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Amelia Thomas, ready for her upcoming graduation.

Ensure graduation with these tips

Graduation is a time of celebration, but it can also be a time of stress and confusion. Here are 10 easy steps to make it seem like a breeze.

  1. Registrar: Get familiar with your school’s career services office or in this case the registrar.  This office helps find student’s part-time work, internships and volunteer opportunities while they’re going through school. They also help students prepare their resume, cover letter and portfolio for their first full-time job.
  2. Resume: Next, prepare a resume. Gather together all of your work history, the skills you have obtained whether through a job or a class and compile it into a resume. You can also work on your cover letter. While you should tailor each cover letter to the job you are applying for, you can get a good basic cover letter written. Then you can add and take away from that cover letter based on a specific job.
  3. References: Gather three to five strong references that you can easily give to potential employers when asked. Sometimes having a good reference can mean the difference between getting the job or not. You will need the name, job title, telephone number and email address of each reference.
  4. Mistakes: Become familiar with the mistakes many people make at first time job interviews, so you don’t make them.
  5. Outfit: Buy a professional interview outfit. Even if the job you are applying for is a relaxed one, you want to make a good first impression. Practice interviewing techniques with someone who is familiar with the types of questions you may be asked at an interview.
  6. Grad School: If you are planning to attend grad school instead of getting a job, remember to apply for the schools you want.
  7. Student Loans: Figure out how much or if you owe anything in student loans. Most student loans begin repayment six months after graduation, and you want to be prepared when the first payment is due. Failing to pay student loans is not a great way to begin the next chapter of your life.
  8. Living Situation: Figure out where you are going to live after graduation and create a realistic budget in order to do so.
  9. Mentor:  Find a mentor. Mentors can be very influential in assisting you in your post college life.
  10.  Finals: Study, study and study for those final exams. Cross every T and dot every I.

Finally, celebrate! You did it. You deserve to pat yourself on the back. Just remember to have all those forms turned in and all the fines squared away to enjoy your special day.

Story by Savannah Oliver, staff writer. Photo courtesy of Danny Touchton.

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