May Checklist: 6 Things To Do As A New Grad


With summer coming soon and your last exam season completed, it’s time to make the most of your first month as a new grad.

This is an important time in your life – you’re standing on the threshold between school life and the real working world. A few years ago, this day might have seemed insanely far away. You were only stepping onto campus for the first time, and your biggest worry was finding your classroom on time. Who knew graduation would come so fast?

However, with the end of this chapter of your life comes the beginning of another, and you should start prepping for it now. Use the month of May to get ready for your new grad life – success comes more readily to those who are prepared.

Don’t put it off – get these six things crossed off your to-do list this month!

Visit your career centre

Take advantage of your university’s career services and get your cover letter and resume reviewed. Or, set up an appointment for a mock interview and practice your communication skills. Even if you just want to sit down and chat with a career counsellor about job hunting, that’s okay too.

Every university’s career centre offers different services, so find out which ones are available at your school. However, do it soon! As a graduate, you’ll likely only have access to these services for a limited time period.

Gather references

If you’ve yet to land your first job – or even your first interview – this is the time to rack up those references. Have you built a particularly good relationship with a certain professor? Try approaching them for a reference letter. They’ll usually be more than happy to help you start your career, especially if they know you’re a student with egg-ceptional potential.

Plus, having witnessed your work habits for at least four months, they’re in the perfect position to vouch for your abilities. But don’t wait too long – professors get hundreds of new students every term, and you want to contact them while they still remember you as a recent star pupil.

Start job hunting

If you haven’t already, research companies that are hiring for entry-level positions and start sending out applications as soon as possible. As a new grad, your degree is super relevant and up-to-date for your industry, so take advantage of that! Many new grads like to take a few weeks off to travel right after graduation, but be sure to get those applications out there first. You’ll be glad you did later.

Prepare to enter the workforce

Already have a job arranged? Well, congratulations! You’re well-ahead of the pack. You’ll likely be starting your job very soon, so you want to use this time to prepare. Little things like researching on-the-job tips, contacting your future coworkers, or getting familiar with software you know you’ll be using can make your school-to-work transition a lot smoother.

Review your grad school offers

Planning to attend grad school? Well, you should be pretty much done the application process by now. In fact, you’ve probably been feeling quite good with all the deadlines out of the way and the offers of acceptance rolling in. However, this is no time to sit around! Most students have already accepted an offer by May 1st. If you haven’t made your decision yet, it’s time to review your offers and pick a school. Keep in mind, those spots aren’t open forever.

Have fun

All work and no play is not the way to go. Don’t turn May into a stressful period. Instead, you want to find a good work-life balance – seriously, this will soon be the motto of your life.

What’s more? With classes finally over and the weather warming up, it’s the perfect time to gather your friends together and just relax for a weekend. Go out for lunch, watch a movie, or throw a party – no matter what you decide, just remember to HAVE FUN.

Whether you’re feeling excited or nervous – probably a bit of both – about leaving the school lifestyle you’ve known since you were five, you should start preparing to enter the workforce sooner rather than later. Or, if you’re going to grad school, be ready to step into a completely new academic setting. Wherever you’re headed, good luck!