When it comes to preparing for life after graduation, according to Pathways Center director Derek Solheim, most seniors do not know where to start. This is why every second semester, the Pathways Center provides the opportunity for fourth-year students to come in for a senior meeting.
Senior meetings are 30-minute meetings with Solheim to get a start on the job search. Solheim said one of the most important things to consider coming in to a senior meeting is location.
“You want to be thinking about geography; where do you see yourself living in the next couple years after graduation?” Solheim said.
When it comes to location, Solheim said it is helpful to have at least a top three places of interest. From there, you should divide up your search 70-20-10; 70 percent of your search should happen in your number one choice, twenty percent in your second choice, and ten percent in the third, he said.
“You want to think about where you want to search so you can start networking with alums, you can begin to identify employers [and we can help walk you through that], and then you can create the tools that you need to be successful,” Solheim said.
Senior meetings are a resource for finding a job after college, but that is not the only purpose they can serve. There are always several students, like Alexa Schmitz, who wants to go even farther with her post-secondary education.
Schmitz is a double-major in neuroscience and Spanish, and her goal is to start graduate school in the fall of 2019. She had her senior meeting in mid-January and has gone into the Pathways Center for an additional meeting. She said
Solheim has been a great resource for many aspects of her process.
“Our first meeting was him seeing where I was at and what I needed help with,” Schmitz said. “It’s more so preparation for application and interviews and he’s been helping me touch up my resume too.”
Schmitz said senior meetings have done a lot to help her and are a resource that everyone should take advantage of if given the chance.
“It’s a free service that can help guide your post-graduate plans,” Schmitz said.
“If you’re still searching for a job in any way, or maybe you’ve made some contacts and are preparing for those jobs in whatever capacity, [Solheim] can help work through interviews, resume work, applications and also just making contacts for you. If you’re saying ‘hey, these are my strengths, this is what I’m interested in,’ I’m sure he’s willing to help you figure out what’s next,” she said.