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When I graduated college, I knew how to identify deer tracks, use the quadratic formula, and write papers about german expressionist films. I did not know what a deductible was for health insurance, what to look for in a new apartment, or how to mentally prepare myself for doing the same job for 8 hours a day straight.

I became frustrated with all the open ended advice I was given to “just be yourself” “put yourself out there” and “don’t give up.” But what can I do to prepare for the post grad transition?

How do I make friends in a new city? What if I can’t find a job? What if I can’t afford rent? What do I say to employers without sounding desperate? How soon after an interview should I follow up?

If you’ve ever had any of those questions, this guide is for you.

CONVERGE is a resource specifically created for people who just graduated college and are transitioning into the workforce.

The goal of this guide is to simplify your transition, provide actionable advice, and be transparent about the reality. I’m sharing my advice and experiences so you don’t make the same mistakes.

While some of the pages are geared towards city life and traditional full-time jobs, there is still something for everyone. Industry norms and protocols vary so be sure to connect with professionals to learn from them, especially if your field is not in this guide.

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About the Author

My name is Elena Haskins and for the past year, I have been taking notes about my post grad transition so I could share it with you.

After graduating from Ithaca College with a BS in Cinema and Photography and minors in Communication, Management, and Design; and the Honors Program in May 2018, I stayed in Ithaca, NY and worked part-time for my professor to save money and relax.

I moved to New York City in August 2018 without an apartment or job lined up.

Photo taken by:  Don Hodgkinson

Photo taken by: Don Hodgkinson

I couch surfed in a frat house and with my good friend Matt, eating Ramen and eggs, and living out of a suitcase.

Within a month, my roommate and I became proud Brooklyn renters and I got hired as a full-time graphic designer for a finance conference and editorial company called PEI Media, which I found through an alumni connection that posted on Linkedin and Facebook.

I grew up in a town that had more cows than people, and where Amish buggies were the norm. My central New York graduating high school had 38 students, so NYC provided quite the switch.

My passion for professional development has grown as I’ve gotten opportunities to experience the many facets of it. I have:

  • Attended networking events, spoken to professionals in various industries, and connected with other recent grads.

  • Worked as a Peer Career Advisor for the Ithaca College Office of Career Services for over 3 years, helping students 1-1 to prepare them to launch their professional career.

  • Taught webinars, and workshops about personal and professional development for the Alumni Office, Office of Career Services, and Office of Student Engagement

  • Served as a mentor in the Leadership Scholar Program, Honors Program, and Park Peer Mentor Program

  • Been on hiring committees and speaking panels

Everyone comes with different privileges and backgrounds, and I believe that all people deserve the same access to information when it comes to starting the next phase of their life, regardless of financial capabilities. I’m very excited to share this guide with you. If you find it helpful, please share it with a friend.

I would say good luck, but you won’t be needing it.

Special Acknowledgements - Thank you for your help and support!