So it’s already mid-October but you still have no idea what you’re doing after graduation. What is the next step? OCA asked the CDC how they would address common challenges seniors may be facing at this time of the academic year.
Should I Apply to Graduate School?
- Since it is middle-late October, students are advised to schedule a counseling appointment immediately if they are still confused about this decision.
- These are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does this program help me attain my future career goal?
- Do I feel confident in my qualifications to get accepted?
- Is this the right time in my life to attend graduate school?
- What am I sacrificing during my senior year to apply to these programs if I am uncertain I will attend?
- Most application deadlines are fast approaching this winter (December/January). It would be ideal if you have already conducted thorough research on the graduate programs, taken your standardized texts, started the process of asking faculty for letters of recommendation, and started drafting your personal statement.
- If you have not reflected on these questions and taken these steps already, then it may make more sense to take a gap year, and focus your energy on full-time jobs, fellowships and other opportunities so that you can wait to apply next year with more confidence.
- Graduate school, especially in the US, is quite a large financial investment to jump in without fully being committed in the process and outcome.
Tackling the Job Search
Tactics that are working for seniors who are getting interviews include:
- Spend time reflecting on your own career values and interests so that you are choosing a career path that inspires you, rather than rely on rankings or brand names where you have no competitive advantage or passion.
- Thoroughly research company details, and follow news and industry trends so you feel confident writing targeted cover letters and speak eloquently at interviews.
- Set small, realistic goals to manage your time. For instance, research X companies a week, or read X news articles a week, or attend X recruitment sessions a week, or apply to X number of jobs a week, or email/Linkedin X number of professionals a week.
- Realize that not all industries are recruiting in the fall, and some may not have openings ready until spring or summer. That means, right now, you can conduct informational interviews with professionals so that you have are building a circle of contacts that can give you industry advice, and act as your advocate.
- The majority of recruitment actually happens through the “hidden” job market meaning you won’t find the job publicly advertised and you learn it about through connections.
Tackling the International Job Search
- Apply to positions where you are allowed to insert a cover letter where you can explain your unique global experience
- Prove your eagerness for the position by offering multiple ways of remote interviewing: phone call, skype, google-hang out, whatever is convenient for the employer
- Schedule job interviews or informational interviews if you are traveling back in your home country for winter break
- Hone your elevator pitch and interview answers so you are ready to describe all that you have learned as an NYU Shanghai student with global experience that sets you apart from other candidates
- Attend as many recruitment and networking sessions as possible even if they are for Mainland China jobs, so that you can practice your Mandarin, gain insight into business in Asia, and make connections
- Utilize CDC so you can communicate your needs, share your career progress and be involved in a dialogue to build the services that work for you.
This article was written by Editorial Staff. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: Pitzer College