Real Life 101

You did it! You got your degree! Along the way, you learned how many cups of coffee it takes to stay up all night studying for a chem final. And your sorority sisters will be lifelong friends. So now what? How do you prepare yourself for "the real world" that your family has been telling you about for the last 22 years?

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Hopefully, somewhere between the frat parties and the volunteer work with your sorority; you found time to have an internship and start developing connections and a resume. Don't worry if you didn't. It's not too late to start working on building that resume. Create a list of your skills and your work experience (paid and unpaid).

Those summers that you spent volunteering for local organizations have most likely given you skills that translate to work experience. Decide what your short term and long term goals are. And it will provide employers with an idea of where you will fit best.

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Your hard work has paid off, and you finally have interviews lined up. To seal the deal, you need to look like you fit the part. One of the essential things to remember about an interview is to present yourself to the employer in a way that shows them you're ready for the job. Besides a great resume and winning personality, you need to give the right image. Realize that the way that you would dress for a career in fashion isn't necessarily the same way that you would wear for a job at an accounting firm. Pay attention to how people working in your industry dress. Especially at the company that you're applying for. Take that information and put your spin on it, but make sure to keep it interview appropriate.

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Also to remember to prepare for your interview by researching the company. Being knowledgeable shows the interview team that not only are you willing to put in work but that you also care about learning about the company. Doing your research will also help you come up with possible questions for the interviewer regarding the position and the company.

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Congratulations are in order. After submitting countless resumes, preparing for interviews, and putting on the charm, you got the job. That's awesome, but remember that you're now a part of the working world. There's no missing a day because you were up late with your roommate watching Netflix. And hitting snooze one time too many have more significant repercussions than missing the start of a lecture. Make sure that you are prepared for work and on time at all times. If you live in an area where traffic can have it's ups and downs (and who doesn't) give yourself a little wiggle room. It's better to have to kill time at a local coffee shop than to have to apologize to your boss for being late to an important meeting.

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Above all, take a moment to enjoy this new phase of your life. Be proud of the hard work that you put in to get here. And be excited about what is ahead of you.