Before & After You Graduate

University of Texas Austin campus at sunset-dusk - aerial view

The temperature in Austin is heating up while the semester is winding down and the graduating class is becoming restless. Before graduation there are a few quintessential Austin things all graduating seniors need to do before they walk across the stage.

Exploring off campus landmarks, dining in five-star restaurants and spending all day on the lush Greenbelt are just some of the things students may or may not have done in their four years at The University of Texas.

To make sure you get everything out of Austin before graduation we compiled a list of things to do in and around Austin to get the most out of the off-campus college experience. Then after you’ve checked all of these places off your bucket list we have compiled a list of resources for you to use when starting the job search and perfecting the art of the dreaded job interview.

The Austin Spots

1. See the view from Mt. Bonnell

Mount Bonnell is a well-known point next to Lake Austin on a portion of the Colorado River. It has been a popular tourist destination since the 1850s and students have been making the hike to the top of Mt. Bonnell for the great views, romantic atmosphere and physical challenge.

Audrey Bounds is a senior in the school of music. She hopes to move to Nashville after graduation and get a job in music production. For now, she’s still on the job hunt but she has fond memories of Mt. Bonnell.

“I was really expecting a climb or a big hike to get there. I was a little bit disappointed that it wasn’t more of a workout, but the view definitely makes up for it,” said Bounds.

2. Take a picture at Castle Hill

Castle Hill graffiti park sits at the base of the historic Texas Military Institute castle which was built in the 1920s and now serves as an office for a local real estate developer. The structural ruins beneath the Victorian castle are concrete canvases for Austin graffiti artists and a special hang out for the you culture in Austin.

Jenna Rae Housson is a senior journalism major who has spend a great deal of time at Castle Hill.

“I’ve been to Castle Hill a few different times — each time to take pictures of specific photo subjects. That’s what the great thing about it is — the graffiti is different every single time, so photos will never be the same,” points out Housson. “My favorite art piece was right after Robin Williams died. There was a beautiful, huge mural of him as the genie with the “genie, you’re free” quote.”

After graduation, Jenna has a one-way ticket to Prague. She will do summer school then spend the rest of the summer traveling Europe and working on sustainable and organic farms.

3.Enjoy one last Kerbey Queso


If you have made it through the first four years of college without every going to Kerbey Lane you better go now. The Austin staple is the go-to late night hangout serving up the greasiest, homey food every late night studier or party-goer dreams of.

Shelby Flowers is a senior history and RTF major. After graduation she is moving back home to Whittier, Calif. to take time off before finding a job. She hopes to be a historical consultant for production companies, but for now she reminisces about all of the time she has spent at Kirby Lane.

“Kerbey Queso is the best. It’s been my go-to for the past four years. Plus, it’s open late so literally anytime I have a craving, I can just walk down the Drag and get it,” said Flowers. “What makes it different is they put the guac in the queso. I’m definitely going to miss this when I graduate.”

Get The Job

Alright, fun’s over. Now that you have gotten your fill of Austin and crossed those last minute things off your bucket list it’s time to get down to business and that means job hunting.

Alexandra Heart, a graduating senior and journalism major, is taking the job hunting process one day at a time. “Anything past [graduation] isn’t even on my radar yet,” she says.

While many students are taking these last few weeks, day-by-day, the reality is time starts to fly by and before you know it everyone has a job but you. In order to avoid missing out of potential job opportunities we have compiled a list of resources, tips and tricks to help you get the job you want.

The Career Services office isn’t the only helpful resource when looking for future work and the university has an endless amount of resources for recent graduates. If you haven’t taken advantage of these yet, we suggest you flip through this slideshow to find out just post-graduation aid available to you.

Resources for Recent Grads

Now that you have done your homework and written the perfect cover letter, it is time to really get down to business. Perfecting the art of the interview is a lifelong endeavor but we took the liberty to break it down to make the process a little less nerve-wracking.

The most important thing we found when walking into a job interview is that you need to be prepared. Making sure you have done your research and have prepared a few questions for the end of the interview will make you a more memorable and shining applicant which will ultimately help you get the job. For the full list of tips watch this video to catch up on interview protocol.

Job Interview Tips

Last but not least it really comes down to how you look and act in person. You may have all of the t’s crossed and i’s dotted on your resume, but if the interviewer doesn’t feel a connection with you while you’re sitting across from him or her, than you’ve already lost.

Try to dress appropriately for the job you want. If the job is at an ultra-hip start up then come in looking that way. If it’s at a buttoned up professional firm, then come in your most tailored suit. Matching your personality with the appropriate dress and a layer of confidence will help you feel like you fit in and already have the job. “Fake it till you make it, right?”

If you are uncertain of what is and isn’t appropriate for your interview dress then check out the next two infographics for women and men to make sure you are looking sharp and are ready to tackle any question a clever interviewer might ask, because if you look good then you feel good and yes that’s a real thing.

Photography and Interviews by Colleen Nelson
Video and Resource Slider by Lazaro Hernandez
Apparel Graphic & Written by Katelyn Orlowski

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