What’s Next?: Life After College

The Mitchell-West Social Inclusion Center and Center for Women’s Studies would like to congratulate all of the Spring 2023 Graduates! You all have worked extremely hard and should be so proud of yourself. 

We know that life after college can be scary, exciting, and difficult. Well, we got you covered! As you read through this blog, you’ll find some tips and tricks for the workforce when the time comes. We hope that these tips will help you to be more confident as you go into the “real world”.

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Resumes, Careers, and Job Searching, oh my!

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Searching for a job before graduation or even after can be difficult

The University of North Alabama has the Career Center which has free services available to all UNA students and alumni through every stage of career development. There are one-on-one sessions available with the career center team as well as several events offered throughout the semester to help find a job. They are committed to empowering students and alumni in all phases of their career development. 

The UNA Career Center is dedicated to supporting students from all backgrounds, cultures, and identities - they ensure that all experiences and perspectives are respected, recognized, and integrated into career planning and development.

Visit them: Collier Library on the 2nd floor

Schedule your appointment today!

Crush Your Interview

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Step 1: Make sure you are prepared 

  • Do your research: Look up the company/organization you want to apply at. Study their mission, goals, and motto. Know the duties, responsibilities, and particulars of the job you are applying to.
  • Review your application: Double check your resume for errors. Make sure you highlight your previous accomplishments and experiences.
  • Practice makes perfect: Have someone to practice asking you questions and you answer them. Make sure to practice telling the interviewers why you would be the best candidate
  • Be EARLY: If you’ve scheduled an interview, it’s always best to arrive early. Be flexible with scheduling and allow enough time for the interview. 

Step 2: Look the part

Different jobs may have requirements for professional dress or work attire! Check with the organization to see what they allow. Here are the basics along with some additional tips on more gender-neutral attire:

  • Casual: informal clothing that is worn at work and outside of work. Casual attire includes t-shirts, button-down shirts, blouses, jeans, khakis, linen pants, shorts, sneakers, loafers, and open-toed shoes. Avoid wearing casual wear if you are going in for an interview. 
  • Business casual: a common form of dress that is seen in the office. Business casual attire includes skirts, slacks, khakis, blouses, collared shirts, blazers, heels, flats, boots, dress sandals, casual slip-on or tie shoes, and clean athletic shoes. This attire may be appropriate for some interviews as well as many office settings. It’s not too casual or  too formal.
  • Business professional: is a traditional form of attire for companies that have strict dress codes. This attire includes slacks, skirts, suits, heels, flats, loafers, and minimal jewelry.

Step 3: Stay calm, cool, collected, and confident

  • Be prepared: You will likely be asked to introduce yourself. Make sure you’re ready to state your name, describe your work experience, and provide examples of how you can work independently and/or with a team.
  • Listen carefully: Take a breath and think before you answer each question. Use the job description and keywords to provide evidence of your achievements. 
  • Quantify your experiences: Make sure you provide specific examples that speak to the work that you have done and how it can apply to this new role.
  • Ask questions: Typically interviewers will ask if you have any questions for them at the end. A good follow up question can be: “what does a normal day in this role look like”, or “what is the timeline to hear back about the interview process?”

 Step 4: Give it time

  • Be patient: It may take you several interviews to land your dream job! Just remember that opportunities are out there! 

Your Brand

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Setting yourself up for success after college can look a variety of ways. One thing to think about is how to make your professional profile.

Many people use Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to set up their brand. Whether that looks like getting a new headshot or posting about important topics in your field, your social media will be looked at by future employers. Make sure that you’ve thoroughly reviewed your past posts and that they are deemed appropriate! 

Use social media as a tool to network and find jobs!

Find Your Community!

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There are so many ways to stay connected with UNA after graduation! Think about joining an alumni club or affinity group! 

UNA has several alumni clubs located in different cities that you can connect with. The clubs work hand-in-hand with the university on various projects. States that have UNA Alumni Clubs are located in:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee

UNA also has affinity groups that Alumni can be a part of, which are:

  • Alumni Book Club
  • North Alabama Athletics Alumni
  • Black Alumni Association
  • UNA Faculty Alumni
  • Fraternity and Sorority Life Alumni
  • International Affairs Alumni
  • Miss UNA Alumni
  • North Alabama Gaming (Esports) Alumni
  • UNA ROTC Alumni
  • UNA Social Work Alumni
  • UNA Staff Alumni
  • Student Government Association (SGA) Alumni
  • UNA First-Gen Alumni
  • UNA Marching Band Alumni
  • UNA Geography Alumni Association
  • UNA Young Alumni: 40 Under 40