Planning a career after Oz

OSWEGO, N.Y. — A panel of career professionals came together to advise the students of SUNY Oswego on how to cope with the next steps that come with graduating college.

Graduation often worries students about what career path to be a part of from the moment they graduate. The panelist reassured students that not knowing those next steps is normal. 

One of the panelists was Mary Buske, who is a SUNY Oswego graduate who graduated in 2020. While attending this university, she changed her major multiple times before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in human resources and a minor in communications and social interaction. She told students they do not need to know their next steps at this very moment. 

“You don’t need to have an answer right now for what you’re doing with your career for what you’re doing with your major,” Buske said. “Answers come over time. It’s about having a plan to find an answer.”

Another panelist was Lindsay McCluskey who is a public relations professional and teaches numerous public relations and communication courses here at SUNY Oswego. She told students that even when they think they have a plan, life often disrupts those plans, forcing them to find a new plan.

“You have to sometimes take opportunities as they come, but also be open to change because sometimes you set out to do something but then you get into it and it isn’t what you thought it was,” McCluskey said. 

The panelists said that students will make mistakes after college more often than not, but it is how those mistakes are handled that will impact their careers. 

The last panelist was Megan Mazzoconnie who is a career coach for the Communication, Media, and the Arts department here at SUNY Oswego. She wants students to know that it is okay to ask for help when they make mistakes. 

“If you ask for help if you reach out for advice in any sort of capacity, do it,” Mazzoconnie said. “Be brave because as soon as I started feeling comfortable doing that a lot more doors opened for me.” 

Jaime Minor is a senior that attended After the Lake to find answers that may help ease his anxiety with planning a life after Oswego. He said he found the event insightful. 

“I feel seen being told I do not need to have a plan,” Minor said. “I put all this pressure on myself because I want to be successful but this event reassured me that it’s going to take time to build a career and that’s okay.”

Minor’s favorite piece of advice came from Buske when she said that as individuals you are going to experience multiple lifetimes.

“It struck me because we tend to believe that life is linear, but in reality we are going to decide things and then change our minds,” Minor said. “We do not have to stick to one career path, but we can go through multiple.”