3 Steps to a Fulfilling Career after Graduation

Chancellor Gary May shakes hands as student cross the stage for commencement.
Chancellor Gary May shakes hands as student cross the stage for commencement during the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences graduation ceremonies. (UC Davis)

It's that time of year when students can find themselves in some stressful conversations: “What are you going to do when you graduate?” The mere mention of the word "graduate" can create a sense of dread and even conflict. Not to fear, though: You are not alone.

The job interview process can be an extensive one. It's understandable how such a challenge could be stressful. When asked the “what will you do?” question, take a moment to stop, breathe and respond with something other than “I don’t know,” as this response often elicits unwanted assistance and advice.

Instead, state a few things you do know, such as the favorite class you have taken at UC Davis and why you enjoyed it, that you want to work with data, or like solving problems, shift the focus to what you do know.

Have a post-graduation plan for your career
Creating a post-graduate plan can pay dividends when it puts you in the career of your dreams. (UC Davis)

Create a Post-Graduate Plan

Having a plan you can talk about helps.

Make a visit to the Internship and Career Center in South Hall in winter or spring, and find out what you can do with your major you've worked so hard on. You'll then be better prepared to share those thoughts with your loved ones based on that experience.

It will redirect the conversation to focus on the positive actions you are taking toward making a decision about your career path.

Make Your Job Your Passion

The ICC's services have been proven to enhance a student's chances of having a job after graduation. Though having a job is a great goal, having a job that complements your interests and skills is even better. The ICC makes the daunting job of finding a job that's right for you easier.

Find a job you're passionate about
With help from the UC Davis Internship and Career Center, student's are better able to make informed decisions about their career paths, that put them in fulfilling job positions. (Getty Images)

From choosing a career path to evaluating a job offer, check out what else the ICC has to offer:

  • Résumé Review: Starting Jan. 2, stop by the ICC between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to get one-on-one advice about how to improve your résumé for the job you're passionate about.
  • Workshops on searching for jobs & internships, interviewing, writing resumes & cover letters and more
  • “Careers in X" panels of professionals within a specific field give you the scoop on career options
  • Individual advising with peer advisors or Career Service Specialists 

Meet Employers That Want to Hire Aggies

Meet potential employers and assess companies that "fit" you at a UC Davis internship and career fair.
Meet potential employers and assess companies that "fit" your career goals at a UC Davis internship and career fair. (UC Davis)

Want to meet with employers who are already interested in you? Assess your career "match" with the company that "fits" you best. Each academic year, the ICC hosts internship and career fairs for students and alumni only. Explore internship and career opportunities with a myriad of companies while gaining valuable experience talking with potential employers. Company representatives and/or alumni visit UC Davis to promote careers with their companies, and will show you how you can apply. The ICC hosts its Internship and Career Fairs between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Athletics and Recreation Center Pavilion.

The dates for the Career Fairs can be found here.

Marcie Kirk Holland is director of the Internship and Career Center. The first in her family to go to college, she majored in environmental conservation and Spanish (with a focus on literature).  Marcie is in a job she never would have dreamed of pursuing when she was selecting a college major.​

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