Preparing For Life After Graduation

Preparing For Life After Graduation
by Shahrzad Arasteh, Director of Career Services
Just as our students take the responsibility for their own education, to succeed in creating
a fulfilling future they must also take ownership of their career planning and work hard
to identify and reach their goals. A smooth and successful transition to life after college
takes time, planning, and effort. The Career Services Office is happy to be a
professional resource to support students as they prepare for this transition, and to assist
them as they actively engage in the process of clarifying and pursuing career and further
education/training goals.
While each person’s path may be unique in some ways, students all share the need to
seek a variety of activities throughout their time in college to help them prepare for the
future. These activities will vary depending on the student’s interests and where they are
in the planning process, but generally fall within the following broad categories:
1) Assessing one’s interests, values, and skills – and relating them to potential careers
2) Career exploration, which includes researching potential fields of work
3) Identifying a goal and developing a clear plan for pursuing it
4) Implementing the plan (job search, applying to graduate school…)
In addition to individual career counseling to provide guidance and outline specific
activities during any of the above stages, the Career Services Office offers a variety of
resources students can benefit from. The Career Services Newsletter (Praxis) is emailed
to students throughout the academic year and contains important information about
internship opportunities, fellowships and scholarships, forums and events sponsored by
our office, graduate programs, summer jobs, study abroad opportunities, job openings,
and other articles and announcements related to post-SJC plans and how to prepare for
them. We host a variety of events, including forums on opportunities such as the Peace
Corps, careers in neuroscience, an annual Alumni Career Panel, and a forum on
nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships. We also administer The Hodson
Internship Program, which funds up to 25 summer internships (made possible by a
generous grant from The Hodson Trust).
I encourage students to take advantage of the many resources available to them as early
and as often as they can, and to seek out opportunities matching their specific areas of
interest. Informational interviews and internships, for example, are excellent ways to
learn more about a field and (in the case of internships) gain relevant experience while
creating or strengthening a network of others who share the same interest and are already
engaged in that area. Career exploration and development is a lifelong journey and
begins long before graduation bells ring.
*Originally published in the Letter Home, a publication created for and sent to parents
by the St. John’s College Communications Office.