Erin Berthon

Erin Berthon, MA Career Manager, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, at Chapman University

Graduation is right around the corner! Whether you’re trying to find a job or going to grad school, you all share common feelings; eagerness, excitement, anxiousness, and uncertainty. Here are 10 pieces of advice for you as new graduates to help ease some of your concerns.

Know yourself

As I have gotten to know the students each semester, it is clear that there is no magic, “one size fits all” solution to success. You need to focus on your interests, skills, and values. The better you know yourself, the clearer your career path will be.

Research the company thoroughly before you apply and interview

Find out as much as you possibly can about the company or organization before you apply. This research will help you understand if you are a good fit, and it will help with knowing the right questions to ask. Being aware of the other competitors, the company culture, and fair market pay is vital to understanding the process of applying and interviewing.

Give time and energy to keep relationships strong

Have you heard the saying, “The most essential key to happiness is strong relationships with other people?” It is true! Keep in touch with your graduating class and friends. Stay connected with your professors and me! Not only are relationships important for our mental happiness, but you never know along the way who can help you find that job, mentor you with a new idea, or be there when you make a big decision. Stay connected!

Take care of yourself

The stress and the anxiety of worrying about what is next can hold you back from your goals. Explore what makes you happy and relaxed. Exercise, sleep, and taking deep breaths are great habits to have. Do daily or weekly self-check-ins. Chapman has a new resource called This is an excellent resource tailored to YOU, offering tips and tools for everything from your mental and physical health to friendships and balance in your life.

Be open to change

Do not be afraid to try something new. Your degree shouldn’t make you feel like you can only do that stereotypical job society has labeled. Use all the skills that Wilkinson College taught you; reading, writing, and critical thinking, and do something you enjoy!

Be patient

Networking and resilience will find success. It is not easy; matter of fact, it is exhausting! This is just the first big step of your path, so don’t give up.

Keep learning

The best advice I heard recently came from Carly Tatiana Pandža ’10. “Every moment is always an opportunity to learn from everyone around you, no matter their position. Pay attention when things go well, and pay closer attention when things do not go well. Every moment is a learning experience.”

Remember these four words

Positive! Productive! Pro-active! Polite!

Always use the resources you have

Your biggest assets are your network and resources. Connect on Linkedin with your alumni. Chapman University will always be your number one place to help with resources. Unlike many universities that separate alumni and student services, no matter what year you graduated – you will have career coach for life!

Be prepared and have fun

It is never too late to create good time management habits. Responsibilities and workload will change, so be prepared. Also, have fun! Although the process can be challenging, don’t be so hard on yourself. It is time to soar and be proud of all your hard work.

Congratulations and good luck! As your career advisor this year, I couldn’t be more proud of each of you. You are indeed what makes Wilkinson College the heart and soul of Chapman University.