Post Graduate Survival Guide
- One important area to keep in mind is whether your parent's health insurance extends past graduation. Depending on what type of plan you have, your coverage can be terminated after your 22nd birthday or the day after your graduation, or it could possibly extend a few months after you turn your tassel. It is important to be aware of this so that if you must seek medical attention or visit your doctor you do not have a surprise waiting for you in the form of an outrageous medical bill. Once you are aware of when your coverage ends, begin searching for plans that will cover you until you're able to land your dream job (with benefits). Extension programs such as COBRA and others allow for you to maintain the coverage plan you had under your parents, but you will be charged higher fees for the services.
Searching For Your First Job
- Though some students are fortunate enough to have locked in job offers before graduation and while others look forward to continuing their education in graduate school, scores of students will graduate with a college degree, but no job. Realize that you are most certainly not alone in being jobless at this stage, and try to prepare for the fact that depending on the state of the economy at the time you graduate, it could be several months until you find a job where you feel comfortable. A number of resources are available to help you on your quest to land that first job. Look to your own college or university for guidance. Through their career center and alumni network, your alma mater can be exceptionally helpful in putting you in touch with people in your field who could potentially hire you or steer you toward job opportunities. Also, check out search engines like hotjobs.com and monster.com to find employment opportunities by category, city or job level. Another resource that can be extremely helpful is contacting people for informational interviews or short chats. While a position may not be open at the time, meeting someone in person can be an effective means of bumping your resume to the top of the pile when there is a job opening. Also during these informationals, inquire about internships. While not the ideal post-grad plan, internships can be a great way to get your foot in the door at your dream company. One last tip: Don't overlook the power of human resources and your friends. Contacting every HR department you can and asking friends and colleagues about people they know within your industry can be a great way to liaison with important figures in your particular field.
- After an amazing run in college, it's time to pay up for all those debauchery-filled nights as college loans will begin to come due. While nearly all loans allow for about a six- to nine-month grace period, it is important to be aware of the details specific to your loan such as interest rates and contact information. Keep loan officers aware of your financial circumstances and whether you have found employment. They are willing to help you manage your loans, provided that you keep them informed.