Life After Graduation: From Campus Life to Real Life

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Many of us have spent our college career preparing to become successful and fulfill our career goals upon graduation, not giving much thought to what our path looks like as we try to attain that coveted degree. Have you really thought about what life would really be like after graduation? Yes, no more late night term papers, no early morning classes, but to replace those nuances will be a daily commute, a boss and performance expectations. The stress of being a newbie in the field and all the insecurities that along with your new position.

Lets talk goals, budget, social life and life after college graduation!

Your career has been the focal point of your college career, now with school behind you, the task of moving forward into the professional world has become your reality. Do you have a plan as to how to go about climbing the professional ladder? You will be coming in as a beginner in the industry and want to not only make a good impression, but you also want to perform at a quality level. Continuing to learn and shadow peers within the industry will be important to your success, after all you are still learning and developing your skills and talents. It is important to continue to network and get involved with professional organizations within your field. Building solid professional relationships will be important even after graduation.

Maintaining your finances is a key component in your success tool belt after graduation. No you don’t have the expenses of books and tuition but for many of us, loans are a reality. Combining both loans and monthly expenses can be a challenge coupled with the sense of accomplishment you feel from accomplishing your graduation goals. It is important to create a budget, try to adhere to what is comfortable for you. If you are not a financial wiz or not savvy when it comes to are of finances, then ask for help. A trusted friend relative can assist you in making an outline of your expenses and the income you are earning and help you to establish balance between the two.

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Finally, your social life! having an outlet for fun and friends has a very important role to play in your mental health and the overall balance we all constantly work to achieve. There may be instances where you feel torn between hanging out or getting a report done for your boss that you know will require hours of preparation on your part. Just like school you have to know when to say no and when to plow ahead with your main responsibilities. It could very well mean the difference between a promotion, a raise or being replaced.

These are just a few areas that you should consider when taking the next step into your future after graduation. There will be obstacles and challenges, there will be good days and not so good days but in the end balance and reward is what we seek to maintain when going from books to briefcases.

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What is Business Casual?

Fresh off the heels of another successful career event, we feel it’s only appropriate to cover some basic information so you are fully aware and prepared for future events to come. After all, looking the part is half the battle, right? Which leads to the question of topic this week, the difference between dressing business professional and business casual. Do you know the difference?

Business professional is exactly how it sounds: professional. This means suits & ties for men, and suits or skirts with jackets and plain high heels for women. But it’s not just the clothing that makes you look the part. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum (avoid costume jewelry), tattoos may need to be hidden, and piercings removed (unless they are in your ear). Refer to the Career Event Prep Booklet for a guide to appropriate attire.

Business causal is a term that is used frequently within many organizational environments. Although you may seem to think you have a very clear explanation of what it means, it can often have an ambiguous understanding. Business casual in it’s simplest form can best be explained as a form of attire that is less formal than what we understand as professional business attire. It is intended to give the appearance of professional businesslike work wear, without the complete and overall feeling of a stuffy suit. Here are some basic guidelines to know if you are dressed professional, business casual or casual when preparing for an interview or going to a career event.

Business Professional vs. Business Casual

photo courtesy of Midvale YSA


Even the color you wear sends a signal and gives a brief description about the mood you may be in, the attitude, and confidence levels. Here’s a color chart to help you think about your selection:

 Here are some fun facts:

These are just a few things to consider when trying to determine if your workplace attire is appropriate. Making a good first impression could very well mean an opportunity to land that interview or the career of your dreams.

Think you’re ready for that job fair or interview? Think you have a handle on what business professional is? Take this quiz by ProProfs to find out!

Business casual attire is on the rise and you should be in the know: The Business Research Lab Study.

The next time you are informed about an event or land that next interview, you will be armed with good information to Dress Like a Success!

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Top 10 Reasons to Attend Career Events

Career fairs are not only designed to help you in your employment search journey- they are also an important component in preparing you for when you are met with the career opportunity of a lifetime. Honing your skills beforehand will help you be prepared when the position you have been waiting for arises. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should attend career based events:

personal development

10. You get the opportunity to explore what employers are looking for in a desired candidate.

9. It’s an opportunity to build relationships within your employment network.

8. Staying abreast of employers who support our events keeps your name and resume in employer’s minds for future opportunities.

7. Attending events helps sharpen and polish your networking and interviewing skills.

6. Career Events are an opportunity to get FREE ADVICE! For instance, you might get help feedback from a professional that will help you fine tune your resume.

5. Personal and professional development. Practice makes perfect. Attire, self representation, and poise are part of the packaging for an employer.

4. You will be prepared for future opportunities.

3. It shows that you are interested in opportunities to succeed.

2. Attending events avails you to other opportunities in the area.

1. It is a FREE service that is planned to help assist you with your short term and long term career goals. It can only work to your benefit.

If you have not taken the opportunity to attend one of the many career related events on either campus, please take a few minutes to get informed and get involved in what your campus has to offer.  There are a variety of career oriented events planned this semester. Click here to see upcoming events! Don’t miss the chance to open the door to your future!career ladder

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Are you Interview Ready?

On Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 11 a.m. in LSF 144 our Fall Career Expo will be underway. Employers from our area will be here to meet with you, speak with you and tell you about full-time and internship opportunities they have available at their organizations.

Are you ready? Ask yourself these simple questions to know if you are prepared:

Hire me sign

  • Have you updated your resume? Or, do you have a resume?
  • Have you researched the employers that will be in attendance? If not, click here to see who’s coming!
  • Do you know which employers best meet your needs? (hint: click the above mentioned link to find hyperlinks with company information)
  • Can you market yourself to an employer? If so, how?
  • What skills do you have that would benefit the employer?
  • Why should an employer hire you?
  • Do you have appropriate business attire?

If you can effectively answer these questions then you might be ready, but in case you are still wondering if you have all of your ducks in a row, check out our Interview Prep Book. Take a moment to read and prepare yourself before attending any career fair. Being prepared is the best first step you can take when looking for employment opportunities.

We hope to see you at the Career Fair making a great first impression and winning over the employers!


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10 Myths about The Career Center

There are many myths surrounding exactly what it is that we do at The Career Center. We are here to make your job search experience as painless as possible, but in order to do that we must separate the myths from the facts. Here are your top 10 myths:



10. We find you jobs and/or internships

  • It sure would be nice (and would certainly be easy) if students could walk into The Career Center just before graduation and choose a job from a menu of opportunities prepared exclusively for them. Unfortunately, getting a job is not as easy as ordering dinner. By law, The Career Center staff cannot select candidates or make hiring decisions on behalf of employers; employers have to make these hiring decisions themselves, and that means that students have to be prepared to apply for jobs and professionally present their qualifications in interviews. We wouldn’t want someone else choosing a job for us; we would want to be a part of that process.What we actually do is assist you in your job and/or internship search effort. Our job is to help you explore, prepare and evaluate employment options.

9. You only need our services when you have reached your last semester of classes.

  • You can and should come into our offices early in your academic career. We encourage you to start your career planning as early as possible. We can do this through a variety of ways, such as career assessments, career exploration activities such as informational interviews, teaching you job search strategies and making sure you are offering a well developed professional package that will impress a future employer.

8. We write your resumes for you.

  • Our job is to help you learn how to create a resume that is appropriate for you at this stage in your career. We do not write resumes for anyone, but will provide you with tools, resources and guidelines to make your resume work for you.

7. You are guaranteed employment when you come to the Career Center.

  • Sorry, we are not job search agents. We won’t contact employers with your resume trying to convince them that you are a great candidate worthy of consideration. We legally can’t recommend individual students to employers. We work on behalf of all students and alumni of Purdue University. We do a lot of employer relationship building in order to make employers aware of the recruiting services we offer and the talents and qualifications our students possess. Seriously, log into CareerTrax and search the employer and jobs/internships database. We also post job and internship opportunities on our Twitter feeds that are not posted on CareerTrax. We reach out to many employers, and a lot of employers use our recruiting services, but you have to apply and you have to close the deal. We can help you with salary negotiation, professionalism, and transition from college to the workplace.

6. Services are not available to alumni or anyone from any other Purdue Systems schools.

  • The Career Center services are a lifetime benefit and are available to all students and alumni of Purdue University regardless of their campus affiliation.

5. Good companies do not participate in our career fairs.

  • We have built a distinguished network with local organizations to bring you the best possible opportunities by being an extension of the Purdue family. Employers recruit on college campuses when they need to. If they can generate a sufficient number of qualified candidates for their job opportunities without physically coming to campus, they usually won’t come to campus. And, employers that do recruit on college campuses do not necessarily go to all college campuses, recruit to fill all types of positions, or recruit all majors. Lastly, on-campus interviewing is not the only tool employers use to recruit entry-level talent from colleges and universities. As a job seeker, your job is to research and understand the hiring dynamics of the industries you wish to enter and adjust your job search strategies to your industry. We actively recruit employers and host career fairs and virtual events throughout the year. Our students can also attend career fairs at other colleges. Check out our Career Events page to learn more about the opportunities that are open to you.

4. Networking is not important and only benefits outgoing students.

  • This myth keeps people from participating in an activity that could benefit from tremendously. Business and careers are all extensions of networking.

3. You have to pay for services at the Career Center.

  • The services at the Career Center are completely FREE for students and Alumni of entire Purdue System.

2. Coming to the Career Center is a complete waste of time.

  • Not coming to the Career Center can cost you valuable time. Get in the know, find out about events, the benefits and have a professional resume to present when opportunities arise.

And the biggest myth of the Career Center is……..drum roll please!

1. That drop advising hours are our “new” hours of operation.

  • The Career Center Service hours of operation are Monday -Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This post was adapted from Matt Berndt, University of Texas through NACE, LinkedIn and the Wall Street Journal.

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Upcoming Career Events


The North Central Campus is home to the Fall Career Expo, which will be held on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST in the Library Student Faculty (LSF) building in room 144. We hope that you will come by to meet the organizations that will be present with job opportunities. Click here to see who’s coming!

On Wednesday, November 5, 2014 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in LSF 170A our Business Etiquette Luncheon (North Central Campus) will be in full swing. There is a $10 refundable deposit that is returned the day of the event.

Proper table setting Luncheon

Business Etiquette Luncheon North Central

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 8, 2014 if you’re interested in furthering your education through graduate school or a professional program (i.e. medical school, veterinary school, etc). There will be a webinar in LSF 170A from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. to provide attendees that are interested learning more about how to prepare for the admissions process. We will also have experts there to answer your questions.

You don’t want to miss any of these upcoming events. If you can’t make them all, plan to make at least one. Hope to see you there


The Calumet campus has equally exciting events that should be on your radar. On October 6 & 7th the Rapid Resume Reviews are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you want a quick overview of how to improve your resume, you want to make yourself available for this. This event is in partnership with The Writing Center. The resume reviews will be held in The Career Center in Student Union Library (SUL) building in room 349  and The Writing Center in the Classroom Office (CLO) building  room 263.

The Part-Time / On Campus Jobs Fair will be held on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the SUL concourse.  This fair will feature employers seeking to hire part time employees for permanent and seasonal employment, as well as, internships. Please stay tuned to this blog for more information regarding registered employers.

Job fair sign

Part-Time Fair Calumet

Save the date for the Calumet campuses Business Etiquette Luncheon on Friday, November 7, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m in the Room with a View. There is a $10 refundable deposit due at the time of registration and returned at the event.

The Graduate School Investigation makes its way to the Calumet campus on Monday, November 17, 2014 beginning at 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The webinar will run every hour on the hour in SUL 349. Don’t miss it!

With all these upcoming events, there is sure to be something that you can attend! Don’t meet us there, beat us there!


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Show your Purdue Pride- Pride Week and other events at PNC/PUC


The Purdue North Central campus is gearing up for our annual week-long of festivities in the plaza. Purdue Pride week is a collection of games, activities and clubs coming together for fun, food, and festivities all week-long. We want to encourage you to come out, get involved and get some free food! The plaza is the central pavilion in the center of campus, where a bunch of games will be played, free food will be served and music will be blasting. This is our official kick off to a great semester and we hope you come out and partake in the festivities, after all this is OUR home for the next 16 weeks.

In addition to Pride Week festivities on the North Central campus, the Calumet campus has a few upcoming events, such as career Services at your Service, a Biology Club meeting, and Patriot Day on September 11th from 11 to Noon. Stay tuned for updates on events at both locations as we will feature information for both sites.

As a friendly reminder, be sure to check out the NEW drop in advising at the Career Services Center at both campus locations.  Career services include; mock interviewing, externships, job shadowing and career planning services available by appointment only. Drop in hours are:

North Central Campus:

Tuesdays 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. & 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Thursdays 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Calumet Campus:

Tuesdays 10:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Wednesdays 12 p.m.
Thursdays 9:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m.





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