What Now: Graduation edition

A lot of people have jobs lined up post-graduation, but that’s not the only route you can take after you graduate. There’s a variety of other paths you can take from volunteering to traveling to passion projects and more. ( Flickr, Creative Commons )

A lot of people have jobs lined up post-graduation, but that’s not the only route you can take after you graduate. There’s a variety of other paths you can take from volunteering to traveling to passion projects and more. (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Ok, the tassel was worth the hassle, but now there’s another question you have to deal with: What do you do after graduation? While many college graduates start grad school or go directly into the workforce, there’s plenty of options out there if you’re looking for something a little different.

Volunteer

If you’re a service-oriented kind of person, spending some time volunteering after college could be a great experience for you. Though you won’t be making money, you will still have a positive experience helping others and meeting new people.

Organizations like the Peace Corps, Teach for America and Americorps send their volunteers across America and the globe to help out on different projects focusing on the environment, education, health and economic development.

Program timelines differ: For some experiences, you must commit to two years, but for others you may volunteer for only three months.

Teach English abroad

You don’t need to be a teacher or have an English degree to teach English abroad. All it takes is some courage and curiosity.

This is a great option for those looking to travel because it provides an immersive experience. While you’re teaching students English, you also have the opportunity to learn a new language and culture. Not to mention you’re also developing professional skills as an English teacher and gaining international work experience.

There’s programs in many different countries, so you can choose where in the world you’d like to be.

Travel

Instead of starting your career or going to more school after you’ve just finished four years of undergraduate education, you could take some time to “find yourself” by going backpacking across Europe or your region of choice.

Backpacking is cost-effective, fun and gives you the opportunity to really explore wherever you end up. It’s spontaneous and flexible, and you can structure a trip however you want.

Nepal, India and Indonesia are popular destinations because of the moderate amount of money it takes to backpack through these countries.

Get an internship

If you’re having trouble competing for entry-level jobs, you could try to get an internship in your field of interest so that you have the opportunity to develop more relevant skills. Use an internship to learn about your field, enhance your professionalism and build your resume.

You’ll most likely be paid for your work, and employers will like that you have open availability. You will also have the chance to grow your network and make connections that could lead to a job in the future.

Pursue a passion project

Maybe now is a good time to take a risk. You can start your own business and turn your interests into a job. Or, you can apply for part-time or seasonal gigs that allow you to work on something you love.

Now that you’re out of school, you have some time to figure out your career plans and doing something you’re interested in might help you build your passion into a bigger career down the road. As long as you invest in yourself and your experiences, you’ll always learn new skills and strategies to market yourself or your brand.


Stephanie Santillo is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at stephanie.santillo@uconn.edu.