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The World of Work: How Work is Different than School

The transition from college to career can be an adjustment for many college seniors, but with the proper preparation you can overcome some common bumps and bruises along the way.  Here are but a few issues alumni report experiencing in their first full-time job:

  1. Time Management:  Gone are the days where you can plan your own schedule and take a quarter break!  You will need to learn how to adjust to a 40+ hour work week.  Wake-up is typically 5 to 7 in the morning, and you might not leave your place of employment until 6 or 7 in the evening – that is if you are on a standard schedule.  Vacation time is terrific but it has to be earned first.

  2. Professionalism in the Workplace:  As Cal Poly Pomona maintains a “learn by doing” philosophy and strongly values teamwork, here you are bound to succeed.  That said, follow through, dependability and taking initiative are other important qualities that employers expect in their new hires.  In college a poor exam grade, forgetting to meet a deadline, and not following exact directions on an assignment might only result in a bad grade, or a lecture from an administrator or professor; however, in the workplace lax or unprofessional behavior can result in termination.  Being professional also means learning how to successfully engage with different people and personalities.  Hopefully, you developed certain interpersonal skills while here, but you can expect to continue growing in this area over time.

  3. Finding your Way:  The first job you hold might not be a perfect fit, but this does not mean you should quit; invest the time to gain necessary skills and experience that will prove essential in your next job.  In college employers are more understanding of students having gaps in employment, or shorter periods of employment; in the real world, though, prospective employers will not be as understanding.  Learning in even the most difficult of circumstances is, in and of itself, an admirable quality.

  4. Humility is Essential:  Having a college degree does not entitle you to a job, you need to be prepared to really market yourself to employers and help them understand why YOU are the best candidate for the job.  This also means being very patient with the job search process and perhaps considering positions or companies that might not be your first choice.

Ask Billy

Ask Billy


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CSU Online Concurrent Enrollment (OCE)

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More Choices for Classes! CSU Online Concurrent Enrollment (CourseMatch) Students enrolled at Cal Poly Pomona have access to fully articulated online courses at other quarter CSU campuses through Online Concurrent Enrollment (CourseMatch). This access is offered without students being required to be admitted formally to the other CSU campus, and sometimes without paying additional fees. Students should consult with their academic advisor to determine how such a course may apply to their degree program, prior to enrolling at another CSU campus. Read more here...

The Graduation Initiative

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With a focus on retention and improved graduation rates campus-wide, the mission of the Graduation Initiative is clear, “To reinforce quality education and promote academic success by understanding the issues that hinder retention and completion and addressing the findings with appropriate interventions, services, and practices.”  Interested in learning more and getting involved?   Learn more here.