Career Tips to Make the Most of Your Senior Year

By Kaitlin Hurtado on September 15, 2023

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You’ve put in years of work during your college career and you’re finally here – your senior year. It can be exciting, it’s the light at the end of the tunnel as you can recognize a clear end to your college clear. It’s also stressful and overwhelming as you find yourself looking to a new future beginning soon, but still having to commit to your present as a college student. Senior year can be a battle between celebrating your successes and setting yourself up for future success as you begin your professional career.

Not sure where to start on how to handle your senior year? Keep reading for career tips to make the most of your senior year.

Photo: Pexels

Consider your post-college finances and act accordingly 

Just like everyone’s college finances differ, everyone’s post-college finances may be different. Some go straight into whatever job they can find, regardless of if it’s in their intended field in order to keep on top of their finances. Others move back home with their families to get some financial help while they gather their bearings for their next steps.

Consider what your post-college life will be and figure out what you can do to make that achievable. For example, you may be considering jumping straight into a summer unpaid internship after graduation. In order to not fall behind financially, you may want to work part-time jobs during your senior year in order to save up for when you do not have any income during the summer as you gain crucial work experience.

Learn how to prioritize and schedule accordingly

As much as we want to tell ourselves our time management skills are top-notch, many of us can recognize when we can fall victim to letting our priorities fall behind in favor of things that we shouldn’t be spending time on. You may be more likely to accept a friend dinner or night out invite than commit to a night of studying to get yourself prepared for an exam.

During your senior year, you are likely going to be faced with peers also in the mood to celebrate the ending of their college career but do not let the fun times drown out what you need to get done during your senior year. Don’t let your studies and other priorities fall behind.

Take time to schedule time for all your priorities, helping yourself find a balance between time with friends, studying, extracurriculars, and job(s).

Begin job application preparation

If you aren’t actually applying for jobs yet, start gathering the necessary documents, to prepare for job applications. Consider what goes into a job application and if you have the ability and confidence to prepare them. You will likely need to prepare a resume, cover letter, an updated LinkedIn profile, recommendations, and portfolio/sample work.

Your college has resources, like a career center, that can help you learn how to apply for jobs, from crafting the perfect resume to conducting job interviews.

Take advantage of on-campus resources

While you are a college student, take advantage of the resources available to you on campus. As previously mentioned, the career center is the perfect place to pick up tips on job applications, resume and cover letter writing help, and interviewing tips.

The career center isn’t the only place you can use as a resource – visit your faculty to establish rapport with professors and other mentors. Not only can they offer some guidance at the moment, but they can also serve as great recommendations in the future. If you are thinking of using them as a recommendation, be sure to discuss it with them and collect the best contact information for them.

You would be surprised at how many young college graduates apply for jobs without proper references. In an environment where you lack job experience, having solid references from college faculty can help build up your job application, so be sure to establish connections during your college year.

Colleges will also often host career fairs on campus. If possible, research the companies that are attending the career fair to get an idea of what companies you want to interact with to make the most of your time. Talking with company reps or recruiters can help get you some experience for your future job applications.

Embrace your final moments as a college student

At the end of the day, this might just be your last time as a student. Don’t spend all your time focusing on your next steps and forget to experience the life of a senior.

You and your college friends may be split up right after graduation. Savor your senior year with your friends and make those memories you can look back on later on in life.

Senior year can be a constant battle of working hard and playing hard, and with these tips in mind, you can help set yourself up for the beginning of your career — good luck!

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