by Jenna Rae Tucker
…or as I have been lovingly referring to it, countdown to nothing. Here I am, a 27-year-old grad student getting ready to finish a thesis and get thrown back out into the real world. I will have more credentials and experience under my belt, but that doesn’t really make me feel any more prepared. I am getting flashbacks of being in the same position at 18 and 22. After high school I had this grand illusion that college would somehow know what I was interested in and guide me to the perfect career immediately after releasing me. This was sort of the case, but I had to work the front desk part time at a radio station, then work in promotions, before finally making it on the air, which I assumed is what I wanted to do since that is what I spent all my time doing in school.
Then I got bored and figured my grad school would help me decide what I wanted to do. And here I am, three months to go and still no dice. Maybe I will stay in media. Maybe in radio. Maybe I can get that farm with 100 dogs that I have always dreamed about. I have had five internships, been active in radio for seven years, and will shortly be acquiring a master’s degree.
Yet I am still clueless.
The countdown to nothing continues.
Are you graduating soon? Under grad, grad school, I don’t care. Give me advice!
4 thoughts on “Countdown to graduation”
The common misconception is that college is to help you find a career. But the truth is unless you’re going to be an engineer a doctor or lawyer, college is just a pure learning experience. If you’re not sure what you’re going to do next, temp for a while – be willing to do whatever work they offer, and open yourself up to new experiences and people and companies you may never have previously considered. Don’t pressure yourself to decide on a career- most people change careers several times in their life. Let go of what the world says you should do, and try to become comfortable in the unknown… the more open you are, the more opportunities you have to discover what’s within yourself. Might sound a little mushy, but we put a lot of pressure on ourselves that we don’t need to.
Thanks! I spent three years at a radio station in Indiana and decided maybe going back to school would help me down the road. Life is a never ending journey…until it ends that is.
Don’t make a stock resume and send it out to 500 companies on the Internet, and then wonder why no one calls. Tailor your resume to every job, and take care on the cover letter. It’s a lot of work, but looking for work is a full-time job. And the network matters. So many of my jobs have come through people I knew. A great thing about college is you likely have profs who love you and will give you great recommendation letters. That is the start of your network. And your verbal encouragement.
I’ve been lucky enough to get my internships and jobs through my experience. I know that networking is A necessary evil, but I like to think that my hard work sells itself. I just have to figure out what I want to do. I figured a masters degree could only help!