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The Blue & Gray Press | February 24, 2019

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Graduating seniors can prepare for the future with 16 before 16 checklist

Graduating seniors can prepare for the future with 16 before 16 checklist


According to the Washington Post, only 62 percent of college graduates entered a field that required a college degree, while only 27 percent of those graduates landed a job that was directly related to that field.

In response, the University of Mary Washington wants to prepare its students for entering the job market, and to set them up to become as successful as possible.

So, English professor Dr. Marie McAllister has lent a helping hand to the UMW English and Communications seniors with her “16 for ‘16” checklist for graduation.

The checklist helps to lay the groundwork for being successfully employed after students are handed their diploma. Although the 16 steps may sound like a lot work, each task takes up to one hour to complete and, in the end, it will help you be better prepared for life as a post- graduate.

“I was a career advisor for a while,” McAllister said, “and I saw what people went through trying to get a job after graduation, and I wanted a way for students to start planning as early as possible.”

This template was created with the help from other professors and academic advisers, all of whom have experience with finding a job in a declining market, similar to today’s.

“The theory is, that instead of scrambling in the spring to get ready for graduation and to find a job, if you spend simply one hour a week focused on one thing from the list in the fall, you will be readily prepared for what is to come,” McAllister said.

While it is directed at seniors in the English, Communications, and Linguistics Department, the checklist is helpful for the entire UMW student body and serves as a helpful guide as seniors prepare for graduation, assessing each step and tailoring it to their major.

Some of the steps on the checklist include “create your LinkedIn profile and join the EagleConnections group” or “conduct an information interview with a UMW alum” and “talk about career plans with an academic advisor.”

These are steps that if started early, can really help soon-to-be graduates put things into perspective, and can bring clarity to the subject matter they are planning to tackle for the rest of their lives.

Fliers with more details, as well as the full checklist, are posted throughout Combs Hall. If you are in an English program, you have likely received an email with the flier attached.

2016 is approaching quickly, and soon seniors will be drifting across campus as nervous graduates waiting to walk across the stage, shake hands and receive their diplomas.

Although there are always a million things to do in the daily life of a student, with this list, anyone can take control and prepare themselves for the future by spending just an hour completing a few simple tasks.

Check out the below link for the full checklist:

16 for ’16: Graduate Checklist