Job-Seeking Fourth Years: What Advice Can You Give to the Rest of Us?

The time has come for the Class of 2018. A fresh crop of young adults will wear the Honors of Honor and finally get to receive their return on four years of hard work at a top university. Be it grad school, the armed services, or the workforce, fourth-years are currently at a crossroads in deciding the next step in their lives. This time of the year can be stressful, but in the wake of balancing interviews, case studies, and on-site visits with schoolwork and social life, WUVA News has reached out to a variety of fourth-years for advice on what makes a successful recruiting season.

Walter Bass is a fourth-year Finance Major in the McIntire School of Commerce pursuing a career in banking or consulting.

“For finance-specific jobs, it is a huge advantage to join an investing club or another extracurricular opportunity that gives you exposure to real-world examples. Classroom learning is generally behind the curve of the recruiting schedule for third-years,” Bass said.

UVa Career Fair

Fortunately, extracurriculars are not the only help that can be found at UVa.

“On-grounds recruiting is your best friend. Reduces your competition for an application 100-fold when they’re specifically interested in UVa students. Go to networking events, on-grounds interviews, and symposiums by companies you’re interested in and that can make the difference in an application,” said fourth-year civil engineering student Will Richardson.

Not all students will enter the workforce immediately. Nearly 30% of UVa graduates in recent years will pursue additional coursework in graduate or professional studies. Andrew Waldrip is a fourth-year kinesiology student, and will need a supplemental degree to pursue his career in physical therapy.

“Looking over the application processes as soon as possible is definitely a good plan. You never know when some things may not go the way you planned. Also make sure to diversify your applications; the right school might not be the one you have in mind.”

And for those students who will walk across the stage in May without a concrete postgrad plan, you are not alone. Nearly 17% of recent graduates self-reported that they were still seeking employment or graduate school, but the vast majority of those will go on to find gainful employment within the first six months after graduation.

On managing stress while still in the job hunt, fourth-year mechanical engineering student Jake Singh said: “Keep checking back with old companies for new openings. Some great jobs don’t even open until the spring and summer, so don’t freak out if nothing happens until then.”

For more resources and career advice, visit the UVa Career Center.


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