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A Word of Advice for College Seniors

September 22, 2015 in Alive Campus, Career

The Job Quest for Millennials

The Job Quest for Millennials

One of the burning questions we consistently ask ourselves throughout our senior year is whether or not we will be able to successfully enter the working world. We’ve pulled countless all-nighters to finish that paper and study for that ridiculously hard final, yet there’s no guarantee that we will be rewarded for our hard work. We’ve interned, worked part-time jobs, held decent grades, and still, we’re still unsure of where all of this exhausting work will lead us. The real question is, why is finding a job so difficult for college grads?

About 35 percent of the average American holds a Bachelors’ degree, and that’s only increasing with time. Naturally, there has become an increased competition rate for entry-level positions that all seniors desperately seek upon graduating. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to find a job as the time of our parents’ generation, where an Associate’s degree was plenty. We, as millennials, have been challenged for our skills, defined as lazy, told we’re not team players or hard workers, and the list goes on. However, what some companies may not recognize is that we are the generation who is most technologically proficient, which is essentially what all companies are turning to in regards to work. Some companies have moved to only working digitally since it’ progressively becoming the dominant method through which we complete tasks. After all, it’s efficient and speedy, so it makes the most sense.

I think there are a number of reasons why the job process has become nothing short of arduous for recent graduates. To name just a few, there’s the problem with not having experience, more students overall searching for jobs, the need for particular degrees to fit a certain position, lack of connections, lack of job openings, etc. The truth is, you may spend months or even close to a year searching for an entry-level position. I think one of the biggest words of advice I can provide is to never give up the search, no matter how many times you receive a rejection email. Those are bound to happen more often than not. While I am not in that position myself, I have watched close friends search up to a year to finally land a job related to their future career. The unfortunate truth is that you oftentimes need to have connections to even be considered for an interview. That’s why interning is key in college, but this still does not necessarily guarantee a job after you graduate. Another issue is that several companies also seek to hire people with experience in the field. How, though, how can we have experience if these companies never give us the initial chance to start?

Job Search

Job Search

It’s evidently difficult for people who haven’t experienced it to really know how current college students and graduates worry about their future. 83 percent of college students do not have a job lined up before graduation, despite their active search through various career sites, attending job fairs, etc. Finding a job is so demanding and exhausting, yet we’re still criticized for being lazy. As a senior who graduates in just 7 months, I have been asking myself the question more than ever. What happens when I graduate? Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers, but I like to tell myself it will all unfold properly in the end. If we can get through a difficult 4 plus years of college, then we can certainly get through the long and frustrating process of job searching. Tackle it just like you did that biology final, and you’ll eventually be rewarded in time.

Pre-Graduation Jitters

April 30, 2015 in Alive Campus, Career, Colleges

You’re a senior that’s graduating in just a few days, and you’re having your quarter-life crisis about where your life is headed after you walk across that stage. You’ve just reached a huge milestone in your life, but you can’t help but think of all the possible things that can go either completely right or entirely wrong. Will you get a job? Will you have the chance to move to your dream city? Will you find your soulmate? The questions are endless, so here are just a few thoughts I compiled to make you feel just a little bit better about your potential future.

Career: Finding a job is hard. Chances are, you won’t get a job right out of college, and that’s completely okay. Statistics show that it can take about 8 months to find an entry-level job, even with an outstanding Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. So take those few months to enjoy your free time, because as we all know, college is extremely stressful. Everyone deserves a break at some point to enjoy themselves. Also note that your first job may not always be completely related to your degree. That’s normal, because this is what will ultimately allow you to work your way up to your dream job. Don’t become discouraged and take it personally when companies don’t email you back after you sent in a picture-perfect application. There are so many factors involved in the hiring process that it’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what a job may be looking for. Expect rejection at some point, and stay positive no matter what. You WILL get hired at some point.

Getting Engaged: The norm has become getting engaged immediately after graduation or even during senior year of college, but don’t think that you’re obligated to just because everyone else is. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your significant other. Finding a job and supporting yourself is important to do before completely settling down with someone else. You should always follow your dreams and your career plan first. If your significant other loves you, they will support you no matter what. So don’t panic if your boyfriend isn’t down on one knee immediately after you graduate. Really, there’s no rush!

Living on Your Own: There’s a good chance you’ll have to live back at home with your parents for a few months or even a year as you work. This is probably the best option so you can save up for an apartment. We’ve all said at some point that we can’t wait to be officially living on our own, but there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of your parents’ home for just a little while longer. This will allow you to save up and won’t put you in even more debt so you can comfortably live on your own when the time comes.

Salary: Don’t be picky when it comes to earning a salary. Entry-level jobs are just to get your foot in the door. As much as we’d all love to be making a huge salary our first year of working, this probably won’t be the case. Just remember that you’ll eventually be able to work your way up the ladder. Whatever a company offers you, take it, because they’re essentially offering you the chance to jumpstart your career.

Take these pointers into consideration as the real world welcomes you with open arms. Always have patience and stay optimistic. And of course, a big Congratulations to all of those graduating this spring! Embrace this wonderful moment, because I’m sure you’ve worked extremely hard to get where you are. Take a moment to breathe, toss your cap, and just remember that it’ll all work out.

Congratulations to the Graduates!

Congratulations to the Graduates!

The Myths of Your Senior Year

March 27, 2015 in Alive Campus, Career

Senior yearSenior Year. It’s FINALLY here and some of you might be coming to the realization that you are about to enter the real world in just about two short months. I don’t know about you, but I am starting to panic. Everyone says that your senior year is supposed to be the best year of your life and enjoy it while you can! Well how can I when I have to find a job?! I keep trying to enjoy these last two months of my undergraduate education but all I keep thinking about is if I’m going to be homeless or not come May 16. It’s a scary feeling knowing that you may be living on the street in a few months after putting blood, sweat and tears into a $40,000 education. And I know I may be exaggerating a little bit because you always have your parents’ couch right? But at the same time I am completely serious.

These feelings of panic can be attributed to three statements or “myths” that every senior has probably heard more than a dozen times. First is “Oh you’re a senior? Do you have a job yet?” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this question from family, friends, and strangers alike and I don’t know how much longer I can take it. This question irks me so much because it only adds pressure onto the already panicked attitude I have knowing that graduation is fast approaching. If I had a job then I would immediately tell you straight up before anything else, but if I don’t say anything then please do not ask unless you are going to give me ideas of where to apply.

That question is usually followed by “Oh that’s okay you’ll get a job because everyone wants graduates from your college and it all works out in the end!” In here lies the myth that because I go to a one of the best military colleges in America that someone will automatically hand me a job come graduation. We’ve been breed since freshman year that jobs are handed to us like free money because everyone loves VMI graduates. Well considering I don’t have a job yet that couldn’t be more false. And the thing is, I knew this would happen and wasn’t expecting to be handed a job, but it’s the fact that they make us feel like we’re better than everyone and that you’ll be employed come graduation.

The third question that is sometimes asked is “What would you like to do and where are you looking?” Well honestly I just want a job so I’m looking anywhere. It is even proven that a majority of people don’t even work in the field that they received their degree in and this may be due to the fact that people settle because they need money and I myself would probably do the same. However, I do have a dream job and would like to get a job in that general field. Additionally, what senior actually has the time to look for jobs?! My schedule at VMI does not leave me very much time for myself much less time to look for a job. And frankly, I just want to focus on graduating because I do not want to stay here longer than I have to. Therefore, if I do have the time to apply for a job then I will but other than that I am focusing on getting my diploma, graduating with distinction, and getting out of Dodge.

So if you are a senior and have been hit with these three questions, just know that you are not alone. I am right there with you and as of right now come May 16 I will be looking for my next move. But it’s all going to work out in the end, right? (Or so we’ve been told).