Advice from the Real World

Advice from the Real World

Recent graduates send back nuggets of post-Colby wisdom

| Photos by A.J. Garces

Illustration by A.J. Garces
A job is just a job. You are coming in as an entry level and you need to know and expect that. Make sure you are choosing your job for the right reason. While money is fun to spend, if you are working so much you have no time to spend it, what is the point? Also, location, location, location! I relocated to Colorado, where I knew no one. While it was a great experience, eventually you have to make sure you like the city you are living in. . . . Trust me. If not, a month can feel like a year.
Jessica Rosenbloom '02
M.B.A. student, Ross School of Business/University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Move to the place you want, then worry about finding a job. . . . Temp work can buy you time to really look for a meaningful job once you're settled in a new city/place.
Emily Goodyear '05
Publications writer, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Brookline, Mass.

I actually came to New York to be in publishing and so my advice comes from my struggle to break into that industry. First, DO INTERNSHIPS. And do them while you are IN COLLEGE. I finally decided to do an internship for Jan Plan as a senior and it just wasn't enough. . . . You gain work experience and, most importantly, you get contacts. One more thing. If you decide not to do some sort of program I would suggest going STRAIGHT HOME. Your parents, regardless of how you may feel about them, are generally a wonderful resource.
Casey McCarthy '05
Production Assistant/Archivist Davasee, Enterprises/Jeff Rosen
New York, N.Y.

Stay in school! It is very difficult to find a job that allows midday naps!
Amelia Confalone '04
Associate Real Estate Consultant
McCall & Almy

Lynnfield, Mass.
Anybody is lucky to get a job right out of college. I wouldn't put too much pressure on yourself to get the job you really want. The working life goes by really quickly and you'll soon have an opportunity to apply for another job. As long as you learn something at your first job, it will help. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to find work I would love. It's not as easy as it sounds. . . . Really search your head for all the skills you've learned along the way. Exhibit a willingness to learn. Don't counter the company culture, try to learn things their way.
Jared Berezin '04
Marketing Specialist
International Data Corporation
Brighton, Mass.

Be flexible and don't rush your life. I strongly urge any student to take some time (a year at least) before entering any graduate or medical program to get their life and thoughts in order. In science, most researchers are looking for students with experiences beyond their liberal arts education. Many other professional sectors are moving in this direction. . . .
If after exploring a bit (through internships, shadowing, or work) you find your previous goal of being a world-class surgeon or economist isn't what it's cracked up to be, embrace the change of heart and move in another direction.
Jennifer Bishop '02
Ph.D. candidate
Department of Miccrobiology and Immunology
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C.

I wish that I knew (or I knew because my professors in the Spanish Department told me, but I wish I had listened) that the Peace Corps is a great option, that grad school right after Colby is not always the best choice, that doing something different (i.e. some job abroad in which you break even, etc.) is not a bad idea. To apply for a Fulbright, Rotary, or Watson is not as scary as it seems. To apply for the U.S. Department of Education fellowships for grad school before going is a SMART idea.
Michelle Farrell '01
Doctoral candidate and instructor
Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.

blog comments powered by Disqus


  • On May 25, 2006, Dave Zohn wrote:
    There is no doubt that the first year after college is an extremely difficult transitional period. It was hard for me to envision a world outside of Colby until I was no longer there, and even then, it took months for me to come to terms with the fact that it was over. I highly recommend spending some time gathering yourself and your thoughts before you embark upon a career path or graduate school. Travel or just hang out for a few months, but spend some time thinking about what you would like to be doing in a year. Also, keep in mind that every time you find something you don‰t like to do, you‰re one step closer to finding what you do like to do. Life after college may not be the totally consequence free fun you remember from Colby, but it can be pretty awesome and rewarding. At least you still get weekends.

  • On June 24, 2006, Peter Hans wrote:
    Constantly keep your next move in the forefront of your mind. If you are unsatisifed with your current employment situation, formulate a plan to get to the job you want and then follow that plan (this will probably take a few years). Don't beat yourself down about this time period as you'll be a lot happier when you're in your mid and late 20's and have the career you want than if you settled for mediocrity.

  • On June 26, 2006, Jackie Dao wrote:
    The daunting question every recent graduate anticipates after leaving the hill: "So what are your plans now?Š We have experienced this moment at one time or another. I, for one, was extremely nervous because I had no career offers after graduation, just the distinctive urge to volunteer and gain work experience; perhaps abroad. I knew I needed to take a step and relocate. Taking my time to find a job I can truly appreciate and enjoy. Through this process, I realized that I am very young, and didn‰t need to rush to find the ,perfectŠ job. It takes experience, from the bottom up, to truly appreciate the choices you face and where they will eventually lead you. My first job was serving at a restaurant for 8 months until I found my current position on Capitol Hill. I wouldn‰t trade that experience for anything in the world. Unexpected moments truly help you define who you are and expand to who you could become. Even after a full year since graduation, I still have that urge to travel abroad and volunteer, but I know when the time comes, it will eventually happen. It is never too late.