University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Life After College

Congratulations! You've successfully finished your academic endeavors, and now you begin what we know will be a productive and exciting professional and personal life. Your exit from the academic world and your successful transition into the "world of work" will require an adjustment in your thought processes. We hope the following tips will help you with your transitional period.



"I don't think I'm ready," "I wish I could stay in school forever," and "I'm scared of the real world" are things we hear all the time. Every student in the last year of an academic program has felt those things at one time or another. For some, shaking the post-college blues proves to be quite a task, but here are some tips to get you through this change.

College to Work Transition Tips

  • Make a concentrated effort to meet new people. You might have had what amounts to a built-in social calendar; those days are over now. Don't let that be your excuse to nurture your inner reclusive self. Reach out to new groups and organizations, there may even be some available groups associated with your new employer or graduate school. Community service opportunities are always available and are great for meeting others. There are many others just like you, looking for new people to meet and cool things to get involved in.
  • Find a new hobby/pastime. The learning never stops – even, especially, after college. You're still growing and maturing and learning what you want out of life. Wasn't there always something you wanted to do as a leisure activity but you never had the time? Now is the time to revisit those thoughts. This also a potential way to facilitate tip # 1.
  • Let go of your student identity/mentality. It's perfectly fine to cheer on the Razorbacks and wear the cardinal and white, but it's also important to realize how much you have grown as a person and embrace the new person you are becoming. Professional/personal development is an exercise in ongoing self-awareness. Knowing what will make you professionally happy now and making sure that you continue that self-awareness process throughout your career will help you successfully continue this professional maturation process.

Real World Financial Management – Paychecks, Payments, and Obligations

Along with the first job comes the reality of taking care of your own financial commitments. Student loans are now out of deferment, the electricity, water, and gas need to stay on and there needs to be at least some food in the fridge. It's time to start thinking about taking control of your finances from the beginning, building a solid foundation that you will appreciate years down the line.