Advice for the Class of 2014

As many readers know, I work at a Carnegie Mellon’s Career and Professional Development Center.  Prior to this, I was at Notre Dame’s Career Center.  In short, the past 12+ years I have been working with talented young adults who seek to launch their professional selves into a career fields as diverse as they are. It is a privilege to work with these emerging professionals in their exploration, engagement, and employment efforts.

Every year that passes, I realize how different the world of work is today than it was 20 years ago when I entered the workforce. The pace of business has accelerated exponentially.  New industries exist today that were inconceivable 20 years ago – while others have all but disappeared. Technology has turned the workplace upside down in how we communicate and conduct business.  inbox_outboxThink about it, who has a stack of manila folders on their desk anymore…right next to the “Inbox” and “Outbox” wire baskets? How many of us leave the office only to continue work at home?  “9-5” is a Dolly Parton movie, not a description of the workday.

Realizing this, I thought it would be good to engage alumni who are out in the workforce to offer advice to the Class of 2014. Often alumni will encourage students to enjoy their time in college, take time to reflect and nurture friendships, try new things, etc. – and the Class of 2014 will hear these messages multiple times this year. I want to take a different spin.  What advice would you give to a college senior that will help him or her prepare for the workforce?  What 2-3 professional development efforts would you encourage seniors to begin this year?  If you relived senior year, what would you do more of with regard to preparing for the professional sector? In between the road trips, hanging out with friends, and all the fun that senior year should be, what is the one professional activity you would include in your senior year bucket list?

Look forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing them with the class of 2014.


About Kevin Monahan

I have 10+ years experience in coaching clients in their career management and career change efforts. Personal career consulting services combined with employer outreach to help find opportunities for both constituents.
This entry was posted in Career Management, Discernment, Job Search and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Advice for the Class of 2014

  1. Jenny says:

    Great post!

  2. Josh says:

    I would encourage students to seek out internships in order to gain an understanding of what actually transpires in their chosen field (ideally starting before senior year). Internships are also a good time to assess where there is a need for the improvement of skills and to get a feel for professional interaction.

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