5 Things to do Upon Graduation

05/19/2015 07:29 pm ET | Updated May 19, 2016

Before you put on your cap and gown, use these intervening days to prepare yourself for the next stage of your life.

1. Start a professional file, both online and in print which includes. Letters of Recommendation from Professors, clubs and volunteer activities Sponsors -- while you are still fresh in their minds. To speed up the process, draft a sample letter for them with your courses and activities with dates and praise about your work -- follow through, skills developed, team spirit, dependability and resourcefulness, etc. Don't be modest. Write what you wish they would say. And when you send these different samples to each, explain that because you know that they're busy, you thought you would help them facilitate the process. They expect you to ask them to do this for you. Ask them to address the letter/email, "To Whom It May Concern" and be sure to keep a copy as well for your files.

In addition to getting these letters for your own file, also obtain a copy of your transcripts, diploma, and social security card. Your college may not keep these documents on file for you. This is your introduction to a life of self-reliance.

2. Go to the Career Center for suggestions on how to write your resume for each job you apply for as well as getting a list of employment opportunities. Watch webinars on how to conduct a job search and land a job interview. If you still have no clue about what to look for (and most of us do not), try taking a personality or vocational inventory to see if any ideas spring forth. Ask those who know you well for their opinions.

3. Consider an internship (voluntary or paid) or externship (usually paid) to explore possible career paths. Lists are usually kept either within your department (look on postings on-line or even posted on bulletin boards in the hallways and in the Career Center. These services are included in your tuition, so don't hold back. Ask and you will receive.

4. Another source lies in the Alumni Association. Go to the Director's office to search for graduates in your major who are likely to point you in the right direction. You have a bond with them already. Most people hire others with whom they have a connection. Sharing an alma mater makes you practically family and puts you at the top of the list for a job. Call three or more alums a day. They're willing to hear from you; that's why they are alumni.

5. You are no longer a student being given homework to do. Learn to create your own assignments, the most important lesson of all.

Make your luck happen!