Figuring out what to do after graduation can be daunting. You have a thesis and senior exams to worry about, not to mention class to attend and friends to enjoy.
We in the Student Engagement Center can help you in this process; and encourage you to treat your post-Whitman plan as if it were a class. Drawing on the time-management skills you have sharpened in college can help you focus your job search while still managing your life during senior year.
Schedule the job search into your calendar.
Just like you schedule studying, fitness, and time with friends, block at least an hour a week for your job search. Plan how you will spend that time. Whether you explore LinkedIn and find Whitman alumni on Whitman Connect who are working in fields that interest you, research internships, or schedule informational interviews, doing a little bit of work every week will make the process more manageable and enjoyable.
Take Notes and Develop an Organized Approach.
Create a file (physical and/or digital) to keep your job search materials in one place. Whether you store information in a cloud or a notebook, choose a system that works for you and keep track of the informational interviews you set up, the organizations you research, and contacts whom you’ve met, whether in person or online. Again, you can use an address book or a spreadsheet, but use the mode that you prefer and keep an organized list of contact information. Collect business cards, pamphlets, and any professional literature. This process will help you remember to promptly follow up, and always remember to mail a hard copy thank-you note to anyone with whom you meet.
Show Up to Class.
Treat job-related events, whether a recruiting session or a resume workshop, just like a class. Sometimes you may wish you had stayed in bed or could hang out with friends instead, but making a consistent commitment pays off. In-person contact often yields unexpected results: you can expand your network and you will likely learn something new. We at the Student Engagement Center often provide lunch at our events and you can always bring a friend to make it more enjoyable. When you attend an event, make a point of meeting one new person and getting their business card! You never know who you’ll be grateful you know in the future.
Do Your Research.
Come to the Student Engagement Center and use our resources. We have a comprehensive library of books that you can borrow and our staff members have many kinds of expertise. We are here to help you develop your plan and support you in managing it.If there are specific companies you are interested in come talk with Kimberly Rolfe, Director of Business Engagement. She can connect you with a Whitman graduate who works there or knows the field. Interested in internships? Make an appointment with Victoria Wolff, Internship Coordinator to learn about questions, and interview preparation.
Creating your post-Whitman life can seem overwhelming. But remember you have been preparing for more than three years of college, and there are lots of people and resources to help you along the way. The sooner you start this year, the easier it will be.