doing with my life?
- Where do I even apply?
- When do I apply?
- Where am I going to work?
- How do I negotiate my salary?
- Where am I going to live?
- How am I going to figure all of this and pass this impossible class?
These are a few of the questions swimming in my mind as I approach graduation. I’m a May graduate so I still have a bit of time, but with every friend that accepts an offer I think I’m running out of time. (And will probably end up living out of a cardboard box.)
So let’s start at the top. “What are your plans after graduation?” This question has started to make my flesh crawl. “My plans are to be happy and successful” is not a suitable answer. As a freshman you probably could just say “I’m a ____ major and I want to work in the ____ field” Very vague, when you’re a senior people expect interview dates, a list of companies cities, and actionable life plan. So instead of giving yourself insomnia just spend a weekend brainstorming. Spend some time and think about what it is you love, what you’re good at, and where you want to be.
For me my brainstorming lead me to multicultural marketing. Most of my time is spent using my marketing skills to recruit students, finding out how to keep them engaged in my organization, and with Texas Tech University. I serve as the social media coordinator for two multicultural organizations and I’m constantly thinking of campaigns and positioning strategies.
- Then next thing I did was talk to a recent graduate who was in that field.
- Then did some research about a few companies that did that type of marketing.
- Talked to hiring managers at former internships to find out when the general hiring time is for Marketing industry. (Or your University Career Center)
- Now that you know what you want to do, you can take on projects to help get your more experience in that industry. You might want to consider doing undergraduate research.
I don’t have all the answers, but I have a pretty good starting point. The most important thing is to remind yourself to breathe! Have faith in yourself and the skills you’ve acquired at your school and search with a clear head. The last thing you want to do is apply for the wrong type of job and settle for something you hate.