Here’s Your Senior Year Exit Strategy

Nihal Al Qawasmi, Opinion Editor

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Well would you look at that, it’s already April. That means graduation is about 6 weeks away. No, I am not exaggerating – check your calendars, seniors. I know anxiety and stress levels are at an all-time high right now. As the end nears, we’re all asking ourselves the same questions. “What’s going to happen after graduation?” “What will I do?” “Did I choose the right path?”

 Have no fear – those questions are absolutely normal, even for the most organized, goal-oriented and structured student. That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to come up with this quick senior year exit strategy checklist.

Polish Resume

Granted, you should have been doing this throughout college – but if you haven’t had the chance to yet, now is the time. If you plan on trying to get a job for the summer or fall, now is the time to brush up on your skills, update your resume, and practice your cover letter expertise. Do not wait until last minute to get this done.

Narrow Down Applications

Once you are done updating your resume, create a list of companies and positions you want to apply for. If you have the energy to apply to a few dozen, then go for it. However, let’s be practical. Filling out applications, finalizing references and recommendations and writing up unique cover letters takes time. That’s why you should create a list (not a mental list, a physical one) of your top job postings and their deadlines. After that, block out a few hours once a week and dedicate it to solely finalizing applications and sending them out. Or take it step by step and dedicate that day to only writing cover letters. You know yourself best, so figure out a system and get the ball rolling because deadlines are around the corner.   

Don’t Forget About Your Classes. But Also Have Fun.

Although you are so close to the finish line and are probably already hearing back from potential employers – don’t forget you also have a GPA to keep up. Believe me, I know it gets overwhelming. However, balance is key. So don’t slack on your homework, prioritize your to-do-list (and self) and remember to take it all in. Your undergraduate career only comes around once – so enjoy it. Go to that event on campus, take a day off but don’t forget about your responsibilities. 

Get Advice From Fellow Seniors and Alumni.

The best part about this new journey is that you’re not doing it alone. You’re graduating with an entire class that is going through the same thing and feeling the same emotions. On top of that, countless before you have done it too – so tap into the Alumni network at Pace! Get their two cents; ask how they dealt with the senior year struggle and what their exit strategy was. If that doesn’t cut it, here’s a piece of advice from a current senior at Pace: Maricelo Gomez, ’17

 “It’s hard for anyone I can imagine to deal with graduation, and there’s no secret formula to avoid that panic attack I feel. Personally, I’ve always been involved in organizations and network groups that are relevant to my career goals such as SRMUN and NMUN, as well as currently interning for the Permanent Mission of Peru to the United Nations,” said Gomez.

“I am incredibly busy more than ever, but make sure not to waste any time and am currently applying to jobs and thinking of graduate school for the future. Overall, I believe by setting great goals, maintaining an effective work ethic and building your network it helps me greatly to be organized and positive in this transition out of Pace. Also, my family and mentors have been so supportive! It will be difficult embarking on this next chapter, but I leave Pace more positive and faith in my work then ever,” Gomez continued.

 Send Thank You Notes to Friends + Professors + Mentors.

Lastly, before you cross that finish line, don’t forget about the people that helped get you there. Whether it was your parents, close friends, a professor that changed your life or a mentor you look up to – give credit where credit is due. It doesn’t have to be grand, just genuine and thoughtful. Good luck!


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