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Any advice for an upcoming college grduate?


vigilante

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So I'm scheduled to graduate this December if everything goes according to plan.. And I was wanted to get some advice from people here who've been through this phase already.

What steps should I take upon finding a legitimate job? As in how much money should I save up, etc. and things I should look to invest in. Also, additional general advice would be great as well.

I'm 23 now and basically living from pay check-to-pay check with my internship job. Once I get a higher amount of cash flow after graduation, I'd like to do focus on increasing my wealth and making smarter financial decisions. So any tips would be great.

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Learn to speak Portuguese and move to Brazil.

Honestly, this is a good idea. Not sure if you meant it as a joke or not. A lot of grads are doing this right now. It's a great experience, and you'll be able to save a little bit of money. And it's a great resume builder.

As far as general advice- plan for the worst, hope for the best. I worked at a car dealership making jack crap for a year before I found a good job. Even then, I only worked that job until I had enough experience to get a job I actually wanted. This market is awful. I would be most focused on finding a job rather than worrying about wealth. I'm 28, and I'm just now starting to build some wealth.

Also, as was mentioned, take as many interviews as you can, even if you have no intentions of taking the job. The more experience you get, the better.

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Honestly, this is a good idea. Not sure if you meant it as a joke or not. A lot of grads are doing this right now. It's a great experience, and you'll be able to save a little bit of money. And it's a great resume builder.

As far as general advice- plan for the worst, hope for the best. I worked at a car dealership making jack crap for a year before I found a good job. Even then, I only worked that job until I had enough experience to get a job I actually wanted. This market is awful. I would be most focused on finding a job rather than worrying about wealth. I'm 28, and I'm just now starting to build some wealth.

Also, as was mentioned, take as many interviews as you can, even if you have no intentions of taking the job. The more experience you get, the better.

It was not joke at all. The Brazilian economy is booming and highly educated Americans can find opportunity in new emerging markets there that they can't find here if they play their cards right. Plus Brazilian women are amazing.

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Relax. It always seems confusing and impossible at first. It will become more clear over time.

Only three hard and fast rules:

1) Don't get into debt

2) Don't get anyone pregnant

3) Always make sure you have health insurance.

You'll be fine.

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So I'm scheduled to graduate this December if everything goes according to plan.. And I was wanted to get some advice from people here who've been through this phase already.

What steps should I take upon finding a legitimate job? As in how much money should I save up, etc. and things I should look to invest in. Also, additional general advice would be great as well.

I'm 23 now and basically living from pay check-to-pay check with my internship job. Once I get a higher amount of cash flow after graduation, I'd like to do focus on increasing my wealth and making smarter financial decisions. So any tips would be great.

Good questions.

On money:

Live on 80%-90% of your take home pay. Meaning, if your paycheck is a $1000 every two weeks, have $200 automatically deducted into a savings account. Preferably one you cannot access easily, i.e. an online account where transfers take 3-business days to go through. You protect that money from your impulses. Once you have built up a sizable amount three to six months worth of bills and living expenses (in case you lose your job or some other catastrophe), you can divert that money into retirement savings.

If you cannot afford to put away the 20% a week, start small. When I started working, I had $5/week, automatically deducted from my account. Then I pushed it to $20 a week. Now I'm up to 3-digits a week. You realize quickly how you can live on less. Every $20 you save per week is $1000 per year. But it's also good to have $1,000 cold hard cash that you can access immediately.

Retirement accounts: Start early, even if it's a small amount. If the company you work for has a 401k or 403b invest in that up to their match. If no match, invest your money in a Roth IRA (you're taxed on it now while your income is lower than when you retire).

Mantra: It's not how much you make. It's how much you keep.

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To quote Rodney:

Thank you, Dean Martin,

President Sinclair...

and members

of the graduating class.

I have only one thing

to say to you today...

it's a jungle out there.

You gotta look out

for number one.

But don't step in number two.

And so,

to all you graduates...

as you go out into the world

my advice to you is...

don't go!

It's rough out there.

Move back with your parents.

Let them worry about it.

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The old cliche ... "networking" ... who you know is huge in this economy. Even if you are a raw graduate. Get back in touch with all your class mates and everyone you know and find out if their employers are hiring. Usually they will get a referral bonus too and will be more than happy to let you know if there are opportunities.

Companies are hiring in this economy but it's hard to stand out from the crowd of employment seekers.

A number of our recent graduate hires came through employee referrals. Everybody wins.

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This is the least responsible thing anyone will tell you on here . . . . but you only live once.

Get a tolerable job. Save up enough money. Defer your loans. Buy a plane ticket for a country you always wanted to live in outside of the US (try and pick a real cheap country in either Central/South America, South East Asia, Africa). Go have fun for 3 months on the cheap and have amazing stories to tell for the next 30 years.

Return. Get a real job. Realize you will never be able to do that again with real responsibilities. :)

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This is the least responsible thing anyone will tell you on here . . . . but you only live once.

Get a tolerable job. Save up enough money. Defer your loans. Buy a plane ticket for a country you always wanted to live in outside of the US (try and pick a real cheap country in either Central/South America, South East Asia, Africa). Go have fun for 3 months on the cheap and have amazing stories to tell for the next 30 years.

Return. Get a real job. Realize you will never be able to do that again with real responsibilities. :)

Not that I disagree with the advice, and I did move to San Diego and beach bum for two years before I got serious with my career... but I love the irony of the last "responsible" thing being said in this thread is to defer loans and go on a world jaunt. ;)

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First of all, the people who say that who you know is more important than what you know are right. That doesn't mean that what you know is irrelevant, it just means that connections are extremely valuable. Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way.

Second, never stop trying to improve your writing. I'm not trying to be a dick here, I'm just trying to provide an honest criticism, and if I'm going to be honest, I have to point out that there were several errors in your OP. The only reason I wanted to mention those errors is the fact that the single most common complaint I hear from people I know in management is about the lack of employees who can write well. We could be talking about newsletters, internal memos, website updates, or any of a hundred other things that require solid writing, and the problem is always the same. Your future boss is probably irritated with someone's writing right now, and if you can fix that, your stock goes up.

Third, you'll never run out of people who can offer up financial advice, even right here on ES. (Hell, I'm one of those people.) But there are some basic tips that apply to pretty much everyone. Always try to save some portion of your paycheck, even if it seems like it's a tiny amount. Regular tiny amounts can add up. Also, don't limit your research to investments, also make sure to do research when it comes to where you'll be keeping your everyday money. Choosing one bank over another can make a big difference, and choosing a credit union over a bank can also make a big difference. Credit unions often offer better interest rates than banks, and any given financial institution can offer certain perks that work for you. For example, my main accounts are now with Burke & Herbert Bank, because I liked their combination of interest-bearing checking accounts (the rate's very low, of course, but it's better than nothing), no ATM fees (they pay the $2/$3 it normally costs to use another bank's ATM), and a physical branch that's about four blocks away from where I live. Before B&H, I was a Bank of America customer, and to put it bluntly, they suck. They actively try to squeeze as much money out of you as possible. Choosing the right place to keep your money can literally save you hundreds of dollars per year.

If you have any other specific questions, feel free to PM me.

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First of all, the people who say that who you know is more important than what you know are right. That doesn't mean that what you know is irrelevant, it just means that connections are extremely valuable. Trust me, I learned this lesson the hard way.

Second, never stop trying to improve your writing. I'm not trying to be a dick here, I'm just trying to provide an honest criticism, and if I'm going to be honest, I have to point out that there were several errors in your OP. The only reason I wanted to mention those errors is the fact that the single most common complaint I hear from people I know in management is about the lack of employees who can write well. We could be talking about newsletters, internal memos, website updates, or any of a hundred other things that require solid writing, and the problem is always the same. Your future boss is probably irritated with someone's writing right now, and if you can fix that, your stock goes up.

Third, you'll never run out of people who can offer up financial advice, even right here on ES. (Hell, I'm one of those people.) But there are some basic tips that apply to pretty much everyone. Always try to save some portion of your paycheck, even if it seems like it's a tiny amount. Regular tiny amounts can add up. Also, don't limit your research to investments, also make sure to do research when it comes to where you'll be keeping your everyday money. Choosing one bank over another can make a big difference, and choosing a credit union over a bank can also make a big difference. Credit unions often offer better interest rates than banks, and any given financial institution can offer certain perks that work for you. For example, my main accounts are now with Burke & Herbert Bank, because I liked their combination of interest-bearing checking accounts (the rate's very low, of course, but it's better than nothing), no ATM fees (they pay the $2/$3 it normally costs to use another bank's ATM), and a physical branch that's about four blocks away from where I live. Before B&H, I was a Bank of America customer, and to put it bluntly, they suck. They actively try to squeeze as much money out of you as possible. Choosing the right place to keep your money can literally save you hundreds of dollars per year.

If you have any other specific questions, feel free to PM me.

Did you whoop ass at the LSAT testing session

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Did you whoop ass at the LSAT testing session

I'm pretty damn sure that I got a good-but-not-great score, so I'm planning to take it again in December. I keep running out of time on the logic games, and the best cure for that is to keep practicing.

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1) Start looking for a job a week from yesterday.

1a) Talk to your school's career office. You may have access to them when you graduate, but many schools don't offer individual sessions w/ career counselors once you've graduated.

2) Talk to professors about getting recommendations for jobs/future grad school opportunities.

2a) If you ever plan on going to grad school, get your professors to write letters now so you can have them on file and so they can know what to say about you in 3 years when they've completely forgotten about you.

3) Know where you're going to live when you graduate. If you can stay with your parents until you find a permanent full time job, you are lucky.

4) LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS. I cannot emphasize this enough.

5) If you can afford to do it and you don't have outstanding bills/rent/etc outside of school loans, follow the advice Duckus gave above.

---------- Post added October-5th-2011 at 02:59 PM ----------

Not that I disagree with the advice, and I did move to San Diego and beach bum for two years before I got serious with my career... but I love the irony of the last "responsible" thing being said in this thread is to defer loans and go on a world jaunt. ;)

Your student loans are usually deferred for at least 3 months after you graduate anyway.

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So I'm scheduled to graduate this December if everything goes according to plan.. And I was wanted to get some advice from people here who've been through this phase already.

What steps should I take upon finding a legitimate job? As in how much money should I save up, etc. and things I should look to invest in. Also, additional general advice would be great as well.

I'm 23 now and basically living from pay check-to-pay check with my internship job. Once I get a higher amount of cash flow after graduation, I'd like to do focus on increasing my wealth and making smarter financial decisions. So any tips would be great.

what major are you? Where are you interning at? What type of jobs are you looking for?

I think the advice needs to be tailored on case by case basis... people probably need little more info before giving you any detailed advice.

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Crappy work is better than no work.

Plus, you never know. My peers and I graduated in 01/02. One of my friends got his degree in Aerospace engineering but couldn't find a job anywhere. He felt so bad having to take a job as a mortgage loan officer, but in the end after a few years he was making a ton of bank and his company got bought out and he got a hefty severance. He def came out ahead than most of us who refused jobs that weren't in our major.

It wasn't until two years ago that we found out what was behind all that money in the mortgage industry, but I'd label him as an innocent cog in the whole process.

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Very good advice in here...

I'll give you a little advice from 5,000 feet above (most of it seems to be very specific). Enjoy this time of your life. I was scared that leaving college was going to mean that the fun stopped and life became serious (hence my first post in this thread). In reality, I enjoyed the several years right out of college even more than I enjoyed college itself. There's only a brief time in most of our lives when we have very few obligations and plenty of disposable income. Those first couple years generally provide that unique blend (assuming you find a job and aren't already married).

Don't get me wrong, college was a blast and now that I'm married with two kids, I love that phase of my life too. But there really was nothing like what I had for those 5 years between college graduation and engagement. I lived with friends, went out Thursdays through Saturdays, worked 9-5, hit the gym 5 times per week, met hundreds of new people all right around my age, etc...

Live it up...don't go nuts and get fired or anything. But if you show up to work unshaven and hoarse on a couple Fridays, more people will be envious of you than judge you. Good luck!

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