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Andy Masters on Graduating College
Through workshops at colleges across the United States, Andy Masters advises soon-to-be graduates on what to expect and how to handle life after college, focusing on the steps to ensure success within the career and financial realms. He is author of the post-college guide Life After College: What to Expect and How to Succeed in Your Career. Here, Masters dispenses his wisdom on what you can do in the first 30 days of graduating college.
What is the biggest challenge people face after graduating from college?
The time adjustment of having to plan your days differently, while trying to do things like look for a job. You have to adjust to not having the freedom to walk around a college campus and do whatever you want.
How do you help students through your workshops?
To prepare students for life after college, I try to teach them things they wouldn’t learn in the classroom. Networking and developing social skills are very important: 55% of jobs are landed through networking with others. I do exercises with them on how to introduce themselves and get into a good conversation. For example, everyone thinks networking is so difficult, but the best thing a person can do is ask someone else questions about themselves. People love to talk about themselves, and that will turn into a conversation.
What are the emotions people can expect to experience after college graduation?
All graduating college students go through what I like to call, “post-party depression.” Their emotions are really all over—from happiness and relief to stress and anxiety. I think there is natural fear of the unknown and whether they’ll be good at their job or not.
What is the best advice for graduating students?
One of my most important suggestions is to be patient. Many students get out of college and want to be the next CEO, lawyer, star reporter, etc., and sometimes it’s tough to accept the fact that you have to start at the bottom and work very hard to prove yourself. One of the things I try to emphasize is that students shouldn’t come out of college and get just any job. They should strategically plan for the next five years.
Why is the first 30 days after graduation so vital?
First impressions are important in this world, and you make first impressions on dozens and dozens of people in the early stages of any transition.
How can students truly succeed during the first 30 days of graduating college?
I think the main thing is to identify a routine that works. You have to take a deep breathe and say to yourself, “OK, here’s what I need to do with my mornings, my days, my nights, etc.” and make a routine for yourself. You’re in control of your schedule and your life, not the other way around.
Do you find men and women differ in how they respond to your advice?
When speaking to college students of all levels, I’ve noticed a trend that women are more organized and motivated in regards to planning their futures. If there are 100 people in my audience, 80% will be women and only 20% will be men. Male students don’t take planning for their future as seriously and tend to stall longer.
What is the belief you personally go to during times of change?
The only way for improvement to start, in any area, is for change to be ignited. I get excited thinking about changes in my future. I love change. That's my outlook. Change challenges me, brings out my best, and keeps life exciting. I actually wrote this quote for inclusion in my programs: “Either change happens to you, or you make change happen. I want to make change happen, so I’m the one dictating what that change is!”
The best thing about change is...
…it forces people to push themselves outside of their comfort zones. Change is our friend, not our enemy. You’ll never grow and experience life if you don’t give yourself the ability to change.
What is the best change you have ever made?
Leaving the security of my own corporate job to pursue my passion: what I do now. It made me grow and find what I really wanted to do in life. I learned never to let opportunities pass me by.
For more information on Andy Masters, visit www.life-after-college.com.