The 1 piece of graduation advice that has always stuck with me

Emily Arnim, staff writerEmily Arnim, Staff Writer

A week before my graduation from Washington & Lee University, I met with two of my politics professors at a coffee shop right off campus. We spent nearly four hours discussing possible career paths—and the daunting reality that I would not be following most of my peers into the world of finance and banking.

They told me that if I had the hunger to pursue a career I felt had meaning and purpose, then I should. They encouraged me to find people with similar passions and reach out to them, stick with them, and learn how they got where they are today. 

It's advice we've likely all heard before. But it only began to resonate with me after hearing it from two professors I knew and admired.

I asked a few other recent grads at EAB about the best advice they received from faculty, advisors, or professors before graduating. Their responses range from general career guidance to life advice from respected mentors. Read my favorite picks below.

What's your go-to advice for graduating seniors? Email us at EABDailyBriefing@eab.com or tweet us at @EAB and we’ll update the list with our favorite responses.

"Apply yourself, regardless of circumstance"

Gus Passov, Associate, EAB Strategic Research
Alma Mater: Washington University in St. Louis, 2017

A psychology professor I'm very close with told me it didn't matter that I don't know what I want to do after graduation. He stressed being open to new experiences and applying 100% of myself to them no matter the circumstance. It's intuitive advice, but it meant a lot coming from him.

"Don't burn any bridges"

Lorenz Cruz, Account Management Associate
Alma Mater: University of Maryland, College Park, 2016

I was told that once you're off campus, it can be hard to maintain relationships. But it's important to never burn any bridges. You never know if a former classmate or roommate can help you through the door to future opportunities. Likewise, if you someone reaches out to you for help, lend a hand!

"Stay connected"

Hunter Rogers, Analyst
Alma Mater: University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016

My Graph and Network Theory professor constantly used the connectedness of graphs as an analogy for staying connected with a professional network. Although it was in a joking manner, a lot of it was true and still resonates with me in how I approach professional relations.

"Be persistent"

Brittany Schrager, Account Management Associate
Alma Mater: Franklin and Marshall College, 2017

I was told to be persistent in finding the right job. With so many choices and opportunities, leaving college can seem daunting. But it's important that you continue to apply to different jobs, and really find what interests or excites you. Ultimately, try to find a career that will create a fire inside of you. It will be a part of you for a long time, and you'll only excel at it if you enjoy it.

What's your go-to advice for graduating seniors? Email us at EABDailyBriefing@eab.com or tweet us at @EAB and we’ll update the list with our favorite responses.


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