If you’ve invested in your education by going to college, I bet you’re feeling some pressure to have the career-defining results you hoped for. After all, you’re probably wondering how to make the most of your senior year at college?

As a senior, it’s likely that you are anxious to graduate. You are probably also questioning whether or not you’ve done everything you could to be ready for what comes next. Did you choose the right major? Is this the right career path? So many questions only you have answers to!

College is truly what you make of it. Sure you studied, but what you do with that knowledge and experience is what carves your path different from everyone else. This is true especially during senior year when you start to feel the slide. You know what I’m talking about, the feeling when you are so close that you feel SO DONE. 

Here are a few things you can focus your energy on to keep that momentum. It’s important to make the most of this final year and close out your days as a student, strong! Take matters into your own hands and stay motivated instead of hoping that motivation comes to you!

number one

Intern

Ever get caught up in that chicken versus egg conundrum where you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to gain experience? Internships are the GAME CHANGER.  This experience counts! Internships offer the win-win of trying out a job for a few months or a year to see if it is a fit with you and always learning something along the way. Whether that be an understanding of the field, confirmation that you do or don’t want to pursue the career, or results in your work and what professionalism is expected in the work world.

If you’re looking for some information on what to look for in an internship? Read this blog post!

taking advantage of leadership opportunities to help you make the most of your senior year of college
number 2

Take advantage of leadership opportunities

If you have joined student groups that align with your interest throughout college, take opportunities to lead others in that group! More responsibilities and chances for you to problem solve, work on a team and manage only grows you in ways your older self will thank you for. 

number three

Network with people in your prospective field

Admit it, sometimes our understanding of jobs comes from what we’ve seen on TV or what mom and dad do for work. Anyone become curious about surgeons because of Grey’s Anatomy? Me too. The best way to gauge what a day in the life is actually like is to talk to someone who does the work. Make it a habit to reach out to people in your sphere of influence or using (LinkedIn, see article?) so you can learn more about yourself and the work you’re pursuing.

number four

Build or update your LinkedIn profile

If you haven’t used this a lot in your college career, start now. LinkedIn is a way for you to show your experience and interest in your field. LinkedIn also allows you to create a network of people you strive to be like. As a daughter of a machinist and a homemaker, LinkedIn was where I was able to draw a network I wouldn’t otherwise have. Start shaking hands with people because as the saying goes ‘ it’s more about who you know than what you know’. This day and age, you CAN reach out to know as many people as you can. 

Looking for some ideas to help you use LinkedIn to get a job?

how to get the most out of your college degree, build your linkedin
number five

Utilize your school’s Career Services

Every college campus has a career development office. If you’re feeling lost, and you might be, career concepts aren’t always a part of courses in all majors.  Maximize on their expertise to coach and support you through this otherwise really stressful and foreign arena! Remember: You do not have to do it alone!

Give yourself permission to stumble

Face it, you’ve been in school for about 17 years, you’re not going to be great at the job search and career part of your journey just yet. We all like to do things, and it well. Chances are that you’ve mastered a rhythm to how you approach school, assignments, and schedules.  It will take some time to find your career groove as well, and the sooner you embrace that, the less painful this change will be. 

Hire a career or life coach ( up to you guys!)

You’re new to this arena and feeling lost is more so the standard than the rule. It can be stressful and you don’t have to do it alone. All great athletes have coaches, and you’ll want one for career and life as well! Coaches are in your corner to support you, challenge you, and help you focus on what it is that makes your life fulfilling and successful. 

how to make the most of your senior year of college,

Lastly, just remember. This path is yours and success is relative. Imagine the life you want to live and let that guide your actions, not a commercial or an Instagram account. YEP. I SAID IT.

And as convenient and straight shot we would like life to work, it rarely happens this way. It’s pretty messy and never free of curveballs. Take all of them in stride. 

Don’t forget: this is the youngest you’ll ever be, note the mistakes you make and let the things you go through lay the foundation on which your success story will stand. There really isn’t only one right way to navigate all of this. I’m giving you some steps to start with, but most of all, add your flair, and have as much fun in all of this as you can!

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Ann Vu

Ann Vu

Ann is a career expert with a particular emphasis on the job search process. She has helped countless clients find and land jobs they love. Read more about Ann here.