What To Do After College – 10 Years of Personal Experience

Photo Credit: Luis Gustavo Leme
(Creative Commons)
In this age of internet and Facebook, being miles away is no reason not to know that graduations are going on in many schools for friends and relatives. Posts on social networking sites show happy photos of what’s happening. Certainly, these are momentous occasions to celebrate and be delighted about.

I can’t help but think about my own college graduation which happened ten years ago. I looked at my resume and Linkedin profile to review what I have been doing for those years after I graduated. I believe I have gained professionally. Although I may not be utterly successful like others have been, but I am satisfied.

To say that I knew what was going to happen after graduation would be a total lie. I could not have predicted that I will be making a career in the semiconductor industry. I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I imagined myself working for a car company or some design job having to do with machines. And yet ten years later, I have been fortunate to work in reputable multinational companies leading the world in semiconductor manufacturing technologies.

Indeed, there are times when I questioned myself. I wondered if I chose the right track. Was it a wrong decision to pursue this career when I had other options? But I don’t dwell on those questions longer than necessary. I don’t believe they help me to get better or wiser. I believe that opportunities come our way and the best way to take advantage of them is just to be ready. Luck favors the prepared mind.

Personally, I have had my share of joy and aches those ten years after I graduated. At this point in my life, I am happy and content with my fiancée and two kids. We live a simple life. But that was not always the case. The path to get there was as crooked as can be. I remember feeling totally depressed as I went through that phase of my life. But today that it’s over, I know I am done with that episode. I haven’t thought about it until now that I write about it. It seems too distant or insignificant. I did learn a lot from it but I am thankful it does not bother me anymore.

Everything did not go smoothly in ten years’ time. That’s normal. But as I start to get my bearings back, I’ve made some plans to put things in order. So in my mind, the last ten years was a real learning experience that I could not have gotten from any school or college. It was about living life, learning from mistakes and moving on.

Ten years feels like a really long time if you imagine it from day one. But after it has passed, it seems to me it wasn’t that long at all. Hopefully the next ten years will be more fruitful, eventful and enjoyable than the one that has passed.

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