How to Transition from Graduate School to Work

The transition from graduate school to working in the field can be tough, as the training wheels need to come off.

Thankfully, UMBC offers resources to help ease that transition. You can also follow these tips to learn what you need for this exciting new step in your career. 

Networking Post-Graduation

Start networking within graduate school and continue to network once you start working in the field. Graduate school is the perfect time to connect with others and start building your network among your peers, especially your professors. Now that you have your networking foundation, you can connect with them after graduation for opportunities within the field. Also, you can build connections with colleagues who know someone already within your network. Additionally, LinkedIn is an effective tool for building your network and meeting others with whom you have commonalities. 

Develop within the Field

Learning does not stop in the classroom. Be sure to find ways to grow when you’re in the field. Professional development requires a multi-faceted approach. One step in this approach is to make SMART goals to show your growth in the field. Another way is to have a mentor in the field. This mentor can even be one of your professors from graduate school. This mentorship can guide you as you begin to work as a professional. 

Get Ready for the Professional Work Environment 

The most significant transition from school to work is adapting to the office environment. First, learn and follow the dress code. Then, research the company to discover its values. Going the extra mile to learn more about the company will prepare you for what your supervisor and colleagues need from you. 

Stay Current with Your Industry

When you transition from graduate school to the professional world make sure to stay up to date on new developments in your field. You’re constantly learning about the contemporary discourses in your field when you’re still in an academic setting. But staying current may take the back burner after you transition to work-life. You can fight this by listening to podcasts of people in your industry during your commute or by subscribing to online papers focusing on news in your field. 

Transitioning from school to work can be equally challenging and exciting. Be sure to prepare yourself for work-life and enjoy this new chapter in your life.

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