This past weekend marks the end of my undergraduate career at UMass Lowell. I will be going on to get my masterís degree in plastics engineering here at UML, but only on a part time basis. I am eager to get out into the work force and try to make some money.
I went back and read some of my old blogs, including the first one I ever wrote entitled ďBack to School at lastÖĒ In this blog, I wrote about how I was tired of working full time, and how I wanted to stay in school for my masterís degree. I can certainly say that a lot has changed since then.
I am certainly not in a big hurry to get my masterís degree. Since I have spent the past four monthís job searching, I have found a masterís degree with no experience is not any better than a bachelorís degree with little to no experience. Typically companies want 3-5 years of experience with a masterís degree for a job better than entry level. For this reason, I think it would be the best idea for me to get my masterís degree part time, while getting the experience I need.
As far as being tired of working full time, I think I am ready to enter the work place. When I start at NxStage Medical in January, it will mark the beginning of my fourth internship (my third in the medical devices industry). I think I know most of the Doís and Doníts of the workplace. I plan to work very hard to get a promotion to a full time position.
I feel like I have had a very successful college career at UMass Lowell. I built myself a powerful resume. I have worked three internships. I have lived on campus as a resident and a residential advisor. I have lived off campus with friends, lived off campus with my girlfriend, and even spent six months 200 miles away from campus. I have made many friends, and very few enemies. I am glad to say that I have no regrets about the past 4.5 years.
So if you are entering college, or you are part way through your college career; here is my advice:
- Build your resume: I know itís a tough market, but apply for internships, and take the job. Even if you think something might be below you, you can learn a lot and build some good references.
- Go to class: I constantly hear people complaining about 8:30 classes. Give me a break! When you are working full time you will probably have to be in at 7:00 everyday. Nothing will make you look better than near perfect attendance, whether that is in the eyes of a teacher or employer.
- Have some fun, but take things seriously: You donít need to go to college to party 5-7 nights a week. Whether you are taking out student loans, or your parents are paying, or you won the lottery; college is expensive. Donít let that money go to waste. Keep up with your homework and study hard so that you will get the grades you deserve.
- Get connected: Get involved, meet some people, and make some friends. Everyone encourages you to join societies and groups. Thereís a good reason for that; people who get involved with their campus do better in school.
Thanks for reading everyone, best of luck to you!