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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Life After College


Dan Phillips, Director of the Entreprenuership Center at UMass Boston, inspires students.




Some of us will spend years after college struggling to pay off student loans and going on interview after interview, sometimes for entry-level jobs we are overqualified for but can’t seem to nab. However, if you play your cards right, you might just make it in today’s competitive job market. As part of the Student Entrepreneurship Program (StEP) through the Venture Development Center and the College of Management, recent UMB graduates returned to share their experiences of life after college and offer valuable insight to wide-eyed students. They offered four points to consider:

• Experience. Whether you like them or not, whether they’re paid or not, internships are essential to gain a foothold in an industry. “It’s not just about the courses you take, but the job experience,” said one graduate. The best way to accomplish this is to specialize in a specific industry. Seek internships that are supportive and will help build you, rather than simply use you. Build a network of references. The Venture Development Center on the third floor of Wheatley is an excellent place to begin if you are seeking high-tech internships.

• Presentation. The first impression could be your last if you fail to stand out from the crowd. Beginning with your résumé. write customized cover letters for each job opportunity. Scan the company’s mission and draw information from that. As simple as it may sound, “knowing what the company does will help surpass other candidates,” one graduate suggested. And it goes without saying, dress, appearance, and a balance between friendliness and professionalism are absolute essentials during interviews.

• Knowledge. Knowing is half the battle. Simply knowing the bare minimums will only get you so far. Go the extra mile; take time to explore every nook and cranny of your industry. “Familiarize yourself with the technology, especially if it’s constantly being advanced,” one graduate acknowledged. Indeed, understanding the trending aspects of your industry is likely not to only get you onboard, but in the spotlight. Learning doesn’t have to be limited to the classroom.

• Fit. Fit the job to the skills rather than the other way around. Perhaps this is the most important advice, but it may not be feasible in today’s job market. Regardless, it is common procedure to search for jobs and tweak skill-sets to fit that job description. It’s important that the nature of the job fits your personality and genuine interest, otherwise you’ll just dread getting up every morning for a paycheck and nothing more.