Column: Prepare for the future at Loyola
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 18:03
So you’ve made it into college and are working toward graduation. Some of you may be mere months from graduating, others a few years. While at Loyola you are doing everything right. You are participating in different clubs and organizations, going the extra mile to diversify your resume.
Maybe you have a work-study job on campus, possibly something oriented toward the career you see on the horizon. Maybe you work part or full-time off campus. Perhaps you don’t work at all. In any case, you think that you are well prepared to go on to the mythical life after college; I mean, that is what we pay tuition for, right?
I graduated in December. As of this moment, I’m living in my parents’ attic, unemployed with a throwaway minimum wage job in my immediate future. I started putting in applications and calling around for interviews when I landed back home. I’ve had three interviews. I got one job offer that turned out to be a scam.
The job market is almost impossible to navigate. Most sources seem to agree that three- to-four months is the national average for a job search. That is 12-16 weeks without getting paid, driving to interviews on borrowed gas and living off the grace of parents and friends.
I’m not saying that everyone will end up where I am. There are steps you can take right this exact second to prevent ever ending up in this particular predicament. For those of you about to graduate, start looking for jobs now. Not tomorrow, not a week from now. Start scheduling interviews. As many as you can.
If you are moving to a different city, try to get phone interviews and set up in-person appointments for as soon as you get there. For those of you who are just starting college, I would urge you to go after internships. Not just for credit, but for experience in the field you’d like to be in. If you can’t find one through the school, contact companies directly. Almost every major corporation has an internship program of some sort, and you can apply directly. Also, if you are doing a part or full-time job, try to keep the same one for as long as you possibly can. Constant employment is not as impressive to prospective employers as consistent employment or advancement at one job for four years.
I graduated college thinking that my diploma would be a ticket to any job I could want. That has not been the case for me, and I wouldn’t wish this sort of torturous limbo on an enemy. My suggestion is to help yourself out now. College is a time to get yourself ready to be an adult, but that doesn’t mean it will do so without any help from you.
Theresa Bullin is a Loyola alumna and can be reached at email@example.com
Looking Back is a regular column open to all Loyola alumni. Those interested in contributing can contact firstname.lastname@example.org