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The Turning of the Tassel: How to Ensure Success After Graduation

April 9, 2019  |  Category: Articles

Is graduation coming up? You’re not alone. At the end of the 2018-2019 academic year, colleges across the US will award nearly 2 million bachelor’s degrees, 780,000 master’s degrees, and 182,000 doctorates1.

Graduating from a degree or certificate program is a major accomplishment. It also marks the start of the next chapter in your life. At this stage, you might be wondering what you can do to keep any momentum gained during your course of study going. Whether you have job interviews lined up or are still contemplating your next move, here’s what you can do to help ensure success after graduation.

Make a List of Your Accomplishments

If you haven’t already, you’ll most likely start to apply for jobs that make use of your expanded skill set. Most employers want to see a résumé that details your past work experience, skills, and accomplishments. Even if you’re not applying for a new job right after graduation, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes making a list of what you’ve achieved in your career so far and build a résumé.

When a job opportunity does arise, you will have already done the tough part of listing your previous work experience and your new educational achievement. You can also refer to your list of accomplishments when you prepare for job interviews.

Even if you aren’t planning on changing jobs anytime soon, having a list of what you’ve achieved can come in handy when you have a performance or salary review at your current position.

Beef Up Your Networking Skills

You could say that there are two types of people in the world: Those who love networking and those who don’t. If the idea of standing in a room with a bunch of strangers, exchanging business cards, and socializing with new connections makes you terrified, don’t panic.

There are other ways to network. One option is to reach out to people in your field whose work interests you or who you’d like to know more about. You can email them directly, connect with them on social media and send them a message, or comment on something they have posted or shared online2. The important thing is to engage with people that can provide meaningful connections to you.

When networking, always remember to show people that you’re interested in what they are doing and what they have to offer. While you do want to build connections to help boost your career and to create successful opportunities for yourself, you don’t want to come across as someone who’s only looking out for their own interests.

Stay in Touch with Professors and Mentors

Your professors provided support to you while you were in the midst of your program of study. Even after you’ve graduated, your former professors can still be a source of knowledge and encouragement.

In an annual poll conducted by Gallup, since 2014, college alumni who worked with a mentor were more likely for success in life and in their careers after graduation than those who didn’t3.

According to the poll, it’s also not uncommon for graduates to remain in touch with their mentors after leaving a program. Nearly half of poll respondents said they had been in continuous communication with their mentors within the past three months and almost three-quarters at some point within the past year.

Even after you’ve graduated, the professors who guided you throughout your academic career can help you navigate the career world and discover what steps to take next.

Keep on Learning

After you graduate, it is important to keep on learning and developing your skills. In the healthcare industry, continuing education is often par for the course, meaning you can expect to take some courses throughout your career to keep up to date with new technology and advances.

Another way to set yourself up for success after graduation is to pursue interests you have that might not have a direct connection to your career. For example, you can boost your communication skills by signing up for a public speaking class or joining an organization such as Toast Masters. Another possibility is to take a writing class or sign up for a book club.

Participating in programs and courses that help you learn and grow can benefit you in other ways, too. You might meet people in your class or book club who can inspire the next phase in your career, for example.

The academic advisors, counselors, and tutors at AHU Online are here to provide support and assistance, whether you are a current student or a graduate of one of our programs. Get in touch if you’d like to explore more on how to set yourself up for success after graduation!


  1. “Fast Facts: Back to School Statistics,” National Center for Education Statistics,
  2. “Letter: How to Succeed After Graduation,” The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, April 17 2018,
  3. “Dear Faculty: You Matter More Than You Know,” Insider Higher Ed, February 25, 2019,