Public Release: 

Steps for launching a lifetime of career success

New book provides guidance for college graduates worried about their future

American University

Graduation rewards college students' years of hard work with a degree that will set them on a path for future success; this day also marks a transition from campus to the unfamiliar workforce. Every year college graduates are faced with questions such as 'What interests you?', 'What do you want out of a career?' and 'What qualities and skills do you have?' when planning their next steps. American University's School of Communication Film and Media Arts professor and Center for Environmental Filmmaking director Chris Palmer's new book, "Now What, Grad? Your Path to Success After College," helps grads process these questions to build a fulfilling career.

The book is designed to help graduating college seniors and anyone in the job market succeed in establishing a career, advancing career performance, improving work-life balance, or simply leading a more productive life. The book offers practical tips for making important decisions and provides a framework for navigating the professional world and architecting a balanced life.

"Now What, Grad?" teaches skills such as how to organize a job search, how to ace job interviews, how to manage time effectively, how to manage and reduce stress, how to be an effective leader, how to run a meeting well, how to survive a bad performance review, how to become a powerful speaker, how to network, and many other skills that are the keys to success and fulfillment. These lessons are typically not taught in the college classroom, but can provide a leg up for soon-to-be graduates to achieve both professional and personal success.

Palmer is a professor, speaker, author, and wildlife film producer with more than a decade in higher education. As a devoted mentor to his students, Palmer imparts wisdom to his graduates to launch their adult lives with confidence. Palmer encourages the big dreams of his students with sensible guidance about how to realize their goals through the challenge of a career based on individual strengths and passions.

"Students stress about whether they'll find a job, if it will be fulfilling, whether they will earn enough to pay off their student loans, and whether they will fail and disappoint their families," said Palmer. "Young people need to learn many things that colleges don't teach, including how to behave professionally, how to collaborate, how to be life-long learners, and how to be resourceful, resilient, and ethical."

"Now What, Grad?" shares advice on big-picture strategies such as collaborating effectively and being a true leader, to critical tactics such as organizing a job search and networking. Here are Palmer's Top 10 Tips from the book on how to be a successful professional:

"Professor Palmer's "Now What, Grad?" helps students and recent graduates answer the title question with practical tips and useful stories drawn from his own rich career as well as from the lived experience of many of his students. Any new graduate reading this book will not only learn the nuts and bolts of finding a job and how to be an effective professional, but also how to live one's life with meaning and purpose," said Cornelius M. Kerwin, President, American University.

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About the Author

Chris Palmer is a professor, speaker, author, and wildlife film producer who has spearheaded the production of more than 300 hours of original programming for prime-time television and the giant screen IMAX industry. He founded the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University School of Communication in 2005, a year after joining AU's full-time faculty as Distinguished Film Producer in Residence. He regularly gives speeches and workshops on a variety of topics, including how to radically improve one's success and productivity, how to give effective presentations, how to network effectively, how to raise money, and how to motivate and engage students. His first two books were Shooting in the Wild (2010) and Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker (2015).

About American University

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation's capital and around the world.

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