By Melissa Booker, Account Supervisor
As a senior graduating this spring, I am not a stranger to the question “What are your post-graduation plans?” asked by family and friends. To many, the looming freedom and unknown realm of life after college is terrifying. Trying to figure out what you want to do, where you want to do it, and how to even get there is a journey that raises a lot of fears and anxieties about the future. Here are some steps you can take to ease that stress and take on the post-grad job search with confidence.
- Be honest with yourself – what do YOU want to do?
I remember a point in time where people would ask me about what I wanted my life and career to look life after finishing my degree, and I was upset with myself for not knowing the answer. One of the beautiful things about public relations is the breadth of possibilities that exist in your future, and that comes with the potential to feel overwhelmed and confused about which path is best for you. Do I want to work at an agency? Is in-house better suited for my skills? Maybe crisis management suits me better? Take the time to really explore the possibilities within your fields of expertise. Try new things, take on new challenges when they are presented to you, and check in with yourself often to gauge your comfort.
- Take Inventory of Your Skill Set
When starting your job search, it’s important to build your confidence in a way that sets you up for success when you begin chatting with recruiters and interviewers. You have learned a LOT in your academic career, and odds are you have a valuable set of skills that hiring managers are looking for– you just might not know how to articulate it. Spend some time reviewing your portfolio, listening to feedback from mentors in your life, and crafting your elevator pitch so that you are ready to present the best version of yourself when the time comes.
- Maximize your resources
It’s no secret that looking for job opportunities can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. At BU, you are equipped with teams of talented and knowledgable professors, mentors, and fellow students who can help open doors and lead you in the right direction. Networking is your best friend, and do not feel awkward asking for help. Companies are looking to hire the eager and inquisitive students who are always asking questions and looking to meet new people. You chose to study communications, that’s you!
- Prep, prep, prep!
When interview time rolls around, it’s your time to shine. Make sure you are walking in with an in-depth understanding of the company you are speaking with, the role you are applying for, and the experience needed to succeed in the position. If something is not clear, ask! Always come prepared with questions. Your interviewer will be happy to see you taking initiative to learn more about the job, and you will be able to answer follow-up questions with confidence.
- Be consistent and stay persistent
If you have spent time familiarizing yourself with media pitching in college, then the job search experience might bring back some unwanted nostalgia… You reach out, you follow up, you repeat, and you might hear nothing. As much as you are looking for a job that wants to hire you, you are also looking for a place where YOU want to work. If you are consistently putting your best foot forward, following up after your application has been sitting in their inbox, and maximizing your network, feel good about your efforts. Not every job application will be met with a response, and that just means it is not the job for you right now. Stay motivated, remember what you are working towards, and keep moving forward.