• What's Next?

You've crossed the stage, so what's next? This page is a resource for our newest AlumKnights! Learn about the events, programs and initiatives taking place as you get ready for this next step.

Advice from Alumni


As you get ready to transition to the next phase of their UCF journey, we want you to be as prepared as possible. Our alumni advice wall is a project to provide encouragement and support to our soon to be AlumKnights as they get ready to cross the stage. The advice provided are the opinions from a diverse group of alumni with different life experiences. We hope you find this tool useful!


 Below you can find even more information on how to get involved after graduation, get access to career development and financial resources.

  • It is important to know why you are going to graduate school. Are you going so that you will be more competitive in the workforce or so that you have more knowledge in the field you are interested in or to increase your bottom-line salary? These questions are the guiding questions that help in the decision to go.
    Hamilton Ervin '17
  • One of the best resources you can utilize are the associated program advisors. Gaining valuable insight for program requirements, having extra support when going through the application process, and establishing a professional relationship are all possible benefits when connecting with an advisor.
    David Frederick '20
  • Take time to evaluate if it's something that you want to pursue immediately after graduation. Some jobs will pay for your graduate program. Some government programs will discharge your student loans if you enter a field where your employment qualifies for you to have loans discharged. Do this research on the front end and it will save you headaches down the road on how you will repay your student loan debt.
    J.P. Gilbert '11
  • Almost all companies offer a reimbursement plan for graduate or professional education. Look at the pros and cons of using your company as an educational reimbursement as some companies may require you to work for them for 5 years or others may require you to study a specific field.
    JC Perez '16
  • Research the different schools that offer your program of interest and request to speak to someone within that department and attend an orientation. I personally love to go to the campus and do a tour. Sometimes I will ask questions on online discussion boards to get a feel of the school.
    Monica Rodriguez '14
  • Make sure to do lots of research before picking a graduate program. The best advice I received was to go somewhere different then undergrad, no reason to replicate your undergraduate experience.
    Jade Taylor '14
  • If you are thinking about graduate school but are unsure of the goal, take a 2 years to get some professional experience and see what skills you really have. A masters should be for something you want to specialize in. If you are unsure of your career path, take some time to reflect and research!
    Ashley Turner '12
  • Giving back is not only an excellent way to help others in your community, but it is an opportunity to get job experience as well. Any experience is a good experience, and volunteering will help you as you help others!
    Rachel Butcher '15
  • Get involved in causes you are passionate about. I find great joy knowing that I have found/continue to find my footing - or as one might say, my vocation - outside of my day-to-day work. This can really bring a strong sense of purpose as you transition into your post-college lives.
    Bradley Gullett '13
  • Researching what your interests are is a great way to volunteer since you will be able to give back to that interests. A great place to start are animal shelters or pantries especially right now during COVID since it is a type of volunteer work that is social distancing friendly. If you love UCF, there may be a local regional chapter/club that you can volunteer with.
    Monica Rodriguez '14
  • Find something you are passionate about, look up a local organization as they are in more need than national ones that get lots of support already. You can choose how often you volunteer and how but know you are needed, valued and important to changing peoples lives. You won't regret the time you spend helping others.
    Amy Wasserman '93
  • Start with finding UCF Alumni groups in driving/public commute distance. Leverage those relationships into new local relationships. Work out of coffee shops and interact with people around you. Find activities in your city that interest you such as bootcamps, yoga, and other meet up groups and build a powerful and genuine network !
    Drew Belani '05
  • Reach out the Alumni group in your area and if there isn't one; great time to meet new people, network, and start one. Remember, the rule of networking is, "Do it before you need something! By the time you need something, it's too late." Best of luck in your future city, state, and/or country!
    Christina Martin Bordonaro '92
  • I highly recommend graduates move as often as possible, as I have found that relocating greatly expands your experience by working and living in different cities. Also, as many individuals are not willing to relocate, moving increases the frequency of promotions. If a company pays for you to relocate, especially if there is financial assistance in buying a home, you likely will benefit both short and long-term.
    Mish Clark '95
  • Try something new. New activities bring new people and friendships into your life.
    Chris Hixon '15
  • I highly recommend becoming involved with professional associations or organizations in your region. These organizations have regular meetings and events (virtual and in-person) that are great for professional development and networking. In addition, when opportunities arise, you can take things one step further by volunteering on association/organization boards and committees for deeper involvement.
    Mason Moore '97
  • Depending on the city, look for apartment complexes that offer move-in specials or discounts for working for the major company there. This will help you offset some of the costs of moving to a new city by helping you pay less for moving in.
    JC Perez '16
  • Make sure you plug yourself into a network when you move somewhere new. This could be through work, an interest or even an alumni group. This is the best way to find out fun things to do in your new city, make new friends and give back!
    Jade Taylor '14
  • Moving can be scary but also with an open mind and positive outlook, it can be the best experience. Joining "meet up" groups and networking events and groups is the best way to find a new circle of personal and business friends as fast as possible and make you feel at home quicker.
    Amy Wasserman '93
  • In a non-covid world, don’t be afraid to attend local meetups. I joined a UCF alumni group, ADPi alumni group, and a church group all in the same month. This helped me to feel very connected from the get-go and gave me immediate opportunities, not only in my career, but in building community in a new place!
    Sara York '12
  • Get involved in one of UCF’s alumni associations. Being a knight lasts beyond your years in school and joining an alumni association is a great way to stay connected.
    Rachel Butcher '15
  • One of the greatest benefits of attending a large university like UCF is that no matter where life takes you after graduation, there is likely some sort of UCF Alumni group in your area or state. Get involved with your local alumni chapter. If you have the funds, give back to the university. As alumni, it's our responsibility to help UCF continue on its upward trajectory as one of the best schools in the country.
    J.P. Gilbert '11
  • Join your local UCF Alumni chapter - Knight nation is EVERYWHERE! UCF social media is also top notch especially the UCF Alumni page.
    Kersti Myles '10
  • I love photography and have a lot of pictures from my time at UCF, so I love to sit down and go through memory lane or follow hashtags that are UCF related. A great way to connect with UCF fans is joining one of the many Facebook Fan groups. Another great thing to do if you cannot go back to pay UCF a visit, is to join a regional chapter/club in the area or if there is not one, you can start one up!
    Monica Rodriguez '14
  • ENGAGE with your alma mater! You can serve on an alumni committee/board, volunteer with your college, mentor students, attend events, become a social media ambassador, donate to scholarships and/or the Knights Helping Knights Pantry, and connect with other alums in the city where you live. Once a Knight, always a Knight!
    Christine Wydra '93
  • Save as much of your paycheck as possible in a savings account. Invest 20-25% of your savings in low commission ETF's Purchase a piece of real estate as early as you can and ride the appreciation. Don't sell it for 5-7 years or longer, turn it into a rental property and then buy your 2nd home.
    Drew Belani '05
  • My dear dad, who passed away in 2019, gave me, and all my UCF friends/sorority sisters, the same, usually unsolicited, pieces of advice about finances: 1. Live below your means, and 2. A problem isn't really a problem if it can be solved with money (I convinced him to add, "as long as you have good credit" after I joined the "real world." Congratulations on your great accomplishment.
    Christina Martin Bordonaro '92
  • Every time you get a raise, put that percentage in your 401k. You were paying the bills before the raise, so before you recognize it put it in your 401k until you max out. Over time, this will pay huge dividends to your financial stability
    Mish Clark '95
  • Be aware of your spending. You have worked hard to earn your degree and to be able to enter the workforce with a competitive salary. Do not let the money change you and do not let the money leave you unnecessarily.
    Hamilton Ervin '17
  • Start a budget (there are many basic templates online). Also, figure out what you will actually earn on a weekly/biweekly basis, and then start to plan how you will pay each bill and each expense. Throwing around numbers like your annual salary (income) or even your total student loan balance (one of your debts) doesn't mean much until you actually break them down into a weekly or monthly amount.
    Bradley Gullett '13
  • "Keeping up with the Joneses" is overrated... it's WAY cooler to have an 'Excellent' credit score. No matter how much money you're making you'll never regret the peace-of-mind that comes with having almost no debt which also enables personal and/or professional freedom to transition out of unhappy situations.
    Kristin Hahn '94
  • Your budget is your foundation for financial success, and while it’s important to focus on the necessities, make sure you pay yourself first. Set aside a small portion of each paycheck to save for goals and emergencies, and if your employer offers a 401(k) match, make the maximum contribution if you can!
    Valerie L. Moses '14
  • A great way to get in check with your finances is reading about different things you can do to improve your credit and how have better control of your money. I personally enjoy using Dave Ramsey's way of budgeting by using a zero-based budget. Cash envelopes is also a great way to have better control of your money, you would make envelopes for categories and once the cash inside the envelope is gone you will not have any more spending money in the category.
    Monica Rodriguez '14
  • One of the best ways you can make an impression when you are searching for a job is to drop off a copy of your resume, CV, and cover letter to a prospective employer. Shaking a hand in-person and making the effort to express your interest in a job may speak beyond the contents of a job application.
    David Frederick '20
  • "Keeping up with the Joneses" is overrated... it's WAY cooler to have an 'Excellent' credit score. No matter how much money you're making you'll never regret the peace-of-mind that comes with having almost no debt which also enables personal and/or professional freedom to transition out of unhappy situations.
    Kristin Hahn '94
  • Don’t compare yourself to peers. Focus on your own goals for those are the only ones you will accomplish.
    Chris Hixon '15
  • When it comes to getting your foot in the door at a new company, your network is everything. Keep in touch with former employers, faculty members, classmates and anyone else you meet throughout your college career and beyond – you never know where those relationships will take you later on.
    Valerie L. Moses '14
  • Treat the job hunt like a full time job. Never take a job/position unless you’re passionate about it. Tailor your resume to each place you apply to. Always send a thank you card/email to every place you apply.
    Kersti Myles '10
  • Tailor your resume to have key words that relates to the job posting you are applying for. Create a LinkedIn profile and have professor give you a recommendation letter/posting for your profile. I highly recommend DW Consulting LLC for a professional review of your profile.
    Monica Rodriguez '14
  • Network, network, network! Whether you do this during your time at UCF or after, you must expand your network and tap into your current one. My first and second job after graduation was given to me by people I built relationships with, even though I wasn’t the best candidate on paper. Use LinkedIn, email and call prospects for lunch or a 20 minute Zoom call.
    Ashley Turner '12
  • It is not always what you know, it is who you know. Now that you are armed with your degree, be sure to keep it touch with classmates, professors and others you have met at UCF. That way you are top of mind if an opportunity comes up that is a perfect fit for you.
    Christine Wydra '93

Events and Programs


We cannot wait to connect with you!  This section will be updated with virtual events and programs available through our office.

Get Involved


Thousands of alumni locally and across the country have given of their time and talent after they transition to the next stage of being a Knight. Volunteering creates a meaningful opportunity to stay connected with your soon to be alma mater. Alumni in Orlando, across the country and in the digital space serve as ambassadors for our university. Our volunteers spread black and gold far and wide while supporting current students through their efforts. Learn more about their teams and all that they accomplish on behalf of UCF.

Connect With Us

@UCFAlumni

Connect with UCF Alumni accounts for the latest from campus

Keep us looped in to where you're at and what you're up to after graduation.

Career and Professional Development

Did you know that you can continue seeing career services up to 6 months after graduation? Once your time with them concludes, our How to Job Search During the COVID-19 Pandemic Guide is here to help!

 

How to Job Search During the COVID-19 Pandemic Guide
These tips will help you navigate the process during the pandemic and the associated economic slowdown

 

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile to Get More Job Offers
Four strategies you can use to stand out and get more job offers

Managing Finances After Graduation

Need help with money management after graduation? Amelia “Mills” Bender ’17 of Mills Knows Bills offers free workshops and resources to support financial literacy. Amelia hosts a free monthly workshop. Upcoming events include how to pay back your student loans and support with filling out a FAFSA. Access the webinars.

Take advantage of these free budgeting tools for UCF Grads. Start mastering your money by learning how to set a practical budget that works for your lifestyle and allows you to reach your financial goals. In less than two hours, you will have a budget set, and no math is involved!

Budget Tool in English

Budget Tool in Spanish

 

Access additional free resources to improve and your finances at Mills Knows Bills