Tips for soon-to-be Graduates

chelsea_martionAre you a soon-to-be graduate? Do you have any questions you would like to ask a recent graduate?

Ms. Chelsea Martin, a recent graduate from the Department of Communication in Western Kentucky University (WKU), gave some advice for those soon-to-be graduates have about the “real world” that is ahead of them.

Ms. Martin graduated from Western Kentucky University with double majors in May of 2014: a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies and a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry. She currently is pursuing her Master’s in Communication Studies at the University of Alabama. As a graduate teaching assistant she instructs 2-3 labs per semester of COM123 (Public Speaking) per semester. In the lab, she is able to work closely with students, who go to a weekly mass lecture twice a week.

Ms. Martin exclaims proudly, “It has been an incredibly rewarding experience!”

Ms. Martin was able to take a look back in the past and give some very useful advice to the soon-to-be graduates. She originally did not know how to manage her time very well. But after being involved in multiple student organizations such as Sigma Kappa and the Ogden Ambassador program, she was able to learn how to manage her time wisely. Being able to manage her time well, is very beneficial with the crazy graduate school schedule .

Ms. Martin’s biggest piece of advice for those soon-to-be graduates is to take advantage of your sleep! Although you may feel like an old man/woman, going to bed early is a lifesaver. If you do not set a particular sleep schedule right after graduation, then you are going to suffer when you have to wake up early. Also, she stressed that showing up for work is very important! You are only allotted so many sick/personal days in a “real world” job like a graduate assistant. She explains, “Being tired and unmotivated does not quite send the right message to your superiors/supervisors and skipping class isn’t acceptable for instructor.”

Ms. Martin even gave us an outside source with some advice. The New York Times reported on February of 2008, on the “impostor syndrome.” This is considered the feeling of “inadequacy”/”inability” and “self-doubt” to do the new tasks set in front of you. It is very hard to overcome but, her advice is this: “If you’re hired for a job or accepted for a graduate program, chances are, you’re there for a reason and they WANT you to be there. You just have to trust that and believe in your skill set as well as your abilities. It’ll pass, and finding people in the same situation with you (being the “new” person) can help tremendously!”

Finally, Ms. Martin leaves us undergraduate students with these words of wisdom. “Apply for something if you think it is interesting. You may be the only one and be a shoo-in, or you may get rejected. Don’t being afraid of someone telling you that others are more qualified than you are.”

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