Great Advice for Grads 2020

Congratulations Class of 2020!

At the time of this publication, we are in a very uncertain world during an unprecedented challenge to our status quo. Many of you may have had to leave your campuses unsure of how the term will end or if you will see your classmates again. Others may be continuing along with online studies, but now from the safety of your homes, and with many questions about how a worldwide challenge will affect your futures. While this wasn’t exactly the kind of challenge I faced when I first graduated, I want you to know that I understand. You see, I graduated college in May 2001. I spent the summer working my first professional job as a call center manager, planning my next steps until I landed a new gig. My new role was scheduled to start on September 11, 2001. 9/11…as we all know now, the world and everything about life as we knew it changed forever on that day. I lost my job just three weeks after I started, after I had already relocated for the position. All the dreams and plans I had for my career and even my personal life were suddenly gone. I had no idea if I could pay for groceries the next week, let alone cover rent next month. I felt panicked, heartsick, terrified, unsettled – all the feelings you would expect when we face a national tragedy. I tell you this not to compare our experiences. Rather, I tell you this as someone who has faced a great deal of uncertainty and fear at what should be a time of great celebration. I tell you this to let you know that we find strength and inner resources when we are tested. The events that were set in motion that day forced all of us to become more reflective, less oblivious, and more appreciative. We came out the other side better prepared for adversity and more informed to be our own advocates. I tell you this to let you know that this, too, shall pass. Because it will pass, although the world may be changed, you will still need to face the same challenges as graduates before you. You may struggle to know which job offer to take, whether you should move to a new place, how much apartment or house you can afford, or how to pay back your student loans. Especially now, you may have a lot of questions about money and how to plan for the future, however uncertain. That’s why, in the midst of this chaos, we’re proud to once again offer sage advice and wisdom in this, our 2020 Great Advice for Grads. Carrying on a tradition that began in 2014, this e-guide is a collaborative effort with the personal finance site NerdWallet to bring you articles to help you become financially empowered. Included in this year’s edition is information on building your credit in ways that haven’t been available before, and different ways you can think about paying off debt.

Remember, the world may not always comply with your carefully laid plans, but you can build an armor of knowledge to protect yourself when it doesn’t. We are collectively facing a topsy-turvy world, but this too, shall pass.

Be well and proceed boldly,

Carissa Uhlman Vice President of Student Success Inceptia

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