The weather is beautiful today. There is a perfect brisk of wind with enough sun to balance out the breeze. I am currently at the University Student Union terrace in the blue umbrella area half-people watching and half-preparing for my night class. After today, I am officially on spring break! My spring break starts on Thursday because I only have classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. And Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and sometimes Saturdays are designated just for work. As you can see, I rarely have downtime and to top it off this past month has been quite ridiculous. I need this break. I am almost done, but spring break will be my recharge.
Since my mind kept wandering off and I ran out of patience for studying, I want to take this time to answer a few questions I have been getting from you all lately, via email. Since March has been crazy, I have been lagging in the reply-back-to-emails department. What better way to quickly respond than with a Q&A sesh!? Don’t worry, I will still reply to your super sweet emails individually, but I also want to write this blog because my family members, friends, colleagues, and coworkers are also asking me the same kind of questions. All of the questions listed below have been either emailed, tweeted, DMed, or messaged. They all run along the lines of: what do you plan to do after college?
Will you continue to go to school and pursue a master’s degree?
Not right now, I need a break from school and want to start building my career. I would love to go back to school after a few years though… if I have the funds and paid off my loans by then.
Hi Rachel, I don’t know if I want to go to grad school, but I feel like I have to because I don’t know what to do after college? What should I do?
First, keep in mind that I am not a college counselor nor do I have a degree in any type of counseling. Second, understand that anything I say is based off of my experiences and what I have observed. Graduate school is expensive, but studies have shown that the higher degree you will lead to a higher lifetime income. I considered going to graduate school at one point because I love going to school. I love learning from my professors and fellow students in my classes, and I love feeding my brain with new knowledge. Despite the fact that I am all for education, I will not go to graduate school because I am unsure if I want to. This uncertainty is clear to me that I should not go to grad school. My best advice is to know your situation well enough to see if going will benefit you or not. Then, go off of that.
Do you have a job waiting for you after college?
As much as I would love to say yes, I currently don’t have a permanent job waiting for me after college. I am not worried too worried though because I have many projects, contractor work, and freelance photography jobs to do in the upcoming year.
Are you still going to work on your bucketlist?
I am always working on my bucketlist ;) #lifegoals
How are you building your resume/portfolio?
Building a resume and portfolio is a long process. My resume has evolved overtime since my first job in 2010. When I did not have much work experience, I built my resume up with volunteer work and leadership roles in high school and college. After five years and lots of work and volunteer experience, I can now pick and choose what is best for my resume depending on the job I am applying for. For example, I just recently applied to be a Social Media Intern at a company and my resume consisted of past jobs and volunteer work that required me to do marketing, advertising, and PR. I also added my Computer Skills by listing the programs I am proficient in using to show the company that I am versatile. Building a resume is all about experience and showing how you will benefit the company. Create a resume that immediately has the employers thinking, “He/she is an asset. We need him/her.”
I have more experience in resume building over portfolio building. I wish I started earlier, but better late than never! I began building my portfolios and writing samples in the last year with the help of my mentors and professors. It is nice to know that I now have five different portfolios because of my classes and experiences at CSULB. I have a photography portfolio, writing portfolio, media communications portfolio, copy editor portfolio, and technology in teaching portfolio. How do I build them? Depending on the portfolio and what it is for, they range from print to websites to blogs to video mediums. I believe it is important to build a portfolio in different mediums/text/forms because we now live in a technology-driven society. If you plan to apply to a hip, trendy, modern company in the future, you want to keep up with the times and submit an electronic portfolio. I can go on and on based on my experiences to answer this question, but I’ll stop here. I hope it helps!
Will you travel?
I want to! But I have to travel within “reason” and think about finances before I jump the gun, pack my bags, and go somewhere.
Are you moving out? living at home?
I really wanted to move out right after college, but after doing my exit counseling through FAFSA and realizing how much debt I have, I made the decision to live at home after I graduate. It wouldn’t make sense for me to move out because (1) my parents are not forcing me to do so, (2) I have the luxury of not having to pay rent, and (3) I want to travel — and that means my apartment would just be empty most of the time. Plus, I love coming home to see my niece and baby brother. After a stressful day, they turn it around in a millisecond.
Have you ever considered teaching English abroad?
I have considered it and am open to the idea of teaching in another country and learning about a new culture! If I do decide to work abroad, I will surely blog about it.
I’m not sure, but after mapping out my future out for so long, it is nice to just take every opportunity day by day. I don’t know what is next, and younger Rachel would be freaked out by this thought. But it is nice to just sit back and be appreciative of what I have now.
♡ LOTSA VIRTUAL HUGS