Graduates of the class of 2015,
Where has the time gone? Whether it has taken you 4 years or longer, you’ve made it to the end of your time at JMU. It may not feel real until the moment you see the chairs lined up on the quad, and your family members snapping photos from across the convocation center.
Take a moment to reflect on all of the hard work you have put in. From the countless coffees consumed to the ECL all-nighters, you finally get the payoff of walking across the stage to flash a big “I did it!” smile to your peers.
The next step can be a little scary, because up until now, there has always been a foreseeable next step. This is what you’ve worked for, push yourself to be better, and never settle.
“Most of all, never underestimate the power of your network. Use your connections (friends, family, alums, colleagues, etc.) for your job searches and potential career advancements. Most are willing to help and give advice when asked (and the referral bonuses don’t hurt either!). On average, big companies provide stability and opportunity for learning/growth whereas smaller firms offer a sense that you are more than “just a number”. When hired, find a mentor if one isn’t assigned to you. This can save you embarrassing or damaging professional missteps by having someone to talk to before acting on a knee-jerk reaction. Be confident enough to speak up when you have an idea that may help the situation. Even if it isn’t the best, you will learn more about the topic and be noticed when you voice your ideas. Finally, take advantage of any opportunity to better yourself academically or professionally. Most companies will pay for you to do so and it’s something which you can carry with you anywhere in your career.”
– Words of wisdom from JMU alum, Allan Bryarly, Project Manager, Deloitte Consulting, LLP
Whether you already have a job lined up after you graduate, or are still in search of the perfect career, remember that Career and Academic Planning is still here to support you throughout your life as an alum. JMU alumni may utilize Career and Academic Planning’s online resources, such as Recruit-A-Duke for job and internship postings, InterviewStream for online practice interviews, FOCUS for career guidance and self-assessment, Vault for researching career fields and job titles, and our CAP website for content about the job and internship process and the graduate school application process. Alumni may contact a career counselor or coach who has the training and expertise to assist established professionals with their job search, career changes, and professional development needs. To identify career counselors or coaches around the country, utilize the National Career Development Association’s Find a Counselor website. Ones that we know of in the Harrisonburg, Virginia are DeNoble University Counseling Services and Harrisonburg Career Coaching.
Already found your dream job? We’d love to hear about it! After you’ve spent a little time there, let us know how great it is, and you might be featured as our next Alum Spotlight! If you’re interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we would be happy to talk with you!
Best of luck to you all in your future endeavors, and be sure to come back and visit- maybe even greet students if your company is on campus for recruiting next semester.
For more information on Career and Academic Planning’s resources, check out the Alumni section of our website at http://www.jmu.edu/cap/alumni/services.html.
CONGRATS CLASS OF 2015!
Meredith Kozikowski, Graduate Assistant
Career and Academic Planning