Advice for Graduating Students

As Ms. Darbus once said, “you did it…you graduated.”

Congratulations to all the graduates this year! We are so proud of you #intheUC and know you will all go on to do great things. Graduating college is a big transition and whether you’re moving or staying close to home, there will be changes for everyone. We gather some advice from UC staff as well as some inspirational people around the world!

The first piece of advice is from Fabiola Aranda, the Assistant Manager of the HawkCard Office.

“Take a moment to breathe! This is a big step and milestone in your life, and you will do great! Take the skills you learned here at Whitewater and any employment you had or internships and see where it can be applied in your new role. Make sure you create relationships from the beginning with your colleagues and supervisors and communicate! Also, outside of work, make sure to take care of yourself and don’t hesitate to ask for help whether it be from parents or anyone you are close with. Remember, you are not alone!”

Tonia Kapitan, the UC Information Services and Warhawk Alley Coordinator suggests:

“Be open to new possibilities and new pathways. You have more strengths in this moment than you will ever know. Go out there and be a Rockstar. Know that you have skill, you have adaptability, and you have perseverance to succeed. That is all you need to find the next best thing in your future. You will do amazing things and you will forever be a part of the Warhawk Community. Congratulations on your hard work Warhawks. It is time to celebrate you!”

The UC Marketing Coordinator, Jenny Fisco recommends:

“Take every interview you can and be open to jobs that you didn’t think you would want. You can learn something new in every interview, and every job you have. I can look back on my last few jobs, and pick out different skills that I have now, that I credit to those positions. Were they my dream jobs? Absolutely not. They did teach me a lot however, and that is how you get to your dream job. You keep learning and keep experiencing. Another piece of advice I would give is always be the person in the room that is looking to go above and beyond. Be the person that wants to help others and be a problem-solver. I had a co-worker once who asked questions every 2 minutes after she started, even though, they were things we had already gone over and she could’ve easily found the answers on her own. It frustrated everyone; Don’t be that person. It’s ok to ask questions but try to find the answer first.

Interview advice: Know everything you can about the company you are interviewing for. Always have at least 3 questions prepared at the end, and ALWAYS send a hand-written ‘thank you’ note after the interview is over (that’s right, one with a stamp and an envelope). Just remember, getting a job is hard, and if you don’t find one within the first couple of weeks after you graduate, DO NOT get discouraged. It took me 5 months to find a job after I graduated, and I learned a lot about myself in that time. You will find the right job for you, and it will be worth the wait.”

We hope you are able to take something from these staff members on life after graduation. You are about to embark one of the biggest transitions in life, but it’s not something to be afraid of. Once a Warhawk, always a Warhawk. Your Whitewater family cares about you and wants to see you succeed. Remember to connect with the UW-Whitewater Alumni Services ( to find more ways to stay connected as an alum, but there are also many resources available to alumni. Have you already graduated? Feel free to leave more advice for upcoming graduates in the comments!

Congratulations once again to all the graduates, we hope you find success and happiness after college!