Alternate Routes After Graduation

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If you are graduating in May, recently graduated or are graduating in the near future, you're most likely looking into career options once you earn your degree. There are many options, aside from sitting-on-a-computer-and-using-a-job-search-engine. I never gave these options much thought when I was graduating from college, but have friends who have participated in Peace Corps, Teach for America and Teaching Fellows, to name a few.

Each of these 'alternate routes' is looking for people who want to make a difference and, in many cases, will travel to do so. There is typically a two year minimum time commitment. With most organizations, you can talk to a team member before applying to assess if this path is the right one for you. The application process itself can be challenging, and not everyone is accepted (think college application process, not an after-school club). Nevertheless, it's a great opportunity if you are interested.

Make sure to do your research so you will be prepared if an interview comes your way. If so, treat the interview just like a job interview (which, essentially, it is!) Dress your best and discuss what is important to you and how your vision lines up with the organization's mission. Most organizations' mission statements can be found on their websites, so review before applying and attending an interview. If possible, seek an information session, either in person or online.

In the end, if it doesn't work out, at least you tried. Don't count on being selected and apply to various organizations and jobs or attend more schooling. Keep your eyes open and the right fit will come along.

Amy Muldoon graduated from Penn State University in 2005 and worked in corporate public relations for three years before returning to graduate school to become an English teacher. Her strengths include: drafting speeches, writing talking points for media interviews, making corporate presentations, and writing for publications.

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