Countdown to graduation: Your senior year checklist

There will be a lot of lasts this year—last semester, last class, last exam, last day. Make the most of the time you still have to better your chances for landing a job after graduation.

Get your work published

  • Write for the student newspaper or blog. It’s not that big of a time commitment, plus you’re honing your writing skills.
  • Present your research at a conference. Showcase your hard work and get public speaking practice. For example, Brockport has Scholar’s Day every April.
  • INTERN. INTERN. INTERN. I can’t stress this enough. You will have references and work to show.


Network on and off campus

  • Be on the lookout for career fairs, panel discussions, and all-day conferences such as the WNY Media Conference or Upstate Social Sessions (which offer discounted ticket prices for students).
  • Schedule informational interviews. Reach out to professors and your internship advisor to get introduced to professionals doing what you want to do, or working where you want to work. Use LinkedIn to your advantage as well (make sure your profile is on point).
  • Attend professional society workshops and events. Set a goal for yourself, such as meet 3 people, get 5 business cards, or introduce myself to so and so. Take this a step further and write notes about the conversation you had on the back of each persons’ business card. You can reference said convo when you follow up with them after the event.


Be job interview ready

  • Leverage career services. Get your resume and template cover letter reviewed. Schedule a mock interview. Build your portfolio. Once you think you are in a good place, have your professors take a look, or bring them to your informational interviews for suggestions.
  • Kick start your job search and begin applying at least 3 months before you graduate. Have a company in mind you’d like to work for? Scour its career website weekly or snag an informational interview with someone who works in the department you’d like to work in.
  • You never know when a recruiter or HR will call. Have a few professional outfits picked out in advance, so if the opportunity arises, you are ready. 


Elaina Mancuso is a marketing communications specialist at Excellus BCBS in Rochester, NY and co-chair of PRSA Rochester's PRism Committee. Connect with her on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.

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