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10 Things I Wish I Knew Coming Out of College

10 Things I Wish I Knew Coming Out of College


on the precipiceBy Dr. Latanya Hughes
Assistant Professor,
School of Business at American Public University

Finishing college can feel like being on the precipice of a new terrain. It’s scary, but it will be alright. I can’t promise you roses and champagne, but I can tell you some things (in no particular order) I wish I knew then.

  1. Not all jobs are about money. Your reward may be more in serving others or in following a passion. Am I saying you can’t make money? Absolutely not. Don’t think you are getting your degree and instantly you are making a six figure salary.
  2. Set SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely) goals for yourself and stick to them. Keep them in front of you, so they can encourage you to press on.
  3. Don’t limit your opportunities. You may need to be open to relocation or other changes to your current life routine.
  4. Network! Network! Network! Position yourself to meet industry representatives and leaders. Don’t be afraid to go to industry events, workshops, seminars, and trade shows.
  5. Arm yourself with information. Knowledge is power! Keep yourself abreast of industry trends. Subscribe to magazines, publications, and reports.
  6. Get a mentor. You are never too old to have a mentor. Mentors help guide you and hold you accountable to achieve your goals. They develop you and, in turn, show you how to mentor others.
    [Related: Be a Mentor, Find a Mentor]
  7. Stay focused. Don’t lose sight of your goals.
  8. Keep your eyes open for opportunities. They can be literally around the corner.
  9. Think big! Don’t limit yourself. The world is a big place and there is a place for you to carve for yourself.
  10. KISS–keep it simple Sally/Sam. Don’t overcomplicate things. Some of the most successful people kept it simple. Often, the answer to your problems is right in front of you and it’s not hard.

[Related: It’s Time to Finish Your Degree]

About the Author: Dr. Latanya Hughes is a full-time faculty member at American Public University. She received a bachelor’s degree (Hospitality Management) from Tuskegee University and a master’s degree (MBA) from Strayer University. She received the Doctor of Strategic Leadership in Global Consulting from Regent University in the School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship.



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