This blog was written by Ashleigh Mavros, our Campus Ambassador from Ohio University. Follow her on Twitter at: @Mavrosa19
Having extra credits from post-secondary, AP or summer classes, you may come to find the opportunity of graduating a semester, or possibly an entire year early. Faced with the decision of graduating and jumping into a career or staying behind to gain more experience through another internship or minor, you’ll want to weigh your options before you make a decision.
If you’re graduating early….
Financially you’ll be better off. An entire year, or even one semesters worth of rent and tuition could possibly be one less loan you’d have to take out. And since you’ll most likely be entering the workforce within a couple months of graduation, you could potentially have a paycheck roll in every month and watch your savings start to grow.
You’re already prepared. Since you’ve taken all the necessary credits, you should feel comfortable that you’re prepared to get out into your field faster. Apart from classes, your involvement in internships and organizations has prepped you for what to expect. Taking on a full-time position is a lot of responsibility, but you’ll still be constantly learning even while on the job.
You can’t go back. Make sure the decision will be one that you won’t regret down the road. You only get to experience college as an undergraduate once. You may be working a 9-5 and receiving a paycheck, but seeing pictures of all your friends together for senior year may make you regret missing irreplaceable time.
If you’re staying to pick up an extra internship or minor…
Help make up your mind. Maybe you’re still not sure exactly what specific field you would like to go into or where you would like to live after graduation. Completing another internship or picking up a minor gives you a chance to really explore and see what areas you might be open to. For example, picking up a Spanish minor might make you realize that you truly would like to work with some aspect of the Latin American community.
Build your contact base. Taking a semester to complete another internship means that you’ll be networking and connecting with even more professionals in your field. It’s vital to build relationships with contacts within your industry, especially so close to graduation.
Become more marketable. Employers look for a wide array of experience when hiring entry level positions. If they see that you’ve had a wide array of involvement while in school, you become more marketable when applying for jobs.