It’s that time of year when every adult starts asking college seniors the dreaded question. What's next?
It’s a good question – it really is. In fact, as someone who interviews Tufts applicants, I’ve fielded the same question from many prospective students who all want to know what I plan to do after college, and if Tufts set me up for my chosen path. Students want to know if they’ll have a job in four years, and while I don’t have one yet, I do think that the answer is yes.
Last Friday, I went to the Tufts Career Fair, along with much of the senior class. We have two in-person career fairs each year, so this one is the last during my time at Tufts. The Career Center sent us all sorts of materials to help us prepare, including lists of all of the employers who would be present, descriptions of their companies, and potential job openings that they were looking to fill. I perused the website the night before, printed some resumes, and wrote down a few potential questions to pull from, if necessary.
At the fair (pictured above), which is held in the gym, each student got a name tag, on which they wrote their name, major(s)/minor(s), and class year. Then, we were handed a map of the tables, and we could hang our coats off to the side so that we could best show off our business casual attire. After that, the time was ours.
I spoke with representatives from three nonprofits–Environment America, FamilyAid Boston, and The Public Interest Network. All three organizations are really interesting and serve important purposes. Environment America is actually under the umbrella of The Public Interest Network, as are other organizations that advocate for healthier, more sustainable policies. They are hiring for positions that involve commitment to transpartisan environmental progress through campaigning, advocating, writing, social media outreach, fundraising, coalition building, and more.
FamilyAid focuses on helping eliminate homelessness in Boston. Its services reach over 5,000 people in the area per year. While they are not currently hiring for positions in which I am interested, the Human Resources Coordinator told me that I should keep checking to see if anything opens up.
And so, I did not leave the Career Fair with a job, but I did leave with leads. I learned about organizations for which I would love to work. I discovered jobs that are out there in the nonprofit sector that would allow me to help others through my passion for writing, fundraising, and galvanizing people. And over the weekend, I built on the opportunity by conducting research into the organizations and applying to my first ever real-world job.
Will I get the job? Maybe, or maybe not, and that’s okay. After talking to the representatives at the career fair, I know that there are positions out there that would be really impactful, or causes in which I believe. My Emma’s Advice for you today is to slow down. When you get to this point, don’t stress about what’s next and jump into applying for jobs if you aren’t sold on them. Do your research, take every opportunity, and when you hear about something that is the right fit, put your all into it!