Post-Graduate Advice from a Chico State Grad

By Samantha Gasper (Journalism, ’10), Associate Client Executive at Voce Communications, a Porter Novelli Company

Graduating from college elicits a whirlwind of emotion—accomplishment, excitement, and, you can admit it, fearing the unknown. Leaving the town you’ve called home for the past four (or more) years is the ending of one chapter, but only the very beginning of the next as you enter the job market.

I won’t deny that getting started is the hardest part—job hunting takes dedication, persistence, and most of all, patience. I recall spending hours upon hours on my parents’ couch while digging for the ideal position, daytime TV buzzing in the background. Initially, I was reluctant to take an internship because I felt I was ready for a fulltime gig. In retrospect, I cannot stress enough how thankful I am to have had internship experience after seeing the doors it opened for me. I encourage you to stay open-minded, and to view internships as a trial period, not only for the employer, but for yourself. It’s your career, your life—and it’s all right to be picky. At the very least, you will have gained valuable experience and put yourself ahead of the next candidate applying for your dream job.

If I could offer you any advice to help steer your job search in the right direction, it would be this:

  • Build your resume – Aim for one page; use bullet points and proactive language (“I drove this project” or “I managed this program”)
  • Craft a cover letter – Explain why you’re awesome and a solid candidate
  • Networking is key – Connect with friends or classmates in your field of interest; don’t be afraid to ask them to forward your resume to Human Resources (this is the best way to get your foot in the door!)
  • Connect with HR – Take it a step further after submitting an online application; track down the HR manager’s email or phone number and connect directly
  • When interviewing:
    • Have your “three bullet points” ready – By this, I mean highlight your best and most valuable assets
    • Research – Know what the company is all about and why you want it
    • Ask Questions – Always. You have a right to interview them a little, too!

And remember that the Chico State Career Center has great resources for you.

Chico State grads are a rare breed. We are outgoing, hard working, and confident in ourselves, and employers view us as a breath of fresh air. Take pride in what you’ve accomplished, Graduates, and the best of luck to you all!

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