Graduation — the end of one chapter but the beginning of a completely new chapter filled with brand new experiences. With these new experiences are bound to come obstacles. Luckily, these obstacles don’t have to be a bad thing. They are part of what makes life exciting and often shape you into being a better, more well-rounded human being.
One of the best parts of being a Penn State graduate is you never have to face these obstacles alone. You are joining one of the largest alumni networks in the world, full of people who would be happy to help you and offer guidance in any way possible.
To get you started, we asked Penn State alumni to offer some of their best advice to our 2020 graduates. Here’s what they had to say:
“Trust your instincts. Deep inside you, you already know what you need to do to pursue your goals. Do not seek permission to pursue your goals. Pursue them. This is only the ending of the first chapter of a grand adventure.” — Lisa Milano
“The first thing I would tell the graduates would be to stay very flexible; you may not find the job of your dreams; you may not be able to find the job you majored in. Do not be blinded by being picky! Networking, networking, and networking provide many opportunities.” — Jim Lawrence
“Don’t think of graduation as an end to wonderful experiences but as a way to take each new one that comes along to make a better you!” — Theresa Tama
“Network, network, network. And start it early! You may not need your network now, but down the road, those connections will benefit you. Establish your ‘Rolodex’ early so that when you are seeking out new opportunities, you have already established those connections.” — Stephen Verigood
“Know that you accomplished this year what many in the real world are struggling to do: learn online. Be sure to share your tips with those who never learned online. Make someone’s future semester easier as you graduate today.” — Ron Ailurophile Hall
“Put trust in yourself and your education. You are ready for what is coming next.” — Kate Ann
“After graduation, take advantage of the rich array of professional development resources out there to supplement your prestigious Penn State degree, many of which are free!” — Sara Brennen
“Build your professional network. Connect with people not only where you are at in your career, but also where you want to go. Most people would be honored to connect and talk to you about their career path and important points to consider along the way!” — Heather Mitterer
“Stay involved as an alumna; Penn State is a connection you’ll have with fellow Nittany Lions for life! Also, wear your PSU gear in airports to get lots of ‘WE ARE’ love!” — Sydney Allen Katona
“Stay in touch with your professors. If your program has a LinkedIn group, join it. The people in your field are amazing resources and can point you in directions you would have never imagined!” — Jennifer Orni Osetek