Preparing for life after Wayne State

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By Zoe VanAuken

This week, I’m graduating from Wayne State University. It’s a little scary, mainly because I have no idea where I’m going to work as far as location or company goes. I know I’ll be working in Human Resources, and I’m open to working for different companies (although I’m leaning towards an energy company, ideally DTE Energy). I’ve lived and worked in Detroit for four years, which has been great, so I hope to stay in or near the area. I did work at least 25 hours a week while doing school full time, so I don’t think that the college to full-time work transition will hit me too hard. A lot of my stress comes from not continuing school right away, I’ve always loved learning and going to school, but I hope to learn and grow my skills in an occupation aside from just taking classes. 

Zoe VanAuken
Zoe VanAuken

As far as graduate school goes, I want to continue my education, but I decided that I wanted to work in the field before pursuing a specific graduate degree. This also gives me enough time to study and take the GRE as many times as possible and adjust to this life transition. I did not realize how many people worked for a few years and then went back to school. It is a bit of a relief as I didn’t want to fall behind if I decided to pursue a graduate degree. My love for school makes it difficult to take a break, but I do think it will be a smart move for me in the meantime.

I am struggling with a bit of trying to time my job applications. While I had internships, I didn’t intern anywhere that I would’ve transitioned into a full-time position. So I’m figuring out when the best time to apply for full-time jobs is that gives me enough time for the screening, interviewing, and the rest of the application process. Other than that, I’ve been checking with advisors to make sure all of my credits add up. I don’t have any loose ends in my degree, staying motivated in my last few courses, sourcing possible job applications I want to apply to, and securing a few references I may need for job applications and graduate programs.

You may need to recall experiences and connections you’ve had in the past for future opportunities, so keep in touch with the people that have helped you get to where you are now. It’s a bit of a waiting game as I have most of the essentials in line, so I’m trying not to get too anxious to move on to the next stage of my life and enjoy the last few months of my undergraduate degree. It can be exciting and nerve-wracking when you’re at the end of the tunnel but don’t rush the process of getting there. It does go by fast, so enjoy it while you’re there! 

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