After Graduation

What will you do when you graduate?

It is a wise idea to think about what you will do and where you will go once you graduate from the University of Washington – long before you graduate. Planning for and setting professional goals can be a daunting task. If you wait until your final quarter at the UW you might end up in a job you don’t like. And don’t stop with “I’m going to graduate school.” or “I’m going to take a year off and figure out what I want to do.” Those are fine starting points, but they are very far from the end of your journey. Your mantra should be: “Start early and figure out the details.”

The Undergraduate Advising Office can help you, but there are lots of other resources at the UW. The Counseling Center, 401 Schmitz Hall provides career counseling. The Career Center, 134 MGH has advisers who will work with you to decide on a career, and then teach you how to be the most effective applicant possible. The Carlson Center has community service opportunities to explore careers and build your resume – most of them for academic credit.

There are several suggestions for students using geography as career preparation:

  • Choose geography electives which build a common core related to career goals.
  • Complete courses from other departments relating to career interests. Some UW departments offer minors that may be appropriate. The Geography Department prepares a list of potential courses, laid out by Track, to help you in that search.
  • Take basic skill and job-related skill courses such as writing, accounting, computers, or human resources.
  • Do an internship to get experience in your chosen area. More information is available on our website and in the Collaboratory in Smith 415.

If a graduate degree is in your plans, talk with an adviser during Fall Quarter of your junior year. Applications require extensive planning. The process should begin at least one year prior to the quarter in which you are seeking admissions. Talk with your TAs and professors regarding prospective schools.