College graduates often experience culture shock when entering the real world: a.k.a the world of work.
Such is not the case for Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud accounting degree graduate Christine Legatt. Legatt secured her accounting clerk position at St. Cloud Industrial Products, Inc., prior to graduating and couldn’t be happier about the transition from college to career.
Here are her tips for making the most of the transition:
1. Know what you want and don’t be shy about going after it. I exhausted myself by making sure that I followed up on each and every job lead and [by] making time for a multitude of interviews with various potential employers. I secured my accounting clerk career at St. Cloud Industrial Products, Inc. by dropping off my hand-written thank you cards in person the very next day following each of the four interviews I participated in, including a jar of my homemade jam for each person as well. I didn’t go to such great lengths after every interview, but I really wanted this job, and I certainly made a lasting impression, which I believe contributed to my success in landing the position!
2. Realize what you learned in college transfers. College prepared me for the real world in many various ways. While either taking classes on campus or participating in discussion boards in my online classes, I was able to share with other students and instructors and draw from one another’s experiences. Each person I came into contact with seemed to have some knowledge to share and provided me encouragement in all of my endeavors. Tutoring other students in Accounting Principles courses also provided me the opportunity to keep them fresh in my mind as I worked through all of the upper level accounting courses and solidified my understanding of them. As my knowledge grew, so did my self-esteem, and I knew that I would grow to become an asset to any organization.
3. Be proud of what you have accomplished and take it with you into the work world. Completing my Bachelor of Science Accounting degree in June 2013 after originally beginning my college courses in the fall of 1995 was an awesome and rewarding experience. My life has taken me in so many different directions and provided so many obstacles to completing my degree, but because this was my third attempt at it, I was determined to finish no matter what. I was also determined to complete my college career with the highest degree possible.
The previous two times I had not completed my degree was due to personal medical and financial hardships, not academic issues, so I was motivated and challenged myself to do my very best. I ended up with a 3.97, missing my 4.0 GPA by only 30 points in Audit I the quarter my three-year-old daughter was undergoing rehabilitation after her brain tumor was removed. Having the degree under my belt [in spite of these hardships] gives me such a great sense of self-worth.
4. Hit the ground running. My transition from college to career was rather swift. I didn’t allow myself to have any time in between ending school and beginning work. My advice to anyone making their transition to the “real world” from college life would be to do the same. We have such a positive momentum going while we are in school, meeting assignment deadlines and studying for exams, it would be a shame to lose that. Use that momentum to stay on top of your search for a position in your career field and throw yourself right into it.