The Office of Global Learning Initiatives, in partnership with the Honors College, hosted an alumni panel titled “You Got This: The Truth about Post-Grad Life!” yesterday as part of Panther Alumni Week (PAW). Now in its seventh year, PAW brings alumni back to campus for current students to engage with them.
"You Got This" featured accomplished young alumni who candidly shared their experiences as undergraduates and their stories about transitioning into the “real world.” The speaker lineup included: Jose Maldonado, program manager at XBOX; Cindy Makita, founder of Hired Institute; Isabella Marie Garcia, gallery assistant at LnS Gallery; Alberto Garcia Marrero, contracts manager at Housing and Developmental Services Inc.; and Yandra Mariano, research coordinator at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work.
Here are the top five tips the panel shared about navigating the transition from college to the post-grad life:
1. Network with intention.
Panelists agreed— networking is one of the best strategies to both ease graduation anxiety and have access to post-graduation opportunities. However, networking should be done thoughtfully.
Makita suggested: "Network as much as you can, and network with intention, not just for the sake of collecting a number, a business card, or an email address.... Ask them about what they do, ask what they are passionate about, and network with classmates, too."
2. Find a mentor.
Seek support from faculty and staff on campus. Find someone you can share your passions, interests, and goals with and who is willing to advice you and be an advocate for you.
3. Create a vision board.
Don’t feel as though you need to be artistic to create a vision board. Vision boards are just spaces where you write your goals and intentions. Writing down what you want to accomplish six months or five years from now does help you stay focused on your goals and makes it easier to create a roadmap to get there.
"If you never write it down, it might never happen. Have a vision board. Put down all of your aspirations because something that you can see everyday when you wake up, constantly reminds you of what you want to achieve," emphasized Garcia Marrero.
4. Take advantage of resources on campus.
Every speaker stressed the importance of being engaged outside the classroom. Don't feel as though you need to be in six different student clubs to be engaged. Start by choosing one activity that interests you and let it lead you to other opportunities. FIU has multiple resources from campus life, career services, and research opportunities in general to more specific programs such as the Global Learning Medallion and The Honors College.
5. Set some time for yourself.
Meditate, exercise, call a friend. Whatever helps you disconnect from the stress of challenges that can feel insurmountable. Even a few minutes dedicated to self-care can leave your feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the obstacles ahead.
Panther Alumni Week events will take place until Tuesday, Feb. 11. Check out the schedule of events and start networking with super star alumni!
For more information on programs offered by the Office of Global Learning Initiatives, visit goglobal.fiu.edu or follow @goglobalfiu on Instagram.
For more information on the Honors College, visit honors.fiu.edu or follow @fiuhonors on Instagram.