With Bismarck State College’s graduation ceremony taking place this coming Friday, May 16th at the Bismarck Civic Center, I found a list of hard truths that every college graduate should know.  Here are a few:

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1)    A diploma doesn’t guarantee an internship, job, or career.  It’s a passport into the professional world.  Now you must work hard and show your skills and work ethic to the world. 

2)    Your college classes, as difficult as they were, must be coupled with real-world experience.  Employers are looking for job skills, even if they come from a part-time job, a volunteer gig, or internship. 

3)    Expect to live on a budget for awhile.  CNNMoney reports that average earnings for recent graduates between the ages of 21 and 24 in are 8% lower than in 2007. 

4)    Even though your college professors demanded long, 20-page essays, the real world demands brevity and “short and sweet.”  In many cases, less is more.

5)    Work as hard at an internship or your first job as you would your personal endeavors or a “career job.”  Even if you are just delivering someone’s coffee, or filing papers, doing the best job you can may end you a promotion up the ranks or a favorable review from a boss to your future dream job. 

6)    Prepare for job interviews.  When being asked questions about your skills/experience, cite specifics.  Don’t say, “I am a great salesperson.”  State facts such as: “In my prior position, upsold x number of clients who then signed on for xx services which brought in a sales volume of xx.”  Let the facts talk for you.  Then, after the interview, send a handwritten thank-you note to stand out from other applicants. 

7)    To land a job, you don’t have to live or work in a “top city for graduates.”  Create opportunity where you are; don’t wait for good fortune to land in your lap. 

8)    With enough hard work, preparation, and confidence in yourself, you can land a great position where you can learn, build skills (both interpersonal and job skills), and succeed in any career of your choice. 

"Your diploma is... permission to admit to yourself how much you still have yet to learn." -- Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson during the 2013 graduation at Rice University

The pic featured above is Country Music Star Willie Nelson recently getting his honorary degree!!!   See---it can happen to anyone!!!

Source: bismarckstate.edu and The Huffington Post