The time has actually come – you are graduating from college!

For some of you this means you’re officially done with schooling for the rest of your life; for others, this means leaping into a concentrated discipline at graduate school; for the career driven individuals, your highly awaited graduation means gaining real time work experience at your first post graduate job; and lastly, for a large handful of you, your impending graduation might be scarier than you were anticipating.

Let’s discuss some of the options you might have.

If you are interested in securing a job right after you graduate, the Career Development Center at Chapman has a diverse array of incredible speakers, networking events, and recruiters on the Chapman campus pretty regularly. Keep an eye out for emails from the CDC during your senior (and junior) year so that you don’t miss out on an opportunity to meet with potential future employees.

This is also the perfect time to reach out to friends and family, previous companies and employers you’ve worked for, and any contacts that you might have who could possibly introduce you to someone who could be your future employer. This is called networking – there’s no shame in asking people in your field of interest for a helpful connect. Believe it or not, most people actually really want to help you land a job and connect employees with employers. Use your resources!

If you’re still not sure what career path you’re interested in pursuing, an internship or rotational program may be perfect for you. Most people think internships are reserved for college students. However, many companies offer internships post graduation as well.

Iconic companies, such as Disney, offer paid internships for graduate students that often have similar benefits to full-time positions and have the ability to lead seamlessly into a full-time job. One great aspect about internships, as opposed to full-time positions, is that internships don’t have the commitment restrictions of a full-time job – if you decide after the duration of the internship (three to six months) that the position wasn’t for you, it’s best to discover that in an internship position rather than in a full-time job.

For those of you who are thinking you’ve had enough of academia, jobs, internships and the likes for now there are options for you as well. Maybe you have adventure on your mind? There are several ways to travel, whether independently, with an abroad internship program, on travel programs or through the Peace Corp. Any of these could be a perfect fit for you depending on what you’re hoping to gain from your time abroad.

The Peace Corp’s is an incredible opportunity for a variety of reasons. It is an amazing way to get out of your comfort zone, dive into the community of another culture, and gain valuable connections and experiences. The Peace Corp also offers some exceptional perks once your two-year contract is up. Monetary compensation for transition back from service, different aid with graduate school, and the bypass of certain interview requirements for specific companies.

If you aren’t ready to take on the two-year commitment, there are similar opportunities for the adventure seeker, such as different programs similar to the Peace Corps or working for a travel company. There are a handful of service and travel programs for middle school and high school students that are constantly hiring outdoor leaders to facilitate trips in coveted places around the world such as the Fiji Islands, the Galapagos, Australia and more.

Lastly, rotational programs are an incredible opportunity to look at a variety of divisions of a company. They give you the opportunity to be employed after college and often times offer a smooth transition into a full-time employment offer. They’re also the perfect option for someone who doesn’t know exactly what field they want to pursue for a full-time job. Rotational Programs offer leadership experience and an in depth look into the major components of a company such as the Business Management side, Marketing, and Technical Services.

If you have further questions – leave a comment below! We’d love to get back to you about the other options out there. Also check out these articles that mention additional resources or specifics to topics we touched upon.