The uncertainty of graduation and what lies after can induce large amounts of stress on students from all majors with varying career goals. From deciding whether to relocate, to applying to jobs, to figuring out if you want to continue your education at a graduate level, these decisions are stressful and take time.
One way to ease your transition from full-time student to full-time working professional is to take an internship following graduation. Though typically thought to be for students still pursuing a degree, post-graduate internships are readily available for graduates who seek them out.
Internships that follow the structure and mirror the experiences of undergraduate internships exist in a wide range of fields. Not only will experiences such as these prepare you for the professional sphere, but they will also allow you to explore industries that you may not otherwise have considered.
Opportunities like this will often be posted on sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, or Handshake, which is available to UConn students and alumni. Be sure to read over the requirements for each position – you may find that having completed your Bachelor’s degree will give you an advantage and make you stand out among other candidates.
An alternative to a traditional internship, which may last a few months, is micro internships. Micro internships are opportunities to work with a company on a short-term project or assignment. Even though it’s held within a short timeframe, it can still provide a pathway into gaining experience with a company in a certain industry. More can be found out by visiting Parker Dewey, a network bringing together college students and employers for micro-internships.
Service is another option to traditional internships. Some examples include AmeriCorps, a 1-year service program that offers participants housing, training, and a small stipend. It is a widely regarded “opportunity for all ages and backgrounds,” and will undoubtedly strengthen your resume when the time comes to apply to positions in the future. The American Conservation Experience is another incredible role to step into for 3 to 6 months, and which will help you build your transferable skill set in the context of environmental preservation.
You may also find opportunities for post-graduate internships by reaching out to your network. Amelinda Rossitto, the Associate Director of Programming & Internal Relations at the UConn Center for Career Development, spoke about her own experience searching for opportunities following graduation. In her field of higher education internships are not as common, so in her outreach to offices and places of employment she sought “fieldwork experience.” Her advice to students looking for opportunities after graduation is to connect with professionals in your field(s) of interest, stating the number of hours you can offer and your excitement to get hands-on experience in the industry. This is a great way to get your foot in the door, particularly if you have no prior field experience. Bear in mind that organizations may not be able to pay you for such roles, but employers will appreciate and remember you taking the initiative.
For those worrying about what lies after graduation, you are not alone! Know that the options available to you are more abundant than you may think, and these experiences are a fantastic way to build industry experience and explore fields of interest before applying to and securing a full-time position. If you would like to discuss your options and hear more about what is available to you following graduation, schedule an appointment with a Career Coach via Handshake.
By Clarice Pennock