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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Always * Offline
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Experiences after graduating university anyone? - August 12th 2013, 10:20 PM

Don't get me wrong I am NOT one of those "oooh college is the high life" people. I do not mind the fact that I am graduating AT ALL. I don't feel any sentimentality over it. I won't be shedding tears, I won't be the one making facebook posts about "how much I have enjoyed my days at X university with all my amazing friends". I do have many amazing friends and I have enjoyed my time at my school but I'm most certainly ready to move on. That's definitely not my issue.

It's just there are so many choices to make and even though i have X ideas, there are so many ways I could accomplish it. Like when to get my masters degree (right away, hold off for 2-3 years etc), to start in an NGO and move to private sector, start in private sector etc. I have made a lot of choices so far to narrow it down.

For example,i'm pretty sure I'd rather work for the government or military instead of NGO's and non-profits. This is because NGOs typically do not pay very well and don't have as much job security (given that cut backs and the likes seem to be more frequent in that sector). Government and such provides better benefits more regularly (health plans, dental, definitely the pension etc. and that's not guaranteed in other areas). But I might still work for an NGO right out of university any how to get a little experience before switching to government and applying for my masters but an NGO would likely be a temporary choice at this point.

I WILL get a masters, i'm pretty adamant on that, but I am not 100% sure if I want to do that right away or take a few years to get work experience, I still have so many questions that I don't want to just jump right into another demanding/expensive program unless I am certain it's going to benefit me in my work field. I feel like once I settle the issue of when I plan to do my masters degree that'll simplify matters a lot for me. I also have a prof who's been generous enough to help me out with the academic side of this process.

How have the rest of you dealt with graduation and this kind of uncertainty towards entering the work world an leaving the security of academia? i'd love to hear about how the rest of you are handling it or have handled it. I am sure that it'll be of great use to others who are graduating university soon as well




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Last edited by Always *; August 13th 2013 at 03:22 AM.
   
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Re: Experiences after graduating university anyone? - August 13th 2013, 01:53 PM

Well, I'm currently a high school student, applying for college and I feel kind of the same way as you. You are right, there are many opportunities but sometimes, it's hard to find which one is the best. The best thing I'd say to do is research. You can try doing research in jobs you're interested in doing and seeing the qualifications for it, salary, and many other things. You could also try talking to a guidance counselor about what you're interested in doing and how to get there? I still think research is the best to do, but you can always talk to friends, family, or someone else for any advice. Well I hope this was helpful. Good luck to you in your decisions!


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Re: Experiences after graduating university anyone? - August 13th 2013, 04:03 PM

I chose my general career path when I was a senior in high school. I knew I wanted to be a mental health professional of some kind - I just wasn't sure if I wanted to be a psychologist, therapist, or something else. I majored in psychology, and I was still undecided when I applied for graduate programs. I knew I wanted to apply for a graduate program because you can't really go far with just a Bachelor's degree in California, if you want to do counseling/therapy. After being accepted to two PsyD programs and one MA/MFT program, I did some serious soul-searching, and determined that I didn't want to spend 4+ more years in school. I wasn't interested in the research or academic components of a PsyD, and it would have been a LOT more debt, so I chose the MA/MFT route, which would have allowed me to become a therapist.

Therapists have a lot of options. They can go into private practice and specialize in whatever they'd like. They can go into private practice on their own or with a team of psychological professionals. They can work for a non-profit organization, a government organization, or a "for-profit" organization (expensive treatment centers generally come to mind). Based on my experiences with TeenHelp, I determined that I wanted to work with teens and their family members, and that I wanted to start off in a non-profit organization, eventually working my way toward private practice (you need a LOT of knowledge about how to run a business if you want to have a successful private practice, so I'm content with waiting on reaching that goal).

The timeline was sort of predetermined for me, because I can't become licensed until I have 3000 hours and pass two licensing exams. Unfortunately, with many interns, they have to take whatever they can get. I applied to over 50 places, and ended up getting two offers, one of which I accepted. It's not paid, but it has a gas stipend, so at least I'm not losing money by commuting to work. It's also not in the field I was interested in; however, there may be opportunities to work with teens and their families at various points. It'll just always be within the context of grief/loss, so I won't really get to work with them on other issues.

So getting to this point was pretty straightforward. I figured out the field I was interested in, then the specific occupation, then the academic program I would need to obtain that specific occupation. Getting to my ultimate goal of working with teens and their family members is just a matter of time - I need to be accepted for an internship that will allow me to gain experience in that area. The private practice can wait until I'm tired of working with non-profit organizations and want more flexibility with setting my own schedule.

Now, the uncertainty. It's scary, but one thing that really helped me was having a job lined up prior to graduation. It wasn't going to last me for more than a couple of months, but I knew I would have time to sort things out prior to losing my job. I also figured out where I was going to live, and what I could afford to buy with my savings and budget. Too many people graduate and just sit on their hands afterward. They don't have anything planned out, so they just hang out with friends/family. It's a waste of all their hard work and talent. If you start planning for your post-grad life, say, six months in advance, then you can feel more secure after graduation, even if you don't have it all figured out to a tee.





   
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Re: Experiences after graduating university anyone? - August 13th 2013, 04:35 PM

My experience is virtually identical to Robin's except the state is different and I ended up taking a year off between undergrad and masters because I didn't get in (don't put all your eggs in one basket), but I definitely needed the year break. I couldn't find a job, but I managed to work through a lot of personal issues that would've interfered if I hadn't gotten them straightened out.

If you are in a field where you can get work experience with a bachelors I would suggest considering that, I think it would've made my life easier if I could've found something. Do your research. I was actually aiming for a PhD until I realized that I don't need one for what I want to do, so figure out what you want to do and then what you need to do what you want. Part time is also an option, but most programs will suggest at least some full time semesters and almost everyone will be working so the programs are somewhat flexible.


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Re: Experiences after graduating university anyone? - August 14th 2013, 05:28 AM

Well, I am going to spend the next 3-4 weeks before school starts doing A LOT of research on many different organizations (various levels of government, military, NGO's etc.), make a lot of calls, get an idea of what they look for, see what kind of masters is REALLY what I should be going into.... School is a bit of a trigger point for me, it causes a lot of anxiety that I would never experience in any other part of my life. It is something I have been trying super hard to "get over"... While i feel like I am figuring out what the "right" things are to do and I am pretty good at shoving my stress aside and just getting shit done it is still a little like "oh gosh, what's what?!" haha...

I feel guilty for always emailing my one prof, I don't want to seem annoying or ungrateful, oh, but he's getting a huuuuge thank you letter and probs some nice (but appropriate) gift for his help down the road for his help though, I don't like taking help unless i have no choice and feel like i need to find some way to show my gratitude

Do you ever worry with the range of education out there that you might close yourself off from options to soon? I know masters like phsychology are fairy applicable (sorta....)... But there are at least 5 programs I could apply to... Obviously some research is in order




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Re: Experiences after graduating university anyone? - August 14th 2013, 05:33 AM

Unless you want to get a PhD or PsyD don't get your masters in psychology, a masters alone in psych is worthless (says a psychology professor), that might help you narrow it down. Let me know if you need or want any help, I've been there done that. Twice!


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Re: Experiences after graduating university anyone? - August 14th 2013, 11:50 PM

Oh, I have no interest in psychology, it's just my example since my interest is pretty easy to find (only 2-3 schools in the country offering it) so yeah I'd prefer to keep it quiet on a public forum that's all




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