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By Pamela Johnson, February 2016

 You have made the choice to enter the HCA program. I must warn you up front because the day will be upon you before you know it—Graduation! Before you know it, weeks will turn into months and months into years. Like so many graduates before you who have anticipated graduation, you will look back and ponder the paths not chosen and where the time went.

Are you Ready for Graduation?

You will evaluate your performance as a student, and hopefully find that your performance has been more than adequate. Where do you measure up? After all, you have completed the dreaded capstone, met graduation requirements, and met deadlines. You have contributed to group discussions, been a part of interdisciplinary teams, studied, and asked questions. You even sought additional certifications, completed a job shadow, and an internship. Surely, you are deserving of little gold stars for all of your additional effort and hard work! Will your success as a student garner you success and respect as a Health Care Executive? Will your hard work, dedication, and student success guarantee that you will make positive career moves?

Nearing graduation I learned that there are several elements to the formula for success that would almost always translate into some form of career success. I found that I could improve my career options after graduation by improving my process while actively pursuing my degree.

Three things you should do sooner rather than later

Looking back, I wish I’d taken greater advantage of these three resources provided to Utica College students, as I was going through the Health Care Administration program:

  • 1. Reach out to faculty more. They’re there to help you succeed and they’ve pretty much heard every story, so they’ll understand your situation
  • 2. Start utilizing Career Services (UC Career Connect) well before your final semester. Get your resume reviewed, career advice, internships, and much more.
  • 3. Connect with fellow students outside of your project teams and with Alumni for networking purposes. Join, follow, and share via social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

As a future entrepreneur, I think that number three is the most relevant to me. Of course, the entire numbered list is instrumental for success, but the one great aspect about the list is that you can modify the list to meet your needs and take away from it what you as a student and future graduate feel you will need to improve you possibilities after graduation.

If you stay with the program, complete the capstone, meet graduation requirements, and meet deadlines you will become a graduate. If while you are here, you contribute to group discussions, participate in interdisciplinary teams, study, and ask questions, you align yourself to follow the path to achieve infinite possibility. If you seek additional certifications, complete a job shadow, or complete an internship, you have become a life-long learner worth investing in—you will have most definitely earned those little gold stars that will make employers take a second look. If you set your sights on at least one item on the list, you become a powerhouse—a graduate that looks back at the positive career moves you have made because you not only worked your way to the top but you also connected with the right Alumni somewhere along the way to help get you there.

@UCcareerserviceUtica College Office of Career Services
@Utica_OnlineUtica College Cybersecurity AlumniUtica College Online
Utica College Economic Crime
Investigation & Management Alumni
Utica College - School of Business 
and Justice Studies

About the Author

Pamela JohnsonPamela Johnson has a Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communications. She sat on the Board of Directors at Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care, was secretary and member of the Adult Care Advisory Committee, and ESL Volunteer at Interfaith Refugee Ministries.

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