Thanksgiving Dinner Conversations – “So, What are you Going to do After you Graduate?”

In just about two weeks, like many college students, you may find yourself back in your hometown connecting with family and friends over Thanksgiving break. While the excitement of the turkey and fixings might be long overdue (if you have been eating ramen noodles and pizza over the last few months), you may have some hesitations about heading back home. For many students, the anticipated question of “What are you going to do with that degree?” or “What are your plans after college?” can be dreaded conversations if you find yourself uncertain or unaware of some career options.

If this sounds like you, you still have a few weeks to figure out how to handle these questions. First, there’s plenty of time to visit the Center for Career Development to begin talking about possible careers of interest and to review the Explore Majors and Careers section of our website. Telling family members that you are working with the CCD to explore your interests and skills is a good initial response.

Another good start is to take 30 minutes out of your day to do some research. I’ll help you out a bit. In working with a student who wanted to explore unique jobs related to fine arts, just a little bit of brainstorming and research found this cool product design job at Etsy. And, check out Etsy’s not so common office environment. Take a look at some other arts-related careers to research and discuss.

Be sure to look beyond the list of possible careers and also read the quotes from people with unique jobs to hear how they came to have the career that they have. You’ll notice that many of the artists listed on this page also have extremely successful Etsy shops (some earn around $9,500 a month!!) Keep in mind that this is just an example of thinking outside of the box when exploring careers but little did I know that owning an Etsy shop could be a lucrative career. So, do a little research and some casual reading and plan to visit the CCD over the next week and those Thanksgiving awkward conversations could go a little better than you think.


By Jennifer Grunwald
Jennifer Grunwald Career Consultant, School of Fine Arts Profile Picture