Student smiling at the camera in a library.
Career Development | 6/28/2024

What To Do After Graduating College

Student smiling at the camera in a library.

Are you thinking forward to graduation and wondering what life will look like? Here are some ideas for you to consider after you get your cap and gown, as well as some best practices for making the transition to professional work. 

Graduating college is a significant milestone that marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life. It's a time filled with excitement, but it can also bring a sense of uncertainty about what lies ahead. 

As you stand on the threshold of this new phase, exploring your options and identifying the best practices for transitioning to professional work are essential steps. The journey from being a college student to entering the job market is unique for everyone. For some, it might mean diving straight into graduate school to pursue further specialization, while for others, it could involve launching a career path with a full-time job. 

Regardless of the direction you choose, it's important to recognize the value of each opportunity that comes your way. From attending career fairs to networking with potential employers, every experience is a stepping stone toward achieving your career goals.

The transition from college life to the professional world is not just about landing a job; it's about discovering who you are outside the confines of college admissions and campus maps. It's a time to apply the skills you've honed during your college years, such as critical thinking, communication, and adaptability, in real-world scenarios. 

Here are some ideas for you to consider as you graduate, along with a few best practices for making the transition to professional work.

Ideas for What To Do After Graduating

After the caps have been thrown and the diplomas received, many graduates find themselves pondering the question, "What do I do now?" If you’re approaching the end of your schooling, there are several options available to you:

1. Find Full- or Part-Time Work

One viable option is to consider full-time or part-time employment. This not only provides a steady income but also offers a valuable experience that can be a stepping stone in your career path. For those who have recently graduated, job boards and career fairs are excellent resources to find opportunities that align with your degree and interests.

2. Further Your Education

Pursuing further education opportunities is another path that can enhance your qualifications and open new doors in your chosen field. Whether it's enrolling in graduate school, attending professional development courses, or even pursuing a degree in a completely new field, further education can significantly impact your career trajectory. For instance, a nursing student might consider graduate school to specialize in family medicine, psychiatric mental health, or clinical research, thereby expanding their career opportunities.

3. Volunteer or Get an Internship

Volunteering offers a unique blend of learning and professional development. Engaging in volunteer work can provide a sense of fulfillment and the chance to develop new skills while contributing to the community. On the other hand, internships offer a glimpse into the professional world, allowing recent graduates to gain hands-on experience in their field of interest. Both volunteer work and internships are excellent ways to build your resume, network with professionals, and potentially lead to job opportunities. 

4. Start Your Own Business

Launching a startup or exploring work opportunities abroad can provide invaluable experiences that broaden your perspective and enhance your resume. If you want to be your own boss and have full control over your schedule, then starting a business or practice can be a suitable option for you.

5. Travel or Work Abroad

Traveling to different countries can open up a world of experiences, new cultures, and perspectives that can allow you to grow as an individual and a professional. It also enables you to see what other countries outside of the United States may have to offer in terms of jobs and internships. 

6. Take a Gap Year

For those considering a gap year, it can be a time for personal growth, allowing you to explore interests outside of your academic pursuits and gain a clearer vision of your future career goals. You can spend your gap year reflecting on your future goals, saving money, and developing skills that can help you land your dream job. 

7. Work for Your School

Working within your school or entering into an apprenticeship program are also practical options that offer a blend of learning and professional experience. If you’ve had an amazing time at your university, helping future students have a similar experience can be a fulfilling career. 

How to Successfully Shift From Student to Work Life

Adjusting to a full-time work schedule after years of college life can be daunting. It requires a shift in mindset and lifestyle, but with grace and preparation, it can be managed successfully. Here are some tips for making this transition as smooth as possible:

Set Realistic Goals

Embrace this new phase by setting realistic goals for yourself and understanding that it's OK to gradually adapt to the 9-to-5 routine. Remember, hard work during your college years has prepared you for this moment. It's now time to apply those skills and knowledge in the workplace, demonstrating your value to potential employers. Just keep in mind that you don’t have to know exactly what you’re doing right away—that comes with time and experience.

Take Plenty of Breaks Throughout the Day

Incorporating regular breaks into your workday is crucial for maintaining productivity and well-being. Just as you might have taken breaks between study sessions in college, allow yourself moments of rest during work to recharge. This practice can ease the transition by preventing burnout and keeping you motivated. Balancing hard work with self-care is key to successfully adjusting to work life.

Ease Into Full-Time Work If Possible

For many recent graduates, starting with part-time work or internships can be an effective way to ease into full-time employment. These opportunities offer a glimpse into the professional world while allowing you to build valuable experience and skills.

Create a New Routine

Developing a balanced daily routine that includes sufficient sleep, exercise, and leisure activities can also support your transition. Remember, the goal is to find a sustainable balance that allows you to thrive both professionally and personally. 

Prepare for the Future With MCPHS

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science (MCPHS) is committed to excellence, providing specialized programs and resources designed to prepare you for the challenges and opportunities of the professional world. Whether you're an English major looking to enter medical school or a recent grad considering a master's program, MCPHS has the tools and support to help you succeed.

Utilizing MCPHS to prepare for a rewarding life post-graduation means taking advantage of a network of professionals, career services, and a curriculum designed to meet the demands of today's job market. The school's focus on practical skills and real-world applications ensures you're not just earning a degree, but also gaining valuable experience that will set you apart in the job hunt. From career fairs to volunteer opportunities, MCPHS provides a comprehensive approach to career development that aligns with your personal and professional goals.

Applying to MCPHS is the first step toward securing a bright future. With a wide range of programs and degrees available, MCPHS can help you find your path and pursue your career goals with confidence. Whether you're aiming for a full-time job, considering grad school, or exploring other post-graduation opportunities, MCPHS offers the resources and support to help you achieve your dreams. 

Don't hesitate to reach out and learn more about how MCPHS can play a pivotal role in your professional journey. Ready to get started? Apply today.