Seniors: Tips on life after graduation

Jan. 15, 2009 by Dustin Edwards NMSU Round Up

With the spring semester underway, students may find themselves asking about their plans post-graduation. TRU has collected the following tips and suggestions to help students prepare for graduation and employment plans:

•Develop a comprehensive network to help support you during the job-seeking process. Steve Salway, director of Career Services, said students should build their credentials by having hands-on work experience and involvement in campus activities. “Employers are assessing you overall,” Salway said. He also suggested building a network of references that include:

-Faculty members who know you. Salway said students should provide the faculty member a copy of their resume.

-Family, friends, and acquaintances. Salway said these individuals can be a good support system and can help circulate your resume.

-Professional organizations. “A lot of [professional] organizations actually have job listings,” Salway said. “They are designed to give candidates maximum exposure and options.”

•Give yourself plenty of time. “Nobody should be looking for full-time employment during their last semester,” Roseanne Bensley, associate director of Career Services said. She suggested that students begin investigating full-time job prospects at least one year before graduation. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors acquire experience and connections through:

-Internships, co-ops and summer jobs. Pre-professional experiences can often lead to full-time employment.

•Use NMSU Services. Bensley said Career Services aims to “help students be aware of the variety of opportunities that are available to them.” Career Services offers:

-AggieTrak accounts. The AggieTrak account provides job listings, employer directories, and information on employers. The account aids students in designing resumes and cover letters.

-Career Connections Career Fair. The Career Fair is open to all majors. The two-day fair will take place Jan. 27 and 28 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

• Make decisions early on what to do post-graduation. “Many students look at this as the end, but they should look at it as the beginning,” said Javier Alcantar, Student Support Services tutor coordinator. Alcantar suggested the following tips for graduating seniors:

-Students seeking employment immediately after graduation should have updated resumes with references.

-Students planning to attend graduate school should check the application process and admittance requirements for their prospective school.

•Develop a personal checklist of deadlines and obligations early in the semester. Submitting degree applications, ordering graduation attire and announcements, and meeting academic requirements are some things to keep in mind before graduation. According to the Registrar’s Web site:

-The price of a bachelor’s degree application is $35. A $25 late fee will incur for all applications submitted after Jan. 15.

-March 2, 2009 is the last day to apply for a degree for the spring semester.

-Graduation attire can be purchased from the bookstore.

•Make sure you have no academic shortcomings. “[Students] must make their final semester a successful one,” Alcantar said. “It is a time to finish strong.”

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