From Dorms to Cubicles: How Recent Graduates Communicate

David Choi
Stephanie Wu
Debra Lauterbach
Aruna Balakrishnan
48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, IEEE(2015), pp. 2013-2022


In a two-part field study, we studied the communication tool use of 29 college students and 20 recent college graduates. In comparing the two groups’ communication choices, we explored how transitioning from attending college to working full time impacts communication. We discuss how communication changes for recent college graduates in terms of both the content of their conversations, as well as the communication methods they use. We found that convenience plays a major role in the adoption and usage of communication tools, with participants preferring methods that were easily accessible at work, at home and in transit. We identify life changes recent graduates experience as they transition into emerging adulthood: the effect of being on a computer at work all day, changing social circles and scenes, being geographically distant from friends and family, and the desire for a professional persona. We discuss the impact of these changes on communication.