Making it to the Finish Line and Staying Connected
By Wendy McWilliams | Career Counselor | Office of Career & Life Design
Graduation is rapidly approaching for Spring 2021, and it continues to be a weird year with the pandemic and a virtual graduation. That said, there are many aspects that will remain the same for new graduates, and despite missing out on the in-person experience of classes this last year, lasting relationships have been forged. It’s a significant transition completing your time as a student and stepping into a new phase of life. Everything doesn’t have to be done all at once, but here are a few items to start thinking about before you go:
1. Decide who you want to stay in touch with and connect!
Graduation isn’t goodbye! In fact, the connection to your school can last a lifetime. Wondering who to stay connected with? Professors, Classmates, Staff?
Keep your name fresh in your professors, counselors, and advisors’ minds by sending a thank-you note and showing appreciation after graduation for all you have learned. You can also connect with them on LinkedIn and send emails every so often. Send a relevant article or check-in with an update about what’s going on in your career. These are individuals who have been invested in your future. They will appreciate the news! Pay attention to how receptive your requests are (if you’re making them). In some cases, professors can introduce you to new industry professionals or invite you as a guest speaker in their classes. A great way to give back and build skills.
Classmates are a great way to expand your network. It is important to maintain relationships with people from the same industry, as they might be a valuable connection in the future. Connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. As things continue to open, consider going for a hike or a coffee meetup. It could be great to have an in-person interaction with the folks you’ve only seen in a Zoom box! Classmates can easily turn into friends and allies.
2. It’s not too late to do a resume & LinkedIn tune up
School is a busy time and you may not have had time to really focus on your personal brand. Now is a great time to check if you’re putting an updated face to the outside world.
3. Not sure what’s next? Contact the Office of Career and Life Design
Don’t forget that we offer unlimited career consulting appointments for alumni. That means you will get free career assistance for life! Not only do we offer resume and LinkedIn reviews and coaching, we also help with interview preparation, job search strategy, salary negotiations, career transitions, and all things career-related.
As an alum, you can also attend the events we organize, so keep in touch. Your GGUCareers account does not expire. Attending GGU’s career events is an excellent way for you to stay connected with our students and meet other alumni.
4. Engage with Alumni Relations
Reach out to the alumni relations department and learn about a variety of ways you can engage with GGU as an alum. Consider browsing and connecting with the wide variety of alumni on GGU Connect.
5. Take some time to celebrate, decompress & relax
College is a big job. You’ve been working hard to reach this milestone. Everybody is anxious to get on to “the next thing,” but give yourself some time to catch your breath and appreciate this huge accomplishment.
As the weather improves, consider having an outdoor celebration with a select group of friends and family who you can safely socialize with. Maybe some solitude and time away from the computer is what you are looking for. If time and funds are short, give yourself a mental health day – a whole day to do whatever you want. Exercise your creativity to do something special just for yourself. You’ve earned it!
CONGRATS TO THE CLASS OF 2021!