Keeping It Real: Advice For Life After College

Post Grade Advice

By Khadejah Stegall

Khadejah is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.

The idea of life after college can sound exciting. No more professors, homework or cafeteria food. While many are eager to graduate, life after college can be scary if you do not know the path you are heading on. Take notes from a few college graduates and their advice on life after college:

On patience:

“You have to be patient with your growth.  As soon as you walk across that stage you believe that the stars will align perfectly and everything will fall in order, but sometimes it just doesn't happen that way immediately.  You will go through days where things aren't working out, and you aren't sure about yourself, but you have to have faith that it will get better. You have to be patient with yourself, and take the necessary risks that you believe will help to improve your future. There is no point in stressing yourself out because things aren't as you expected. We all just have to try and enjoy the process.”

Malia Brown, General Manager of five healthy hair care salons in Charlotte, NC + Founder of UrbanSocial, a socially conscious multi-media platform that empowers, connects, and informs millennials, alumni North Carolina University of Chapel Hill

On staying positive:

“I would always think positive (I tweet #God1st & #PositivityOverEverything everyday to a point where it's engraved in my brain), never lose sight of the goal and if you put the work in, everything will play itself out. Some bad advice came from a conversation from my dad. It was before I got the production assistant job. I was freelancing and after a long lecture, my dad told me to choose money over happiness and get a regular job. That hurt me because I felt like my own dad didn't see the vision. Once I got the PA job at WJLA, I felt like I made it. The love I got from my family and friends was more than anything I've ever received so far in my life. So if you are struggling after graduation, have faith and trust the process. The breakthrough will come in due time.”

Jerrell Leeper @DapperJ, Production Assistant at WJLA (ABC7 / Newschannel 8), alumni of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State

On God’s timing:

“No matter what mistakes you make, God will deliver you to your destiny at the right time. In college I was one of those students who couldn't graduate fast enough. I felt like college was keeping me from having a thriving career. All I wanted to do was jump head first into the working world. I had worked as a freelance journalist while in school to help me fight off the itch to get out in the industry but I was so ready to get out there. After graduating and having a few hit and misses in my career but still ending up where I always dreamed I'd be, I can look back and see that all that rushing, worrying and such didn't help me get here any faster. It just worried me sick. God knows our hearts and if we do the work, He'll put us right where we need to be right when we need to be there. Your post-grad journey is your OWN.”

Shelby Ivey Christie, Digital Sales Planner at Vogue-Condé Nast, alumni of North Carolina A&T State University

On knowing your greatness:

“First, know and understand that you are greatness and that you are a young god, so just make whatever your passion is happen. It isn't going to be easy because you're going to have to eat food and have a roof over your head, unless you have a partner willing to hold you down, or parents, so make a job, or get a job, that can feed you and all that. Just stay in your pay grade. Don't let the media fool you. Actually just read a lot and keep yourself educated and your mind stimulated. You will need it especially if you're looking for a job. All in all, just go out and get it. Struggle and get it!!! The struggle is the best part because you know it can only get better if you're at the lowest. So don't try to skip the struggle, embrace it and make it work. Look and find your truth. And most of all go with your spirit/heart over your mind because your mind has been so conditioned, but your Spirit knows what's best. You feel it. Establish relationships and COMMUNICATE with people just as people not because you want something. Spread love and you will receive it.”

Eniola Adeniyi , Filmmaker, alumni of North Carolina A&T State University

On being a go-getter:

“Be the first one at the event. Talk to everyone regardless of color, creed or company. Your handshake should be firm and your confidence should exude. Read often so that you can talk about anything from politics to golf to the stock market. Be social if you’re over the age of 21. Get one glass of wine. Wine is the beverage of the business world and a lot of business deals are closed over a glass of wine. If you’re at a cocktail event, your main focus should not be on eating for you can eat when you get home. You should be spending your time working the room and making your presence known. Lastly, don’t leave the event until you are the last one standing and you’ve spoken to as many people as possible.”

Canisha Cierra Turner, Account Executive at FOX8, CEO of Executive Reign, alumni of North Carolina A&T State University

If you want to be noticed, follow up:

“The morning after a networking event, be sure to send an email of thanks to everyone you exchanged business cards with. Then, mail them a handwritten thank you card. The handwritten note is not something that everyone does and is sure to make you stand out above the rest. Employers get tons of emails per day, so it is a great possibility that your email can get lost in the shuffle. However, sending a handwritten card means that you are serious and you can go the extra mile.”

Canisha Cierra Turner, Account Executive at FOX8, CEO of Executive Reign, alumni of North Carolina A&T State University

If you want to go far, show up:

“After receiving the job, make sure you show up every day. When I say show up, I mean prepared to do exceedingly in your duties. Make sure that you go the extra mile, take on additional projects, challenge yourself and constantly acquire new knowledge. This lets your leadership know that you are serious and have what it takes to go far in the company. Never be afraid to ask questions and always share your knowledge with others if you feel that you have an expertise in the area of discussion. At the end of the day, affirm your boss’ decision to hire you and give them the motivation to promote you to the next level.”

Canisha Cierra Turner, Account Executive at FOX8, CEO of Executive Reign, alumni of North Carolina A&T State University


Khadejah Stegall is a college mommy blogger that inspires others to achieve the impossible through the power of Jesus. She enjoys family time, eating vegan meals when it's convenient and mentoring others on professional development. To be inspired by more post, follow her blog at khadejahstegall.com