Posted May 19, 2015 by

End-of-Year Checklist for College Juniors

Senior and junior college colleagues. Lady dressed in fashion wear whereas girl in casuals carrying backpack.

Senior and junior college colleagues. Lady dressed in fashion wear whereas girl in casuals carrying backpack. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Seniors are already on their way to being done with college and are frantically looking for a job. However, college juniors are encouraged to create an end-of-year checklist for success so their senior year and graduation are easier. Advanced preparation is a key to success in today’s economic climate. Although graduation may seem a long time away, there are many things juniors can do to set themselves up for success upon graduation.

1. Meet with the academic counselor ASAP

Too many college students find that they’re one or two credits short in their senior year. This means they will either have to take an extra full load of courses, attend a junior college at night, or even delay their graduation a full semester. However, if a junior finds out they are a few credits short they have the opportunity to go to summer school now and graduate on time. The only way a student will be 100% sure that they’re on track for graduation is to meet with their academic counselor.

2. Start the job search

As crazy as it sounds, junior year is not too early to be looking for a job. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a full year experience in the field before graduation? College seniors and recent grads are facing a great deal of competition from their peers; however, a college junior is under much less pressure because they have a year until graduation. If a junior would like to work for a particular employer, they’re encouraged to look for an internship with that company doing just about anything. They may even be able to take an internship that lasts the whole year but only requires them to work four hours a week. Imagine how much better a student’s chances for hire would be interviewing with that same company after graduation if they already had a great rapport with the boss and co-workers.

3. Think about graduate school entrance exams

College juniors were probably all too happy to leave the SAT and ACT in the distant past. However, those planning to go on to graduate school will have to face one more standardized exam. Whether it’s the GRE (for grad school), the MCAT (for med school), or the LSAT (for law school), perspective graduate students won’t be able to apply until they’ve achieved the necessary score. Summer after junior year is a great time for students to sit down with an educational consultant and look at a few graduate schools they’re thinking about. If a student is planning to go straight to graduate school after senior year, they will need to have all of their standardized exams handled prior to graduation.

4. Create a professional online presence

College seniors are exceedingly busy and often have little time to create a professional online presence. This is not something a student wants to do when they’re studying for final exams. Alternatively, students just finishing their junior year should consider their online presence now. First off, students need to wipe away any negative social media presence they have already created. If most of a student’s Facebook and Instagram photos involve Spring Break parties, it’s time for those photos to go down. Once this has taken place, students should create a positive professional profile of a person that an employer would like to have as part of their team. For a full list of things to do, college students are encouraged to speak with a social media image consultant.

Bottom line

Although many students will choose to wait until their senior year to start looking for jobs and preparing for the post-collegiate world, it’s a good idea to get a jump on these things at the end of junior year so that anything that doesn’t work out straight away has a full year to get sorted out. Additionally, the job search will be less stressful once senior year and graduation come around.

Robyn Scott is an Orange County private English tutor with TutorNerds LLC. She has a BA from the University of California, Irvine and a MA from the University of Southampton, UK.

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