Erin Berthon

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

Dear Seniors,

In just eight short weeks, graduation will be here! College graduation is a double-edged sword. It represents immense accomplishments, as you have been working toward this goal for the past four years. It is the moment when your family, friends, and professors celebrate you and all you have done. On the flip side, you can feel stressed, now having to leap into – , should I dare say it-ADULT LIFE! Here are some words of advice and wisdom for our seniors.

Stay Involved:
Senior week is April 24th-27th. This is an opportunity to get ready for life after graduation. This will be not only a week of marking off all your preparations, but we will have some fun in between, as well. I hope you join us Monday as we kick off the week with Dean Keene toasting the Wilkinson Class of 2023. This event will include food, drinks, games, a photo booth, a candy bar, and more. The rest of the week will include workshops with Contra and Chipotle, a day of free headshots, and a Career Networking Night.

Stay Connected:
No matter where your path leads you or if you decide to make changes along the way, just know that as your career advisor, I am here to guide you and mentor you after graduation as your career connection for life. I love to keep in touch and see all the amazing things our graduates do. It is always fun bringing back our alums to talk to our undergrads, so please stay in touch! As a senior, it is also very important that you take the First Destination Survey. This will allow me to understand what your next step is, your goals, and how I can help after graduation. I encourage you to fill this out. There are so many prizes to win too!

College Graduation is Not an Ending:
College graduation always feels like the end, but commencement is just the beginning of the next chapter. College prepares you to be open-minded, flexible, and willing to adapt and learn as you transition into something new and, sometimes, completely different than you expected. Find people you can continue learning from, and don’t assume you know it all!

There is no Time Like the Present to Make Future Goals, Big and Small:
The urge to jump at any job offer is something many seniors feel in April/May. I suggest taking a deep breath, doing some research, and having a clear plan. You don’t want to be three months into a new job and completely miserable. My advice is to ask yourself what you want to do five or ten years from now and start working towards it. Remember, nothing isn’t permanent; it is never too late to change your goals and ideas for your future. Just take a breath and do not compare yourself to others.

The Friendships and Relationships you Have Made are Important:
Make an effort with your friendships. Keep the ones you have and love, and put work into some new ones. Friendships and relationships you value will surprise you after graduating. They could be the ones who help you get that job. Continue networking – always!

Congratulations, Wilkinson Class of 2023! You have been the Heart and Soul of our college, and I can’t wait to celebrate you!