Graduation is basically already here for seniors departing Cal. For some of us this means we need to start stocking up on bathing suits for our three-month-long tour of the Caribbean – all expenses paid by our grandparents. However, for most of us this means we have to start looking for work. We at the Clog have come up with a checklist: five simple tasks to complete before you graduate to help you in your transition from student to real-life adult.
1. Make a Career Center appointment.
We don’t know about you, but some of us have really slacked on this one. We didn’t even realize it moved to Bancroft. We’ve been here for all of four years, yet we haven’t visited the Career Center since our sophomore year when we were dragged to a resume workshop with our zealous roommates. We think you should visit again before your resources — aka free resources — run out. We suggest making a 45-minute counseling appointment online, whether you need it to aid you in your job search, in developing your interviewing skills or in exploring various career pathways and fields.
P.S. If you can’t find the time to visit before May 18, or you just want continued access post-graduation, there is a Career Center’s Alumni Advantage package. It’s a one-time fee of $125 that extends your access to all Career Center services for one year.
2. Set up/pimp out your LinkedIn profile.
Each alumnus that we ask tells us that LinkedIn is an invaluable resource for networking. Unfortunately, some of us didn’t catch onto this whole networking with peers and professors thing until this last year at Cal. Don’t worry about it; your networks are not limited to your department on campus and the Peet’s Coffee & Tea where you work. There are Berkeley alumni groups on LinkedIn that you can access, even as a student! You can tailor your search to alumni that earned their degrees in the same field as you, and now work in the sector you would like to enter. Many profiles include personal contact information. Shoot an email and ask someone you admire to coffee; you never know where it might take you.
3. Email professors and GSIs.
Although these are not the only folks you should be chatting with (see above), we all know that they’re important people to keep in touch with. Professors are used to receiving emails from students that they haven’t heard from in years, so a couple semesters of silence since you talked to them shouldn’t be that offensive. Try not to straight-up ask for stuff. Just see if they’re free for coffee or tea. If they are, you’ll chat about whatever they’re researching, whatever you’re researching and eventually you’ll stumble upon whatever your plans are after graduation. If they know of anything and they like you minimally, chances are they’ll at least mention it to you.
4. Rant and rail.
We hope that post-graduation plans haven’t been the topic to avoid over the last couple of weekends with your friends; however, we know that it can be super stressful. Some of us here have certainly been boycotting the conversation. Well, it’s time to suck it up and face the music. The good news is this: The music probably sounds sort of like that pump-up track to which Rocky runs up all those stairs. In our experience, calling your best friend or your mom to talk about your stresses and excitements can be therapeutic. We’re willing to bet that you have friends and family who love you, right? We think you’ll leave the conversation feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world, Sylvester Stallone-style.
5. Stock up on subtle swag.
We know that you have, like, seven Cal sweatshirts on top of headbands and gym shorts; however, we hope that by now you’ve realized that you cannot wear these articles of clothing to job interviews. Life sucks, we know. What you can do is purchase some smaller swag-tastic Cal gear, to remind employers that you’ve just completed your undergraduate career at the school ranked fifth in worldwide reputation. Taking a “Class of 2013” keychain or a “Go Bears” coffee mug to your next interview is not a bad idea.
Image source: SalFalko under Creative Commons.
Contact Jordan Henigman at [email protected]