The semester is about to start back up again, and I’m both excited and nervous. Excited because I’ll be completing my masters program, but nervous because that anticipated “what’s next” question seems to be asked of me more and more. It’s funny because I was in this same position last year. A second semester senior trying to figure out what he could do with a degree in sports management. As a former athlete, I could go into coaching or the sort, but I knew there was more out there for me, so I went back to school.

I know a lot of people right now are worried about what they’re going to do after college. I’m going to walk you through how I got through that process, and how I’m using the same method now as a graduate student.

There are only two options that you can decide from when making this decision.

Option #1: is the ideal one. You land a job with some fortune 500 company with great benefits and a work life balance. Getting that job is the hard part. That is a result of countless screenings, interviews, and an application process that could take months. You need to start that process now, if you haven’t already done so. One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that looking for a job is a job in itself. You’re going to have to put the hours in searching and applying. Then after that there is time spent traveling and interviewing all together. Even if you believe that your network would provide one for you, you must still reach out and spend the time coordinating that effort with them.

If you don’t feel as if you’re prepared to find a job, or you don’t have enough time to find one, there is still another option. This is the option that I was kind of forced to choose. I chose to intern as a Tech Consultant for the athletics department, then go back to school.

Option #2: is going back to school. I know right, more school. If the first four years of school didn’t do anything for me, what’s another year or 2 going to do? The answer to this varies, but for me it’s done wonders. It’s giving me the ability to dive into another discipline, as well as continue to use the resources at my university. The biggest selling point was that it was only one year, that was all I needed. I would now be getting two degrees, fulfilling all requirements for job applications that require a masters degree. I feel more in control of my future and can leverage all of my different skills to employers. Though having a business background would help any candidate, a focus on technology management allows me access to multiple industries, not just sports. Now as a more marketable candidate, it’s time to take advantage.

This takes me back to Option #1, landing that job with the fortune 500 company. I’m now another year older and wiser. I’ve studied diligently to the standards of a graduate college, and will be able to exemplify these skills in an interview, or other setting. In today’s society, graduate college is just as important when not only applying for jobs, but gaining promotions and climbing up the ladder. As I consulted with professionals in different industries, there was no question that the ones in top managerial positions hold at least a masters degree. Instead of going back to school after working for a couple years, I decided to go right back to school after undergrad. It allowed me to take the time to figure out what I really wanted to do as a career. It also surrounded me with individuals that came back to school after working in the industry. There advice to me was to do everything while you’re young and still have energy. Invest in yourself early and watch it pay dividends in the long run. I leave you all with that same advice. Don’t wait to invest, start today.

Ultimately, there are a lot of factors that play into this decision. Either way you decide, your work is cut out for you. In the end, you must do what’s best for you, and what your situation allows you to. Talk to different people, both old and young, ask their opinion, but don’t depend on it.

I’m always open to give advice, contact me through any of my links above.

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