Written by Krystal Kaplan on January 26, 2018
Throughout my experiences as a recruiter, teacher, career readiness program manager and success coach, I’ve seen graduates become overwhelmed post-graduation - almost paralyzed. There are so many languages to learn, so many meetups to attend, and so many jobs to apply to, the list can go on and on. One part of my role is to help recent grads get grounded, be focused and be productive.
Here are 9 non-technical tips to continue practicing after you graduate.
1. Practice your pitch (elevator and presentation) with another human. It will change based on who you're speaking with and how you've evolved as a professional.
2. Start a conversation with at least 2 people by going to meetups and hackathons. Also known as... networking.
3. Listen to the people you speak with. And ask meaningful questions.
4. Follow up with new contacts within 24 hours. Meet them near their office or chat for 15 minutes, but first you must have a question to ask them related to their accomplishments, industry, etc. that you can’t find online.
5. Be a resource to your contacts. Send them an article about something you spoke about, introduce them to one of your contacts.
6. Make a tutorial of a language you fell comfortable in as a side project.
7. Share resources and opportunities with fellow NYCDA alumni.
8. Don't poke holes in your projects. Imposter syndrome is real, folks. You have the skills to get the interview. You have to have to attitude to land the position.
9. Mindset and self-care. Post-graduation can be an emotional rollercoaster sometimes. Make sure to create a positive mindset by taking a time out from code by either going for a short walk, listening to a meditation app, or repeating a mantra.
Hero: Rochelle Nicole
Bilingual in English and Spanish, Krystal has extensive experience in overseeing workforce and education programs empowering individuals in under-resourced communities. She has taught English as a Second Language encouraging her students to dabble in web design. She has created curricula related to job readiness, financial literacy and mentoring. Prior to teaching, she established partnerships with Fortune 500 companies matching workers’ skills to needs in the community. Krystal serves as Events Chair for the Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University and sits on the Advisory Board for Global Language Project. Outside of her professional and philanthropic life, you might find her hitting up a new hole in the wall restaurant, traveling abroad or tearing it up on the salsa floor.