Alumni Advice

10 Things Alumni Want You to Know About Graduation…

Getting a job is a hard, humbling experience. It’s a hard realization to swallow that you may have to spend several months, even years, waiting tables while your U.Va. degree collects dust.”

Networking and informational interviews were critical in my job search and have been beneficial to me in many ways. Never pass up an opportunity to meet new people – whether it is in a social or professional setting.”

“The hardest part for me was shifting from the “my life is over!” mentality to the “this is a great opportunity” mentality. Just understand that this time in your life is full of opportunities. Go ahead, start your own business! Backpack through Europe! You’ll never experience another time in your life quite like your early 20s.”

“Do not waste time applying for jobs online. Call every potential contact you know and, if that leads nowhere, break out the yellow pages.”

Start saving for retirement right away. Retirement seems very far away and there are so many new expenses to deal with that it’s easy to put it off. Even if you only wait until your early 30s, it’s hard to catch up. Use an automatic payroll reduction for retirement contributions–you’ll find that you won’t miss the money at all.”

Don’t let your credit card debt get out of control. It’s a hard hole to climb out of.”

Eat breakfast at home and pack a lunch. It is very easy to pick up coffee and a bagel on the way to work, eat lunch out, and then meet friends for dinner after work. The next thing you know, you’re doing this five times a week and wondering where all your money has gone.”

It is “okay” to graduate. Even as I walked down the Lawn, I was in denial that it was all happening. Now, I know that graduating was not such a bad thing. I have my own money, have made some great new friends, and love where I live.”

It’s OK not to have a plan. It’s better to know yourself – know what you enjoy, what you do better than most people and what chances you’re willing to take. Armed with that self-knowledge, you’ll quickly identify opportunities when they present themselves and be able to act on them.”

“You will never make friends as easily as you did in college so maintain those friendships. A college friend is a dear friend.