What’s next? That’s the question many seniors are asking themselves as their undergraduate education is winding down. Remember, you have many options when it comes to approaching life after college, such as:
If you are looking to work immediately after graduation, Handshake is a great place to find jobs available right now. If you need help crafting your resume and cover letter, see last week’s post to get you started.
- Start your Own Business – Have a great idea? A passion you want to turn into a company? Consider starting your own business. Venture for America is one organization that can help you get started. This 12-step guide is a good way to start thinking about it.
Graduate or Professional School might make sense for your degree and career path, or it may be unnecessary. To help make the decision and learn more about the process of applying, check out the Graduate and Professional School page.
- Be a Research Assistant – Reach out to professors you know or check UVM job listings to explore possibilities. You might be surprised by the various fields that offer research possibilities.
Volunteering your time and effort is a perfect way to make a lasting impact on the world around you. As an added benefit, many employers value public service and volunteer experience from candidates in a job search.
- Peace Corps – Peace Corps volunteers engage in hands-on service projects all around the world. You will immerse yourself within a community working alongside community members to tackle some of the greatest problems facing the world.
- AmeriCorps – members receive a stipend while volunteering to serve directly with nonprofit organizations across America to tackle our nation’s most pressing challenges. There are a wide variety of programs to choose from, including City Year & Teach for America.
- Search online for additional national and international service opportunities.
Interested in working outside the US? UVM Students have access to GoinGlobal – a robust resource filled with insider tips from local experts and career guides with up-to-date career and employment information for 120+ locations worldwide – log in through Handshake.
- Teach English as a Second Language (ESL): Many countries offer opportunities for native-English speakers with little or no teaching experience to teach abroad (like Japan’s JET program), here’s a good starter list of Popular job boards as well as board to avoid.
Take a Growth Year
You may be more familiar with the term “Gap Year,” but we’re not big fans of this term. It sounds like something is missing or absent during this chapter, when this relatively short period can lead to some of the most valuable experiences in your lifetime. Choosing a growth year can be an incredibly rewarding experience in which you…well, grow.
You might choose to:
- Travel – If you can, consider taking advantage of being untethered and take in the world’s incredible splendor. Become that annoying person at parties who constantly talks about backpacking all over the world (the writer of this blog is aware that he is one such annoying person).
- WWOOF – Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a worldwide movement to link visitors with organic farmers, promote a cultural and educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming and sustainability practices
- Pursue a Professional Certification – Whether you are a Psychology major who wants to learn to code or a business major who wants to become a certified yoga instructor, pursuing your interest can benefit you both personally and professionally.
- Take additional coursework to fill in knowledge gaps. UVM’s Professional and Continuing Education offers courses. You might also consider online platforms such as Coursera or LinkedIn.
- Any number of things that don’t fit neatly into the above categories – For example, you might try creating art, writing software, starting a podcast, launching a local campaign advocating for a special cause, etc. Taking the initiative to be a self-starter is a desirable quality for any future job candidate.
Whatever you choose for your growth year, remember that these experiences have value – both for you, and for your next employer. Don’t be afraid to list these experiences on a resume or talk about them in a job interview.
The bottom line is that you have options. Like, a lot of them. This is exciting but choosing one (or several!) is not always easy. This cute video lays out a simple step-by-step process you can use when making decisions. And as always, consult your loved ones and mentors for different perspectives.
Remember: Your @uvm.edu email won’t last forever so be sure to:
- Add your personal email to Handshake to maintain access to all the opportunities there (Learn how).
- Create or update your UVMConnect account with a personal email to engage with a robust network of alums.
Next: Confident Interviewing (in person & virtual)