To ease the fears of finishing college and embarking on a new journey, Long Beach State professors provided advice on navigating life post-graduation.
Matt Lesenyie, an assistant professor of political science, urges graduates to apply to as many jobs as possible even if the positions are not exactly what they are looking for. He believes that these temporary jobs are the stepping stones for a dream career.
“The first thing you get may not be your favorite thing,” said Lesenyie. “Get a job now so that you make enough money to get the job that you want to get.”
Lesenyie encourages graduates to continue applying for jobs even when faced with rejection, and to use the feedback to become a stronger applicant. He said he applied to 150 to 200 jobs before landing his current position at CSULB.
“Those rejections feel personal, they hurt and get your hopes up,” said Lesenyie. “The best way to take it is to view it all as practice.”
Yousef Baker, an associate professor of international studies, also urges students to not let rejection hold them back. Baker said that if one job or career path does not work, there are other ways for someone to succeed in their desired field.
“You have options and there are multiple ways of getting to the same place,” said Baker. “In the process, all kinds of new doors open up that you didn’t necessarily think even existed.”
Baker also said that graduates should not let salary or benefits entirely dictate the career they choose to pursue. He believes individuals should instead reflect on how their careers will help those around them.
“Money is going to come and go, and your career is going to come and go,” said Baker. “It’s how you live in community with other people that will help you live better with yourself.”
Ava Hedayatipour, assistant professor of electrical engineering, believes that students should set short and long-term life goals to combat the nerves of graduation. She found that doing this made tackling her aspirations less daunting.
Hedayatipour encourages graduates to reach out to those in their same career fields to grow their networks and gain valuable insight.
“It’s very scary talking to someone with more seniority or who is on a different level than you,” said Hedayatipour. “But then again, if you see an interesting person in your job in your life, set up a time to talk to them.”
Hedayatipour also advises students to keep in touch with their friends on a regular basis, especially when circumstances change or life gets too hectic.
“There are some parts of your life that can feel like the lowest that it can get and there’s also parts of your life that will feel like you are in ecstasy,” said Hedayatipour. “The lows will pass and the highs will pass. It’s all about the big picture.”